UPDATE: Ian McKellen’s site was quietly updated on Wednesday, March 17th to now say that filming will start in July, one month later.
The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons’ and the studio in Miramar.
Ian McKellen, who is returning as Gandalf in the two films based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, has confirmed a report from earlier this year about the start of filming on his official website. The site says:
THE HOBBIT’s, two films, start shooting in New Zealand in June. 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.
Guillermo del Toro will direct the two highly-anticipated films.