'The Hobbit' Update: Ian McKellen And Andy Serkis Get Back In Character

The HobbitIf Peter Jackson announcing the official start of production hasn't convinced you that "The Hobbit" is actually happening, perhaps some new on-set updates will do the trick.

Everybody's favorite ring-hording cave-dweller, Gollum, is officially back in action. The One Ring scored a series of photographs showing actor Andy Serkis on the New Zealand set of "The Hobbit," dressed head to toe in motion-capture gear as he prepares to return to the tragic "Lord of the Rings" character we all love to hate — though, really, how can anybody hate that disgusting little face?

In related "Hobbit" news, Ian McKellen has once again immersed himself in the world of Gandalf the Grey. On his blog, McKellen wrote at length about physically transforming himself into the warm-hearted wizard once more, a process that includes shaving his facial hair (so that his long, signature beard can adhere to his face more easily) and reconnecting with his familiar grey robes.

"It’s like old times," he wrote. "Gandy’s clothes are hanging round my trailer and in steps Emma Harre, who dressed me last time, valiant, sporting, reliable and ready to put up once more with my early morning grumps and end-of-day sloth. We giggle as we remember the tricks of the layered costume, the hidden belts and braces. It’s all new, and looking it, and will till broken down. But it fits, even the new hat."

"I stride over to the Studio smiling," he continued. "Nothing is unexpected. But next the 3D camera will eye-up the make-up, the costume and, I suppose, the actor."

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