‘The Hobbit’ Delayed Again As Peter Jackson Undergoes Surgery For Ulcer

Fans of “The Hobbit” have waited with baited breath to see if the long-anticipated, seemingly troubled-from-the-get-go production would get off the ground, particularly after director Guillermo del Toro dropped out of the project last May.

Since then, Peter Jackson has stepped in, but Wednesday night the film had another setback as the Oscar-winning director underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer, according to a statement from production.

Filming was expected to start sometime next month, but will be delayed as Jackson, who was admitted to New Zealand’s Wellington Hospital after experiencing acute stomach pains, heals from the surgery. According to Entertainment Weekly, a New Line Cinema rep confirmed that the director “is resting comfortably and doctors expect a full recovery.”

The statement from production also assured that Jackson’s “surgery is not expected to impact on his directing commitment to ’The Hobbit’ beyond a slight delay to the start of filming.”

Just how “slight” the delay ends up being remains to be seen. The two parts of Jackson’s “Hobbit” will feature many actors reprising their roles from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, including Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood (not to mention that rumored $1 million, two-minute cameo by Orlando Bloom.)

Parts 1 and 2 of “The Hobbit” are slated for December 2012 and December 2013 releases, respectively.

Do you think “The Hobbit” will continue to face setbacks throughout filming or will it be smooth sailing after Jackson’s recovery?