While out promoting his upcoming thriller The Lovely Bones, director Peter Jackson confirmed to Collider that Guilermo Del Toro's upcoming prequel The Hobbit is still on track for a 2011 release, despite reports to the contrary.

The film was reportedly pushed back to 2012 because the scripts weren't ready. But Mr. Jackson stated, "Nothing has changed as far as I am concerned. Somebody wrote something on the Internet and a lot of nonsense happened. You don't want to believe everything you read on the Internet. We were due to deliver the scripts and be shooting sometime around April and now I think I said in an interview we were shooting in June. And somehow people are now saying the film is delayed. As far as I am aware, they are not delayed at all. I am not even sure when we are going to start shooting. We are delivering the scripts just after Christmas. They'll be finished and we'll be shooting as soon as we possibly can. But you need a certain amount of time to finish the pre-production."

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In other news, The One Ring has revealed that casting is underway on the two follow-up films. The biggest news to come out of this report is that Jackson and Del Toro are currently looking to cast at least one female speaking part.

No further details have been confirmed, but fans are speculating that casting at such an early stage can only mean that there is a central female character in the film. We will keep you updated as more news comes in.