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Peter Jackson on the Hobbit SetOne of the most doomed movie productions in quite some time is finally getting underway as principal photography for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit began this week. New Line/Warner Bros. is betting the farm on the project as they have invested approximately $500 million, including the purchase of specially designed state-of-the-art 3D equipment for Peter Jackson's two-movie project that tells the story of how Bilbo Baggins acquired the Ring of Power, some 60 years before the events told in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Jackson has employed basically the same production team he used for the LOTR trilogy and will also have creature-expert/filmmaker Guillermo del Toro at his disposal as well.

The first episode is expected to hit theaters sometime near the end of 2012 with the second following the next year.

The official synopsis was also released and goes like this:

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild (Richard Armitage). Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum (Andy Serkis).

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-Earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

You can see Peter Jackson on the set of The Hobbit below:

Peter Jackson on the Hobbit Set

Peter Jackson on the Hobbit Set

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