At long last, New Line and MGM have given The Hobbit the green light to start shooting this February (Variety). MGM's financial troubles had been holding up the project, along with the Bond franchise. Peter Jackson is confirmed as the director of the two Hobbit films, since Guillermo Del Toro stepped down from the role last summer due to the delays. What has yet to be set in stone is the location of the filming. Since all the filming for the three Lord of the Rings films was done in New Zealand, it seemed only natural that the Hobbit films would also be shot in New Zealand. However, a dispute with a New Zealand/Australia actors' union resulted in half a dozen actors' unions (including SAG) boycotting the film (or at least advising members not to participate), so the studios began exploring other options for locations, particularly in Europe. The unions all just lifted the boycott, but it is unclear whether that will ensure that the films will be shot in New Zealand, or if the damage has been done and the studios are moving elsewhere (Variety, Studio Briefing). The other thing that has yet to be announced is who will play Bilbo Baggins, though Martin Freeman is a popular rumor.
***Edit 10/21/10: I wrote this post last night, but today it was finally confirmed that Martin Freeman will indeed play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit (EW). I am so excited--he will be awesome!***
I am not a particular fan of the Twilight saga; I have read none of the books, though I have seen the first two movies in the franchise. But I am a fan of Lee Pace, the unbelievably adorable and appealing star of the sadly short-lived Pushing Daisies, as well as an incredibly handsome supporting cast member of the even shorter-lived Wonderfalls. So news that Pace has been cast in Breaking Dawn has suddenly renewed my interest in the series. He will be playing Garrett, a longtime friend of Carlisle Cullen. A good vampire, but not a softy "vegetarian" like the Cullens. A bunch of other new cast members were announced as well (I guess the book has a lot of new vamps?), including Andrea Gabriel, Toni Trucks, Omar Metwally, and Noel Fisher (E Online). All gorgeous, of course, but none quite so much as Lee Pace.