The Hobbit casting begins

Yes, it’s true, casting is now underway on Guillermo del Toro’s two-part adap of The Hobbit .

But no, zero big names are confirmed as yet. (Sorry.) Instead, the producers are starting small – hobbit-sized, in fact – as they work from the bottom up to gather the hundreds of extras that will be needed to populate Middle Earth once more.

The New Zealand branch of MGM Studios have officially announced casting, while Jack Machiela, a tour guide for former Lord of the Rings filming locations, has speculated on his blog that principal photography could begin as early as March or April 2011.

He also gave some advice for those thinking about applying for parts:

“Do not bother to tell them what you think you'd be most suitable at (hobbit, elf, human, orc). Most people will want to be a hobbit or an elf anyway, but will end up being an orc or a dead dwarf, and in the background.”

Cheery stuff. You’ll need a working visa to apply as well. Time to book that holiday?

Got any casting suggestions for the film? Comments down yonder, if you please...

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.