Director Peter Jackson has announced that the filming of the two Hobbit films will start next month in New Zealand.
Serious doubts had been cast over the future of the films after a series of problems had delayed the beginning of filming, including an actors strike.
The New Zealand actors union had originally threatened to withdraw its members services after it was claimed that job adverts for the main characters had specified that "only applicants below 4 feet in height need apply".
The union argued that such a policy "undermined the job opportunities of our non-vertically challenged members" and thus breached the Equal Opportunities Act.
Union Secretary Brian Barnstable continued "Although it is extremely unlikely that many of our members over 4 feet in height would be able to consistently crouch for the projected 18 months of filming, that doesn't mean they should necessarily be excluded from applying if they so desired. If the film industry had adopted a restrictive policy like this in the past, the world would have been denied the opportunity to enjoy not only Peter Sellars' hilarious impression of Toulouse Lautrec in the Pink Panther but also Sir Laurence Olivier's portrayal of R2-D2 in Star Wars.
Commons Speaker John Bercow is being widely tipped to play Bilbo Baggins.