Just over a week ago Peter Jackson said that the script for the first Hobbit film was completed and they were now focusing on the script for the second movie. We heard from Ian McKellen that he would be heading out to New Zealand in March, so it was expected the second script would be finished in time. However, in a recent interview with German site moviereporter.net (via theonering) Peter Jackson said that filming will now take place in mid-2010.
“We’re currently working on the second script which we hope to have completed by the end of this year or beginning of next. When the scripts are completed, we can begin with the exact calculation of the necessary budget. We hope to start filming in the middle of next year. However, we’ve received no green light from the studio yet.” (translated from German)
The studio were happy with the first script so i’m sure getting the greenlight won’t be a problem, although delaying filming by a few months means they will have less time to work on them to hit their release dates. The first Hobbit film is expected to be released in December 2011, so if they start filming mid-2010 they’ll have around a year and a half to finish it.