A B-grade movie about hobbits is set to begin shooting in July - and could be out on DVD before Peter Jackson's highly anticipated first film in his double feature hits theatres in December.
The LA Times reported Age of the Hobbits - which has nothing to do with Peter Jackson or Weta Workshop - would shoot in Cambodia by production house The Asylum, and be released straight to DVD.
Few details about the film's plot or cast are available, but a description on Netflix called it a "reimagined version of JRR Tolkien's mythical universe".
It was reported that it could be available to US fans through DVD rental outfit Redbox before Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres on December 13.
The Times reported Age of the Hobbits was part of a trend for low-budget production houses to make cheap films based on those currently screening in cinemas.
Recent titles included Kiara the Brave, Life's a Jungle: Africa's Most Wanted and Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies - all of which were made with a budget and in a time frame much smaller than their blockbuster counterparts.
The DVD covers for "mockbusters" can look remarkably similar to real movie posters, essentially tricking viewers into thinking they're renting the real deal, the Times said.
David Rimawi, a partner at Asylum, said his company - which has also made Alien Origin, Mega Python vs Gatoroid, and Snakes on a Train - had never lost money on one of its films.
"The business is as healthy as ever," he said.
- Herald online