Despite set backs, it has been officially announced that principal photography for “The Hobbit” will start on Monday March 21st 2011. Here’s what director Peter Jackson had to say:

“Despite some delays we are fully back on track and very excited to get started.”

According to 3Foot7 Ltd, the date was selected due to “practical considerations of the filming schedule requirements, actor availability and the NZ seasons.”

Shooting is expected to take place at Stone Street Studios in Miramar and on location around New Zealand.

The film will see the return of Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, and Elijah Wood. It will also star Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Rob Kazinsky, Aidan Turner, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Andy Serkis, Mikael Persbrant and Sylvester McCoy.