It's been over ten years since the first Lord of the Rings trilogy hit theaters, and Peter Jackson is finally making his return to Middle Earth on December 14, 2012 with the first installment of The Hobbit.
At first, Jackson wasn't going to direct The Hobbit, with both Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro slated to helm the project, but it was really difficult to imagine anyone else heading up the film other than Peter.
This week The Hobbit finally reached the finish line.
As Jackson wrote on his Facebook page, "We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of your for your support. Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic-Con!"
As Dave McNary of Variety notes, the first segments for the film were shot in March 2011. 266 days on a movie is obviously a pretty insane schedule, although the original trilogy took 14 months to complete.
Clearly, you can't complete a movie this epic on a low budget, B movie schedule, and I can't imagine how tough it would be to bring such a magnificent tale to the big screen. In addition to his vision and New Zealand location, Jackson has always had an incredible amount of energy, and I'm sure he's still a dynamo on the set.
Now that Jackson's returning to the real world with Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego, it should be interesting to see how the Hobbit footage will do with the hordes of geeks who worship the veteran Hollywood director. Shooting the film at 48 frames per second was certainly a very controversial move, with some who've seen it saying it looks too much like a Spanish soap opera, but what the hard-core fans think at the Con will likely be the ultimate decider.