Ian “Gandalf” McKellen Says “The Hobbit” Starts Shooting in July

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New Line

After months -- years -- of clamoring for details about production on "the Hobbit," someone claiming to be Gandalf himself gave up the goods on his blog.

In a post on McKellen.com, the great English actor Ian McKellen announced that shooting would start in just four months:

THE HOBBIT's two films start shooting in New Zealand in July.  Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started.  The script too proceeds.  The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth. 

The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons' and the studio in Miramar.

Is this the real Ian McKellen's site? Well, it's got his name, an introduction hailing it as his "online Autobiography," and it claims to the "Sr Ian McKellen Official Home Page." So it must be him, right? Who knows?

The production has been plagued by script problems and the role of title role of Bilbo Baggins remains uncast, but it could happen.

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