“We’re auditioning for every role,” Jackson said. “Apart from Ian McKellen, who we obviously want to return as Gandalf, we are not really offering any roles to anybody until we’ve done a casting sweep.”
He added that they are not necessarily looking for big stars. “(These movies) have never been a star-driven vehicle. The star is (author J.R.R.) Tolkien and the world he created. We are not under any pressure. We want to find the right people. Casting someone to portray a hobbit is not as easy as you might imagine. They have to have a particular type of physical appearance and a sensibility. And the same with an elf or a dwarf. These are fantastical characters, but you’ve got to find the right people to play them, the right humans to translate these characters.”
Jackson also debunked the rumor that production was delayed, saying the they were always planning to start shooting around April or May of 2010.