Location scouts for The Hobbit are looking at Queenstown locations and shooting crews could be working in the area this year.
A Queenstown film industry source said that while no filming was guaranteed, some shooting of what is likely to be a two-part concurrently shot film was likely to happen in the area.
"The Hobbit will almost definitely be coming to the South Island," a film crew freelancer said.
"Location scouting is currently happening around the Wakatipu area, but is also happening in Canterbury, Wanaka and the Nelson area," he said.
"I'm pretty sure they want to come back to the area that worked really well for them in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and local crews are excited about the chance to work on it."
The source said while no crew members had been offered contracts, Queenstown crews had been on standby for filming to possibly begin in late March or early April, but that shooting dates were likely to be pushed back.
- The Southland Times