Long-delayed Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit appears to be back on track after movie bosses issued a casting call for diminutive New Zealanders to star in the film.
The blockbuster, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's first book, has been on hold due to ongoing financial problems at MGM Studios, which was put up for sale in 2009 after falling heavily into debt.
Guillermo Del Toro quit the project because of the lengthy delays and the movie remains without a director after Lord Of The Rings helmer Peter Jackson insisted he would not be able to take over, but would remain as a producer.
But work on the film appears to be slowly moving forward with the news that executives at Jackson's Wingnut Films production company have issued a casting call for wannabe stars under five foot two inches (153 centimetres) tall in New Zealand, where the movie will be shot.
An advert posted in the country's Dominion Post newspaper on Wednesday (22Sep10) revealed casting bosses are looking for men and women aged 16 and over to work as "scale doubles" for the film's cast.
A spokesman for Wingnut Films adds, "Scale doubles appear in some wide shots in place of our actors and with other adult actors when we need people to look smaller or taller."