We reported a few weeks ago that director Peter Jackson still may not direct a highly-anticipated prequel and now it seems that deal is being closed and he's also looking for cast members for the film. Heat Vision Blog is reporting that Jackson is currently in Los Angeles, looking at potential actors for the cast of The Hobbit.
The film still isn't greenlit as of yet, but Jackson has been in L.A. since Saturday on a casting trip that also included stops in New York and the U.K. The site also reports that his deal to direct both The Hobbit and The Hobbit Sequel is, "close to done," although the financial troubles of MGM, which holds half of the rights to the film, are still holding things up.
The site also reported that Warner Bros., which is the head studio in the production, is, "furiously negotiating with MGM," to get the film off the ground. It was said that one of the points of Jackson's directorial deal would be that the films would be put on the fast-track for release in both 2012 and 2013 for The Hobbit Sequel.