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Jackson’s stomach delays “Hobbit;” Saorise Ronan joins the cast

The old assumption that stress causes ulcers has been proven untrue, but nobody mention this to Peter Jackson, who is currently recovering from a surgical procedure regarding a perforated ulcer. Why do we share this (kind of) invasive information about the “Lord of the Rings” director?

One reason: it’ll cause a slight delay on the production of The Hobbit. Everyone involved in the production wants to convey, in the clearest way possible, the delay is small. An official announcement states: "Sir Peter is currently resting comfortably and his doctors expect him to make a full recovery. Sir Peter's surgery is not expected to impact on his directing commitment to The Hobbit beyond a slight delay to the start of filming." So while it may take just a little longer to actually start shooting the films, this delay is not going to derail their intended release dates.

Side note: if you have never seen Ian McKellen’s cameo appearance on the short-lived show Extras, YouTube it after having read them refer to Jackson as “Sir Peter.” Seriously, it’s kind of brilliant.

Jackson’s brief hospitalization is just one in a long list of things that have kept The Hobbit from being able to get off the ground: that list including original director Guillermo del Toro dropping out, Jackson returning as director, MGM halting production while it went bankrupt and local unions blacklisting The Hobbit threatening the project’s chances to film in New Zealand.

Still, The Hobbit proves resilient with most of the major cast in place and new announcements made (seemingly) every week. An interview with “Hobbit” casting director Ros Hubbard, by way of The Irish Film and Television Network, confirms that Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) has been added to the (near behemoth) cast. Having worked with Jackson before on The Lovely Bones, Ronan is fast becoming one of the more in demand young actors, seemingly making a lot of the right moves needed to solidify her stay in Hollywood.

No word yet on who exactly she is set to play, but given her age and appearance, it’s probably safe to say she’s not playing a dwarf.


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