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You're reading: Cameras roll on ‘The Hobbit’ films in New Zealand
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Hollywood studio funding problems, a threatened actors’ boycott and ulcer surgery for Jackson have plagued pre-production on the $500 million, two-movie project.

The director posted a studio news release on his website Monday saying production has commenced in New Zealand on the much-anticipated project.

British actor Martin Freeman will star as hobbit Bilbo Baggins alongside Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom in twin movies of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel about a short, hairy-footed hero.

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