Speaking with Digital Spy at last night’s Empire Film Awards, Andy Serkis dished out several small but interesting tidbits about The Hobbit films.

He revealed that he met with Guillermo del Toro last year (during the time he spent in New Zealand on his Tintin shoot) and talked through some visual concepts with him. Further, Guillermo also showed him some “fantastic pre-visualization stuff”, and he believes that shooting on the Hobbit films, which “looks like it’s going to be a very exciting shoot… should kick start by the end of this year”.

On the classic question about whether the films are going to differ visually from the Lord of the Rings, he says “I think Middle-earth will still feel like Middle-earth. Obviously, Guillermo’s got a particular take on how he envisions it, and that’s why he’s there. Peter, as producer, and the writing team want a fresh pair of eyes on the story. But at the same time… fans aren’t going to think “Oh my God, where are we!” There’s a familiarity to it, but there’s a fresh pair of eyes on it.”

Asked whether Bilbo has been found yet, his answer was a spontaneous “No”.

Lastly, on the aspect of the films being in 3D, he said “I don’t know what’s going on with that debate really. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s an interesting question… I don’t know!”

Watch the entire video over at Digital Spy.