'The Hobbit' Photos: Ian McKellan As Gandalf In First Look At 'Lord Of The Rings' Prequel (PHOTO)

06/23/2011 12:05 pm ET | Updated Aug 23, 2011

Ready to head back to the Shire?

After a number of delays, Peter Jackson's prequel to the Oscar-winning "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is shooting in New Zealand, and some of the first looks at the characters in action have been made available. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we see Ian McKellan back as Gandalf, looking very wise and pensive. Perhaps he's getting ready to lead Bilbo Baggins, played by "Sherlock Holmes" and "The Office" star Martin Freeman, to the Lonely Mountain.

Jackson has been giving some updates from the set, including this remarkable ten minute look into the beginning of production.

Also making appearances in the film will be some of the stars of the first three movies, including Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett.

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