Problem-plagued 'Hobbit' under way

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The Independent Culture

Cameras started rolling yesterday on director Peter Jackson's production of The Hobbit, after months of delays on the prequel to his Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Hollywood studio funding problems, a threatened actors' boycott and ulcer surgery for Jackson have plagued pre-production on the $500 million, two-movie project.

The director announced on his website yesterday that production had begun in New Zealand. The British actor Martin Freeman – known for televison's The Office and Sherlock – will star as the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.