The Hobbit to begin filming in June

Good news for people sick of bad news - Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of The Hobbit is to begin filming in June!

Word has also arrived on predicted release dates, currently pencilled in for December 2011 (Part 1) and December 2012 (Part 2).

Del Toro seems intent on sticking to the pace with a 14-month back-to-back shoot scheduled - a gruelling task indeed, but one bolstered by the presence and experience of Peter Jackson, who'll be lending his wisdom and nutrition tips to the Mexican helmer as producer.

Now all we need is for those pesky casting rumours to be confirmed, denied or otherwise, and this ship will finally be ready to sail!

Glad a production date has been confirmed? Still worried about casting issues? Speak!