Filming for the J.R.R. Tolkien-classic, The Hobbit, is under way at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand after months of setbacks that delayed production.
The first installment of the Warner Bros. and New Line Production film is not expected to be release until December 2012, while the second part is slated for release in 2013.
Tolkien, a devout Catholic, wrote The Lord of the Rings series in part to explore his religious faith but chose not to do so in an explicit way but rather to highlight moral themes and philosophies.
The Hobbit, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Cate Blanchett, who appeared in The Lord of the Rings, will reprise her role as elven leader Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlorien in the prequel.