A few specifics regarding Sir Ian McKellen's interview on The Hobbit
Kristin Thompson, author of "The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood" maintains a highly interesting blog along with collaborator David Bordwell titled "Observations on film art and Film Art".
Amongst the numerous entries there, she also has been posting highly interesting articles analysing the situation of The Hobbit in view of the ongoing litigation between Newline and Jackson, and also the sketcky allusions to Sam Raimi that have sprung up in the course of the last few months.
In her latest entry "Gandalf speaks! More thoughts-and news-on the Hobbit project", she presents an excerpt from an interview with Sir Ian McKellen dated 26th July 2007:
KERRY O’BRIEN: What’s happening with The Hobbit?
SIR IAN MCKELLEN: I talked to one of the Hollywood producers who is in a position to know, who said there seemed to be a little bit of movement and he is a circumspect man so I took that to mean something quite positive and I’ll be seeing Peter Jackson in a couple of weeks when we’re taking The Seagull to Wellington and Auckland.
KERRY O’BRIEN: It would be tragic if it happened without Peter Jackson?
SIR IAN MCKELLEN: It couldn’t happen really, could it? In the way that it ought.
Her analyses make for some great reading on the entire situation as it stands today, ever since Peter Jackson's heart-wrenching letter to the fan community last November.
To those interested, I'd recommend reading her 5 entires chronologically: 2nd October 2006, 13rd January 2007, 10th June 2007, 20th July 2007, 10th August 2007 (this is her latest entry that contains the excerpt quoted above).