The latest post on Ian McKellen’s official Facebook page says, “I saw Bilbo in 3D today.” This rather esoteric quip is perhaps more pregnant with meaning than it appears. It is obviously a reference to that fact that the two Hobbit movies are to be filmed in 3-D. But could it also mean that he has met up with Martin Freeman, the actor who will play Bilbo, in New Zealand? Quite literally seeing Bilbo in three dimensions.
While filming has been delayed until March 21 because of Peter Jackson’s hospitalization, according to TheOneRing.net, McKellen was originally scheduled for his first shoot yesterday. So he had already arranged to be in country, and is there now. Several of the other main actors, including Freeman, have been there for a few weeks already. The wizard-reprising actor writes in his official Hobbit blog:
A wizard is never late: but I hadn’t intended last Thursday to arrive in Wellington for The Hobbit filming, five weeks early. Yet, what’s new? Just a year ago, touring New Zealand with Waiting for Godot, I had expected to start shooting in July 2010, with Guillermo del Toro in charge. …my plan to jump straight from Beckett to Tolkien had to be abandoned and I flew home for a prolonged break.
A year on, filming was to start at the end of February 2011. I curtailed a holiday in India to make sure I would be on time.
Then, while I was away, Peter Jackson had his stomach operation. The insurance company has insisted on five weeks recuperation. Which is why, yet again, I’m here early. Waiting for Bilbo.
Here’s hoping it will be worth the wait.