There And Back Again: The Hobbit Timeline

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Unquestionably, the film most in the news in 2010 was one that won’t even be out for a couple of years: The Hobbit. The adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s other book about short people on a quest has been a no-brainer of an idea ever since The Lord Of The Rings ruled them all, but it’s been bogged down in legal issues for much of the decade since. Here’s what developed this year…

January 25
Warners Studio head Alan Horn says that the studio is planning a "fourth quarter 2012" release for the film.
Read story. March 18
Ian McKellen says that The Hobbit is due to start shooting in July.
Read story. March 29
But wait! It looks like MGM's problems are delaying things again.
Read story. May 31
Del Toro leaves The Hobbit, leaving the directorship in limbo.
Read story. May 28
Guillermo del Toro says there's no official start date or green light in place.
Read story. April 28
Warners announces a Xmas 2012 release date, correcting earlier reports of a Xmas 2013 date for the first film.
Read story. June 15
David Yates is rumoured to be in line for The Hobbit - but immediately denies any plans in that direction.
Read story. June 20
Rumours have Neill "District 9" Blomkamp in line for the job.
Read story. July 13
MGM's situation remains unclear and the stars appear unaligned, Jackson reportedly begins casting.
Read story. August 26
Jackson reports the status should be resolved "sometime soon" and "untangling the MGM situation" is being made.
Read story. Sept. 15
Sir Ian McKellen claims that the current aim is that shooting start in January 2011.
Read story. Sept. 9
Martin Freeman, rumoured to be Bilbo, initially said to be out because of his commitments to the BBC's Sherlock.
Read story. August 29
Sylvester McCoy is said to be in the running for a role, "but not as Bilbo".
Read story. Sept. 27
The Hobbit faces problems, with acting unions calling on their members to boycott the film in a dispute over contract terms.
Read story. October 8
Jackson confirms that the film is still awaiting the official green light. Says he is only a writer and producer.
Read story. October 11
Freeman confirms the report that he initially had to turn The Hobbit down because of Sherlock.
Read story. October 16
The Hobbit is officially greenlit, with Peter Jackson officially directing (and writing and producing) the two planned films.
Read story. October 22
Martin Freeman is confirmed as Bilbo, along with some of the key dwarves.
Read story. October 21
After some uncertainty, The Hobbit's union issues are settled.
Read story. October 17
More casting rumours surface, with David Tennant, James Nesbitt and Michael Fassbender (eh?) all reportedly in the mix.
Read story. October 27
After high-level negotiations, the NZ government reaches a deal to keep The Hobbit in the country.
Read story. Nov. 2
James Nesbitt is confirmed for a role, playing dwarf Bofur, with Adam Brown also joining as Ori.
Read story. Nov. 19
Howard Shore, composer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is confirmed as returning for The Hobbit.
Read story. ![]%28/images/uploaded/cate-blanchett.jpg%29 ![]%28/images/uploaded/arrow-down.gif%29 The journey continues... ![]%28/images/uploaded/arrow-left.gif%29 Dec. 9
Orlando Bloom is reportedly "near a deal" to return as Legolas.
Read story. Dec. 8
Cate Blanchett signs on to reprise her role as Galadriel.
Read story.