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'The Hobbit' to Get Underway in 2011

Photo Courtesy - HarperCollins Publishers(NEW YORK) -- After various production delays that cost the film its original director, Guillermo del Toro, The Hobbit is back on track.  Peter Jackson, who directed the Oscar-winning Lord of The Rings films, will now direct the prequel, beginning in February 2011.

The Hobbit tells the story of how Bilbo Baggins found the ring of power at the center of Lord of the Rings, and is based on author J.R.R. Tolkien's literary prequel.

Jackson had already signed on to co-write and produce the film version, but stepped in for co-producer del Toro to direct The Hobbit, which will be made into a pair of 3D films.

"Exploring Tolkien's Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal filmmaking experience," said Jackson in a statement. "It's an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty, and drama."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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