Here's an interesting blurb from this months "Timeline" column in GameInformer magazine...
5.14 - A Weird Return to the Shire
Another Lord of the Rings trilogy begins today with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. From what we hear, this film started as a reunion party for the original cast, but then Peter Jackson started filming. Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Cate Blanchett all reprise their roles - even if it doesn't make sense (many of their characters weren't even in the book). Maybe the audience will be so star-struck that they won't notice. Lord of the Rings fans don't pay attention to details anyway.