The big screen version of The Hobbit will begin filming this year despite financial and staffing problems, Sir Ian McKellen has confirmed.
The Lord of the Rings star confirmed he would reprise his role as Gandalf in the prequel and was gearing up for production to start in a few months.
"I've been asked to do The Hobbit," he told Fitzy, Claire and Jules.
"The sets are ready, the script is ready and the movie is going to be cast this month.
"Fans are not to get worried. The films will get made and I suspect we'll start shooting at the end of this year."
The Hobbit film has been beset by problems for years, including the financial losses of MGM Studios, which was put up for sale in 2009.
Giullermo Del Toro quit as the project's director recently but will stay on as scriptwriter, leading calls for original director Peter Jackson to step in.
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