Exclusive: Andy Serkis on THE HOBBIT Start Date

     May 10, 2010

Gollum’s long climb back to the big screen will begin a bit later than we first thought.  The Hobbit‘s co-star Andy Serkis tells Collider, “That’s probably not looking like it’s gonna happen till the end of the year-ish. “  He continues, “That’s the latest I’ve heard, but I mean, you know, there’s no…You know, it’s a bit of a movable feast at the moment, really.”

Serkis said he is “very excited” about reprising his role of Gollum from The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.  However, when asked if cameras would start rolling in December, he said, “I think it’s sort of towards the back-end of this year.  I really, people keep asking me.  I’m really ashamed to say, I’m probably no better off than you are, because dates keep changing and all the rest of it.  Sorry I can’t give you any hot tips there. (Laughs).”

Hit the jump for the rest of the story.

The news comes on the heels of conflicting statements about a production start date.  Sir Ian McKellen, widely expected to revisit his role as Gandalf, initially posted said production would begin in June before changing the post to “at a time to be announced.”  Serkis had been quoted at the Tribeca Film Festival (where his new film Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll made its New York premiere) a few weeks ago as saying it looked like The Hobbit could start shooting this month.

Meanwhile, the film’s producer, Peter Jackson, said last month that he was optimistic they would be shooting by October or November, but wouldn’t announce anything. Jackson added that it’s wrong to say a production start date was delayed, because nothing was ever official.  No word if the later start date will impact the recently announced release schedule for The Hobbit: Part 1 (December, 2012) or The Hobbit: Part 2 (December, 2013).

We also pushed for casting news on Bilbo Baggins, but Serkis politely declined to give any details.

Serkis dropped the news during a wide-ranging conversation about his fascinating turn as the British punk icon, Ian Dury, in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. We’ll have the rest of the interview (including audio) with plenty more on that film, The Hobbit, Tin Tin (with Steven Spielberg), Burke And Hare (with director John Landis and co-star Simon Pegg) & his new digital effects studio, The Imaginarium, later today, but we wanted to get you the latest on The Hobbit, just as soon as we could.

In the meantime, if you want to check out Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, it’s available on a Tribeca Film VOD menu on most major cable & satellite providers like Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV and Verizon FiOS.  The film is also in NY at Tribeca Cinemas through tomorrow, May 11th & will have a run in LA from June 24th – July 8th at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

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