SIR Ian McKellen has assured fans the troubled Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit is on track, revealing he expects to start shooting the movie later this year (10).
Film fans were left worried when Guillermo Del Toro quit as the project's director last month (May10) following a series of delays linked to the ongoing financial problems at MGM Studios, which was put up for sale in 2009 after falling heavily into debt.
But MCKellen, who plays wizard Gandalf, is confident the fantasy film - based on J.R.R. Tolkien's first book - will eventually hit the big screen.
In a post on his Twitter.com page, he writes, "Hobbit sets are ready, script ready and movie is casting this month. Fans are not to worry. The films will get made. I suspect we'll start shooting at end of this year."