‘Hobbit’ prequel movie to start shooting with new look

'The Hobbit' prequel is about to start shooting very soon, most likely by the end of summer.

One of Peter Jackson's frequent collaborators says the "Lord of the Rings" director passed the torch to Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to give the trilogy's two-part prequel, "The Hobbit," a fresh look.

After the huge success of the "Rings" series, Jackson is now working on adapting the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novel that takes place before the trilogy. But this time the Oscar-winning New Zealand filmmaker is producing and working on the script, relinquishing directing duties to Del Toro, whose credits include "Pan's Labyrinth" and the two "Hellboy" movies.

Longtime Jackson collaborator, art designer Richard Taylor, says he thinks his friend gave up the director's chair "probably because he's spent so long in Middle Earth ... and probably felt a director such as Guillermo could bring something passionate and unique and original and new to the content for the sake of the fans," referring to the imaginary world where the novels are set.

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