The BBC just reported this,
Shooting of the long-awaited film version of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit is set to begin in New Zealand in July.
You can read the full article here.
The most exciting bit for me personally is the last sentence,
The second will be an original story focusing on the 60 years between the book and the beginning of the Rings trilogy.
Original material in the Tolkien universe? Now that is worth getting excited about.