In an interview Guillermo del Toro had with movieweb, he talked about writing The Hobbit, how long it's going to take to shoot, and even whether or not there's ever going to be a Hellboy III. He stated that, in regards to Hellboy III, "...it is a corporate decision and regimes change very rapidly at these studios." As for the shooting schedule of The Hobbit, he's looking at a 370 day shoot. 370 days?! Holy film canisters, Batman, but that's over a year of shooting!
Del Toro also talked about the creatures in The Hobbit, and whether there'd be some sweet monsters like we saw in Hellboy II. Del Toro said, "Many many more and we will be pushing the goblin kindgom. We will be pushing smaug, the spiders of mirkwood. We will be pushing them to the edge of technology where we will fuse animatronics and cgi into a seamless new art form in creating creatures, I think."
As for the special effects he's going to employ in The Hobbit and whether there'd be similarities to Hellboy II he stated, "Well, yes, but used in a different way. You will see some mind-boggling mixture of CGI / Puppetry like never before. The demarcation of where one technique ends and the other begins will NOT be as clean as in HBII or BLADE II or PAN'S LABYRINTH. I am going to push further than ever on both fronts."
Del Toro is definitely the right guy to be behind the camera in the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, and at this point I think everyone wants to know: who's going to play Bilbo Baggins?? Del Toro said he hopes to reveal that information soon, but what his definition of "soon" is is anyone's guess.