The Hobbit's Shoot Will Be Delayed

Slightly. 'Cos Peter Jackson's ill...

We were so close… So close to the Precious… Yep, just when you thought The Hobbit had clambered over every possible obstacle on its quest to enter the ancient volcano of production, along comes some scampering little issue to bite off its camera finger and jump up and down, cackling. The film, which was due to have started shooting next month, will now be slightly delayed – emphasis on the slightly – because Peter Jackson has been admitted to hospital.

Now, don't start panicking. According to a statement from the production, he suffered acute stomach pains Wednesday night and was taken to Wellington Hospital where it was discovered he had a perforated ulcer. After some time under the surgeon’s knife, he’s now resting comfortably. "Sir Peter's surgery is not expected to impact on his directing commitment to The Hobbit beyond a slight delay to the start of filming," read the release.

So it’s really nothing to fret about (though we bet it wasn’t exactly comfortable for poor old PJ) and it appears that The Hobbit will be back on track as soon as Jackson can escape the clutches of the medical team. Or as soon as Richard Taylor stops distracting him by bringing bigatures to his bedside and acting out scenes.

But after the delays, the financial wrangling, the loss of Guillermo del Toro and the labour disputes, does anyone feel the hand of Sauron in all of this malarkey? Get well soon Sir Pete, and we hope the shoot itself is plain sailing!