Peter Jackson's long-awaited and much troubled prequel The Hobbit is finally going to start shooting early next year. James Nesbitt, who is set to play the dwarf Bofur in the fantasy adventure, recently caught up with The Sun, trevealing that he will soon be embarking on a month-long Dwarf training expedition.

Nesbitt will fly to New Zealand mid-January to begin filming the J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation. The first week of the yearlong shoot will put the forty-five year old actor through rigorous sword fight training and horseback riding courses, all of which he will do in his full dwarf costume.

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About the upcoming tour of duty, Nesbitt stated, "We're going for dwarf training for a month. It's an adventure and I can't wait for it. I've never done a massive film like it." The actor will be taking up permanent residence in New Zealand with his wife and two daughters for the duration of the shoot.

James also stated that he has already been visited by prosthetic experts, and that they have decided upon Bolfur's on-screen look in the prequel.