According to reports, Ian McKellen appeared at the Lord of the Rings All Nighter at the BFI Imax in London last weekend. McKellen stated that he is currently re-reading The Hobbit and that he expects to be back in New Zealand to start shooting for the film in March. He also claims that the script has been finished and turned in to the studio. Furthermore, he says that the actor playing Bilbo Baggins will receive it this week. The only thing is, he won’t tell us who it is.
Peter Jackson said at July’s San Diego Comic-Con that no actors have been offered roles, since the project hasn’t been officially greenlit. But if the script is complete and budgeting is underway, casting may be as well.