'The Hobbit' Scripts 'Will Be Delivered Very Soon,' Says Ian McKellen

Ah, "The Hobbit." At long last, movie-goers will once again have a chance to be whisked away to the real-life Middle-earth that Peter Jackson created for his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Only this time that vision will be guided by director Guillermo del Toro. News has been relatively light on the project, which is understandable considering that it's still a few years off.

We fans will still take any update we can get, right? The latest comes from no less a personage than Sir Ian McKellen, aka Gandalf the Grey, speaking in an interview with Empire. The actor knows the score with "The Hobbit," and he had an update on where the powers-that-be are in the process of pulling the adaptation together.

"The scripts for the two ['Hobbit'] films will be delivered very soon,” he said. “Then they'll be budgeted, and then they'll be cast. And they'll be going when they've always said they would be, which is next spring – March or April. Guillermo even told me at one point, 'We're going to film for 383 days.' He's got that artistic autism! Jackson's the same; they're very, very, very alike. They're also very different, but they've so much in common. They both can't stand Hollywood and have wonderful imaginations, and they're both obsessed with gore and fantasy. Both of them laugh a great deal. Guillermo's one of the most brilliant men I've ever met. His English vocabulary is way superior to mine!”

McKellen also stated that fans shouldn't get their hopes up about seeing too many familiar faces pop up in the movies. As anyone who has read the books knows, there's a significant stretch of time separating "The Hobbit" from the "Rings" trilogy.

“Unforunately, there won’t be many of the actors going back unless they’re going to put masks on and be disguised as dwarves! Andy Serkis is, at the moment, I think, the only other actor who’s doing this film.” It's reasonable to expect we'll be seeing more than just Serkis of course. Empire posits, rightly I think, that Hugo Weaving -- the face of ancient elf Elrond -- will be confirmed soon enough as well.

Check out the Empire story at the link up above for more from McKellen, including an update on the "Magneto" movie.