Production on Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit is about to start production in the near future and some new details on the film have emerged. Associated Press recently spoke with art designer Richard Taylor, a longtime collaborator of producer Peter Jackson, who talked about Jackson handing over the directorial reins to Del Toro.

Taylor said that the reasoning behind bringing Del Toro on board as a director was, "probably because he's spent so long in Middle Earth ... and probably felt a director such as Guillermo could bring something passionate and unique and original and new to the content for the sake of the fans."

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He added, "It's an absolute delight to be working with Guillermo del Toro. We've all enjoyed his craft as seen in Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies. His unique aesthetic and storytelling style brings a lovely aesthetic to the world and one we're enjoying being part of."

While Weta is hard at work with design elements of the film, Taylor still wasn't sure when the film would start shooting as of yet.

"We're just patiently waiting for it to begin. It's been in early development for a while. I'm sure it will get going some time soon," Taylor said.

Taylor also wasn't sure if the film would be released in 3D or not, but added that Weta will use every new digital tool in its arsenal for the film including new advancements that weren't in place during the first Lord of the Rings trilogy.

"Like any film, there will be an effort to utilize the tools that are available to us today to achieve visual images that will excite and intrigue an audience as we did try 10 years ago."