Peter Jackson back in the hobbit
After a lengthy battle with New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson has finally scored production rights to The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy he directed. This is exciting news to Rings fans, who were wary of anyone else taking the helm on their cherished story after Jackson's adaptation of the trilogy acheived near-universal acclaim.
"I'm very pleased that we've been able to put our differences behind us," said Jackson. "We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth."
A director for the films - prequels to the Rings movies - has yet to be named.
The two Hobbit films will be filmed simultaneously, with their release planned for 2010 and 2011.
Jackson and his on- and offscreen partner Fran Walsh sued New Line in 2005, claiming the studio cooked the books and seriously shortchanged the couple for a franchise that looted $3 billion at the worldwide box office and won a clutch of Oscars.
The filmmaker had even issued a statement saying the ill will would keep him from shooting The Hobbit, the J.R.R. Tolkein adventure about Bilbo Baggins and his ring-discovering, dragon-conquering quest that serves as a launchpad for the LOTR series. And to the chagrin of fans, New Line boss Bob Shaye said he'd find someone else to direct.
The announcement also heralded a significant agreement between MGM - which has zealously held the rights to filming The Hobbit for many years - and New Line.
Jackson said MGM chairman and chief executive Harry Sloan helped him reach an accord with New Line.
So will Jackson direct? So far Shaye and Michael Lynne are sticking to the story that Jackson will executive produce. But the Oscar-winning director of the "Rings" trilogy has creative control over all of "The Hobbit."
"We're going to sit down in January and talk about possible writers and directors," Shaye told me. "He's not going to hire just anyone. This way Peter can oversee this and all his other projects," such as "Tin Tin" and "The Lovely Bones," which he's shooting.
I knew it! 2009!!! Now where's a gammer gotta go to get in the background on one of these things!?
It's hard to see through blurry eyeys... but it's finally happeneing! *spins in chair* OH GE#EZ! I gotta tgell my boss I've gotta go home! I"M USELESS HERE!!!
TRUST PETER!!! THE MASTER, THE COMMANDER, THE WIZARD!
HEY! He could still direct it! Lots of people write direct and produce projects! WHY NOT!? He's the genius that can do a buhzillion things at once! YOU DON"T think he's going to let this just go undert the direction of ANYBODY! Fran I trust, Andrew Lesnie I trust... all his family over there I trust! NO HOLLYWOOD-ITES NEED APPLY! imho!