The Hobbit begins filming on March 21, 2011. If all you wanted was that news, please click to the next interesting article of your choosing.

Before the relaunch of this site I had an article queued in the backend entitled ‘Why Peter Jackson will not direct ‘The Hobbit‘. I was sure he’d not dip his toe back into those waters. It was a step back. It was slumming. After Guillermo del Toro left, it was my belief that anyone could step in. Guillermo is a strong willed and visionary guy and he would have brought his own temperature to the production in addition to being respectful of what came before. Once he left I figured they could bring anyone in and let Peter’s machine steer them right and since they’d be surrounded by folks with a decade of experience making Tolkein films audiences would be sated and the phenomenal talent [his last movie notwithstanding] that is Peter Jackson could be better used elsewhere.

Boy was I wrong. Jackson came back and a lot of expected things fell into place regarding casting (shit, Martin Freeman IS Bilbo Baggins) and scope and release expectations. The Hobbit essentially is going to be exactly what the general public will want it to be. And it’ll be very good, though I still think the only time to have made this story would have been before the trilogy that is so much deeper and richer and epic.

Then Jackson went into the hospital and a part of me hoped it meant someone else would direct the movies. Not because I want Peter Jackson to be ill, on the contrary, I’m a huge fan (In the late 80’s I went to a record show an hour and a half away to snag a copy of Bad Taste before anyone knew what it or he was). I just think as a film audience always in need of more reliable visionary directors we’re best served with Peter Jackson doing something else in addition to this sure thing. I’m selfish like that.

But either way you look at it, we’re about to start seeing and sharing a whole mess of Hobbit related updates that will not abate until December of 2013 when the second film lands.

And then we’ll be covering the Extended Editions. And then the Master Set which features all five films. And then the Extended Editions of all five. And then the Extended Saga where they’re all edited together. And then the…