Hobbit shooting close to wrap

THE ROAD GOES EVER ON: Martin Freeman as Bilbo during shooting of The Hobbit.
THE ROAD GOES EVER ON: Martin Freeman as Bilbo during shooting of The Hobbit.

The end is in sight for the shooting of highly-anticipated Hobbit movies.

Hobbit unit publicist Ceris Price this morning said the second unit - directed by Andy Serkis - will finish shooting ''on schedule'' at the end of May.

"This is approximately four weeks prior to the completion of principal photography on The Hobbit films."

She confirmed the battle of the five armies - the climax of the book - would be in the film.

Serkis, who plays the CGI-rendered character Gollum in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, is regarded as a world leader in performance capture acting.

He took on directorial helm of The Hobbit's second unit, shooting scenes while Sir Peter Jackson is busy with the first unit.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will have its world premiere in Wellington and be released nationwide on December 13.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again - which will include the battle of the five armies - will be released a year later.

The Dominion Post