The ongoing oddball situation with the two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit continues to unfold. Peter Jackson has told Movietone that they've only just submitted the first draft of the two movie scripts to the studio, no casting has taken place and, despite Ian McKellen's recent website updates, it's not going to take place in June and no actors, not even the ones from the Lord of the Rings trilogy expected to return (McKellen, Andy Serkis and Hugo Weaving; Ian Holm and Christopher Lee have indicated they are not returning), have been locked.
Jackson instead suggests a start date in the autumn, although oddly doesn't mention the major money problems going on with MGM that have also impacted on the production (MGM, the rights-holders for the books, are co-producing with New Line, who made the original trilogy). However, recent pictures from The One Ring.net show that pre-production is underway, with construction of the Hobbiton hobbit-holes well advanced.
The first Hobbit movie is expected to be released in December 2012, with the second following a year later.