The process of creating the The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring prequel has gotten under way. A scooper wrote in to with word that the Guillermo del Toro has begun writing the script for The Hobbit. Here's what the scooper had to say:

"Ive just got home from an early screening of "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" hosted by PopcornTaxi at the Greater Union Cinema in Sydney, where Guillermo did a telephone Q & A from Berlin after the film...The last question though related to The Hobbit - and Guillermo said that although there was nothing to add at the moment - he can say that scripting has started - and he described the process as something 'beautiful.'"

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The Hobbit is set for release in 2011 with The Hobbit Sequel to follow in 2012.

UPDATE (8/20/08) The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that not only have del Toro and Peter Jackson resumed writing duties - which they previously said they wouldn't - but they have brought on The Lord Of The Rings writers Fran Walsh and Phillpa Boyens onto the project as well.

It was originally said that del Toro would just direct and Jackson would just executive produce, but a number of things led to them getting involved in the writing process, including their schedules opening up and a deep passion for the project and, in bringing Walsh and Boyens on board, they realized they needed someone with vast knowledge of Middle Earth to get the film completed on time.