After months — nay, years — of rumors, false starts, and much woe, The Hobbit finally has its green light.   Peter Jackson is officially set to direct.

The news comes from the LA Times, but even they caution that while Warner Bros and MGM hit go, it still isn’t, because of the ongoing labor dispute.  Jackson, the SAG, and the other assorted labor unions still haven’t resolved their conflict.    Everyone’s hopeful they will shake hands, hug, and be friends soon though.  What union can resist a big production like this, really?

But for now, it looks like the movie has finally got the money and a director (the one we always knew would be worn down to tackle it), and plans to go into production in February. There are still plans to make two films, with the first being released in December 2012 in 3D.  (Let’s hope that’s changed. I don’t need The Hobbit in 3D. I just want the damn movie already.)

So, there’s that.  Real news this time, and a tangible step forward instead of more doom and gloom. Now, say it with me: Martin Freeman for Bilbo Baggins!