Andy Serkis has offered an update on the start date for The Hobbit – a two part prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Serkis, of course, is known for his incredible motion capture work as Gollum in the original films and will reprise his role in the upcoming prequels.

According to Serkis:

“[Filming] is probably not looking like it’s gonna happen till the end of the year-ish. That’s the latest I’ve heard, but I mean, you know, there’s no…You know, it’s a bit of a movable feast at the moment, really.”

The “end of the year-ish” start-date sounds about as concrete as all of the other Hobbit-related news lately – which is to say, not concrete at all. For a high-profile, guaranteed box-office smash, The Hobbit has seen more than its fair share of back and forth casting rumors, delays, and potential financial complications.

Serkis was admittedly self-deprecating about the wishy-washy timeline, “I’m really ashamed to say, I’m probably no better off than you are, because dates keep changing and all the rest of it.”

When Collider pressed Serkis for details regarding the casting of Bilbo Baggins, it was clear that, though the actor might not be certain on the start date for shooting, he was clear on one thing – not to discuss Bilbo casting details.

Serkis politely declined to comment.

Delays and financial worries might be cause for concern – if we were talking about any film but The Hobbit. There’s certainly a lot of pressure on the filmmakers to match the box-office success of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. I, for one, am glad to see them taking their time – in order to get it right.

That said, should the delays continue, they could affect the first film’s scheduled 2012 release – not to mention part two which, though it isn’t officially green-lit at this point, is supposed to arrive the following year (2013).

What do you think of all of the Hobbit delays? Who are you hoping will step in Bilbo’s shoes… I mean hairy prosthetics?

The Hobbit, pt. 1 is scheduled for a December 2012 release with The Hobbit, pt. 2 set to appear in 2013.

Source: Collider