Andy Serkis, The Hobbit

I think it’s time to start keeping track of all the news from Middle Earth. Filming began on March 20 in New Zealand, so the clock is ticking down to the release dates of Dec. 19, 2012 (part 1) and Dec. 2013 (part 2).

Let’s take a look at some recent news, in addition to this photo of Peter Jackson on set (also pictured above, on-set). And many thanks to my Kiwi Hobbiteer Melanie McMinn, who blogs at Frugal Kiwi and keeps me updated on all things Middle Earth.

Andy Serkis, a.k.a. Gollum
Andy Serkis, a.k.a. Gollum

Andy Serkis (Gollum) has been hired as the second unit director. “A lot of the crew from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was returning to work on ‘The Hobbit,'” he says. “There really is a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic.” Second unit footage typically includes establishing shots, close-ups, inserts and cutaways. (

Bret McKenzie joins the cast as Figwit the Elf. Fans of ‘[amazon_link id=”B003L7DK74″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Flight of the Conchords[/amazon_link]’ already know him, and now lots more people will know him as Figwit the Elf.  Not familiar with Figwit? That’s because it’s a fan-created name for the character, previously uncredited in the LOTR trilogy. Bret appeared in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ as an elf at the Council of Elrond and again in ‘The Return of the King’ as an elf escort. (

Got ‘Hobbit’ news? Email me at Follow The Hobbit on Facebook and read the official blog for The Hobbit.

Cast of The Hobbit
The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves. Pictured from left: Aidan Turner (Kili), William Kircher (Bifur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Jed Brophy (Nori), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Mark Hadlow (Dori), John Callen (Oin), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins, front), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Ken Stott (Balin), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Adam Brown (Ori) | Warner Bros.



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