As much as it pains us, the news on The Hobbit is all about delays. Unfortunately, this is yet again the case.  Sir Ian McKellen talked to What’s Playing about his status with the film’s production and mentions contracts have been an issue. This is continued bad news for anybody expecting the hopeful Christmas 2012 release date of the film.

MGM has been causing plenty of problems and it looks unlikely they will make the release date. With both scripts finished and praise surrounding them, it just makes no sense they can’t close the deal on shooting the Lord of the Rings prequel films.

We understand financial woes have plagued MGM, but this is the type of film that should be the highest priority and may help them get back on their feet. So why has it not been officially greenlit yet?

McKellen, who will reprise his role as Gandalf from the Rings trilogy, mentioned that the intention was to shoot in April, even though his website announced it would begin in June. Either way, he is still awaiting a contract to sign.

“That should have started in April but they didn’t contact me about a contract until a few weeks ago and we’re in negotiation. I shall see [director] Guillermo del Toro and [executive producer] Peter Jackson when I’m in New Zealand after we’ve been to Australia and well find out more then.”

Everybody seems to be on board and fans are getting restless, but maybe this down-under meeting will get the ball rolling. McKellen is anxious to get his big, bushy beard back in action after reading the screenplay.

“I’ve read the script, or as much as had been written, they sent it to me, which was very accomplished and good, I thought, and a wonderful part, Gandalf. But I don’t have a contract and I don’t have a start date, so there we are. We’re in a bit of limbo at the moment.”

Soon enough the fans are going to begin donning black hoods and riding horses in search of the keepers of the release date. It’s not like this is some shot-in-the-dark spin-off film like Elektra. We’re talking about The Hobbit! The one story the world has been dying to see is Bilbo Baggins and his “precious.”

As more details emerge, we will get the scoops to you. As for now, go get The Lord of the Rings on Blu-ray and watch it on repeat to hide the pain.

What do you think of all this nonsense? Are you still as excited as the first day you heard of The Hobbit movies? Should they start collecting $10 from every fan to pay for it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: What’s Playing via IESB