It’s been a long time since Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson announced that they were doing an adaptation of The Hobbit. A couple of years have passed and it seems like no real progress has been made. Between the financial troubles of its studio MGM to the inability to cast Bilbo Baggins this movie has been on a downward slope. But just when we thought all hope was lost, Jackson gave an interview over at Moviefone and revealed that they’ve reached a major milestone, they finished the screenplay.

The Hobbit will be broken up into two films, which translates to two scripts and after a long and dreadful wait the second one has been completed.

We’ve just delivered the script. Literally last week, we delivered the second of the two screenplays — the first draft. So the studio’s got both scripts now, which is a milestone; and if anything was holding it up, it was us doing the screenplays, because we’d just been writing as fast as we can, but it took us this long to get them finished. So we take whatever responsibility there is for the speed.

And we’re now in the process of budgeting the films, and then hopefully we’ll get to a budget the studio [people] are happy with, and they’ll greenlight the movies and we’ll announce the shooting dates. I’d be pretty optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year. I would imagine October, November, we’d be shooting by. I’m not announcing it, though.

The studio seriously needs to greenlight this film, approve a budget, and get this production started. It’s losing momentum at this point. Considering MGM’s current state, their financial concerns are understandable but this is The Hobbit not some random no name property. They’ll make their money back and then some.

Do you think The Hobbit will start production this year?