Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson has rubbished claims of his upcoming film ‘The Hobbit’ being delayed due to production problems.

Jackson has said that the project is still in its initial stage.

Filming of the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’’s first book was slated to begin in the summers of 2010.

Sir Ian McKellen, who stars in the series as wizard Gandalf, apparently confirmed the news in a recent post on his website, revealing the movie will be split into “two films” and will “start shooting in New Zealand in June,” reports The Daily Express.

Accompanying reports claiming that producers are not ready to begin filming for the movie has triggered speculation that the shooting has been held up, but Jackson is reaffirming that the rumours are not true.

“Well, it’’s not really been delayed, because we”ve never announced the date. I mean it’’s sort of interesting because the studio has never greenlit The Hobbit, so therefore The Hobbit has never been officially announced as a ”go” project, nor have we ever announced a date,” Jackson told Moviefone.com.

“But there’’s so much interest that people – newspapers and magazines, of their own account, say, ”Ah, it’’s likely to film in May, it’’s likely to film in June, it’’s likely to film in September”. People make this stuff up. And then if it’’s not filming in June, you get a story saying, ”The Hobbit’’s been delayed”. But it’’s never actually been announced,” he added.

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