SAN DIEGO (AP) — Peter Jackson says he's nearly a quarter of the way through his long, long shoot for his two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
Jackson told an audience at the Comic-Con fan convention Friday that he just finished the first 60 days of production and is on break before resuming for 200 more days of shooting.
"So almost there," Jackson joked during a panel alongside Steven Spielberg, where they previewed footage of their action tale "The Adventures of Tintin." Spielberg is directing "Tintin," Jackson producing.
"The Hobbit" is on a break while its star, Martin Freeman, shoots new episodes of his British TV show "Sherlock," a modern take on Sherlock Holmes.
Jackson said he's enjoying "The Hobbit" far more than he thought he would after directing a similar long shoot on Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, whose finale earned the Academy Award for best picture and won the filmmaker the best-director Oscar.
"The Hobbit" is a prequel reuniting many of the same characters from "Lord of the Rings." Freeman joins the cast as the central character, Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit played by Ian Holm in "The Lord of the Rings" films, whose journey in the prequel puts him in possession of a ring of enormous power.
The first installment of "The Hobbit" is due in theaters late next year, with the second following in 2013.
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