Author Topic: The Hobbit  (Read 37492 times)

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Offline RottingCorpse

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The Hobbit
« on: November 20, 2006, 10:25:48 AM »
Basically, Peter Jackson is saying that he's not doing The Hobbit because Hollywood is greedy.

Quote from: Peter Jackson
Dear One Ringers,

As you know, there's been a lot of speculation about The Hobbit. We are often asked about when or if this film will ever be made. We have always responded that we would be very interested in making the film - if it were offered to us to make.

You may also be aware that Wingnut Films has bought a lawsuit against New Line, which resulted from an audit we undertook on part of the income of The Fellowship of the Ring. Our attitude with the lawsuit has always been that since it's largely based on differences of opinion about certain accounting practices, we would like an independent body - whether it be a judge, a jury, or a mediator, to look at the issues and make an unbiased ruling. We are happy to accept whatever that ruling is. In our minds, it's not much more complex than that and that's exactly why film contracts include right-to-audit clauses.

However, we have always said that we do not want to discuss The Hobbit with New Line until the lawsuit over New Line's accounting practices is resolved. This is simple common sense - you cannot be in a relationship with a film studio, making a complex, expensive movie and dealing with all the pressures and responsibilities that come with the job, while an unresolved lawsuit exists.

We have also said that we do not want to tie settlement of the lawsuit to making a film of The Hobbit. In other words, we would have to agree to make The Hobbit as a condition of New Line settling our lawsuit. In our minds this is not the right reason to make a film and if a film of The Hobbit went ahead on this basis, it would be doomed. Deciding to make a movie should come from the heart - it's not a matter of business convenience. When you agree to make a film, you're taking on a massive commitment and you need to be driven by an absolute passion to want to get the story on screen. It's that passion, and passion alone, that gives the movie its imagination and heart. To us it is not a cold-blooded business decision.

A couple of months ago there was a flurry of Hobbit news in the media. MGM, who own a portion of the film rights in The Hobbit, publicly stated they wanted to make the film with us. It was a little weird at the time because nobody from New Line had ever spoken to us about making a film of The Hobbit and the media had some fun with that. Within a week or two of those stories, our Manager Ken Kamins got a call from the co-president of New Line Cinema, Michael Lynne, who in essence told Ken that the way to settle the lawsuit was to get a commitment from us to make the Hobbit, because "that's how these things are done". Michael Lynne said we would stand to make much more money if we tied the lawsuit and the movie deal together and this may well be true, but it's still the worst reason in the world to agree to make a film.

Several years ago, Mark Ordesky told us that New Line have rights to make not just The Hobbit but a second "LOTR prequel", covering the events leading up to those depicted in LOTR. Since then, we've always assumed that we would be asked to make The Hobbit and possibly this second film, back to back, as we did the original movies. We assumed that our lawsuit with the studio would come to a natural conclusion and we would then be free to discuss our ideas with the studio, get excited and jump on board. We've assumed that we would possibly get started on development and design next year, whilst filming The Lovely Bones. We even had a meeting planned with MGM executives to talk through our schedule.

However last week, Mark Ordesky called Ken and told him that New Line would no longer be requiring our services on the Hobbit and the LOTR 'prequel'. This was a courtesy call to let us know that the studio was now actively looking to hire another filmmaker for both projects.

Ordesky said that New Line has a limited time option on the film rights they have obtained from Saul Zaentz (this has never been conveyed to us before), and because we won't discuss making the movies until the lawsuit is resolved, the studio is going to have to hire another director.

Given that New Line are committed to this course of action, we felt at the very least, we owed you, the fans, a straightforward account of events as they have unfolded for us.

We have always had the greatest support from The Ringers and we are very sorry our involvement with The Hobbit has been ended in this way. Our journey into Tolkien's world started with a phone call from Ken Kamins to Harvey Weinstein in Nov 1995 and ended with a phone call from Mark Ordesky to Ken in Nov 2006. It has been a great 11 years.

This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness and rancor. We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go and move forward with other projects.

We send our very best wishes to whomever has the privilege of making The Hobbit and look forward to seeing the film on the big screen.

Warmest regards to you all, and thanks for your incredible support over the years.

We got to go there - but not back again ...

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh

Xoanon here, this is a big blow to the LOTR community. I feel like there has been a death in the family...there are a LOT of questions that will remain unanswered for the time being. Why couldn't New Line come to an agreement with PJ? Is there really a time option on the film rights for New Line? Who will they get to direct? Those are some massive shoes to fill if you ask me. I hope that whoever they get to direct will not try something 'new' with the look and feel of PJ's Middle-earth...and what is this LOTR 'prequel' project?

There have been rumors about The Hobbit being split into two films, will this prequel project then become the third film in another trilogy? Who knows...

I'm sure Peter and Fran aren't going to want to talk more about this, but that doesn't mean we won't be begging for a sitdown and chat! Stay tuned for more...

Offline Tatertots

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 11:55:43 AM »
Oh, thank god!

Offline nacho

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 12:25:51 PM »
See?  I told you people in the King Kong thread -- PJ is holding on to his values so far.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2006, 07:36:20 PM »
So, now it WILL happen, only not with New Line.

Explain to me again why I'm trying to break into this business?

Quote from: IMDb
As Lord of the Rings fans mounted a protest following word that New Line had dropped Peter Jackson from consideration as director of The Hobbit and another Lord of the Rings prequel, producer Saul Zaentz has given assurances that Jackson will indeed direct the two films. A German website, Elbenwald.de, posted an interview with Zaentz, who acquired the rights to the works of the late Rings writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, in 1976 (the Saul Zaentz Company owns Tolkien Enterprises), in which Zaentz says, "It will definitely be shot by Peter Jackson. ... Next year The Hobbit rights will fall back to my company. I suppose that Peter will wait because he knows that he will make the best deal with us. And he is fed up with the studios: to get his profit share on the Rings trilogy he had to sue New Line. With us, in contrast, he knows that he will be paid fairly and artistically supported without reservation." (The preceding quotation is a translation that appeared on TheHobbit-Movie.com from the German interview posted on Elbenwald.de.)

Offline nacho

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 11:20:29 AM »
See?  I told you people -- he's lost sight of his values.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 11:23:41 AM »
That made me snort coffee.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 03:43:45 PM »
Speaking of drama . . .

Quote from: scifi.com
Shaye: New Line Blacklists Jackson

In the latest comment in the controversy surrounding a proposed movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, New Line head Robert Shaye told SCI FI Wire in no uncertain terms that the studio won't work with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on that film or any other film. Ever. At least not as long as Shaye is in charge.

Shaye's comments marked the first time a New Line executive has commented publicly on the fracas since Jackson announced that he has pulled out of the project and also appears to harden New Line's position against Jackson.

"I do not want to make a movie with somebody who is suing me," Shaye—New Line's chief executive officer—said in an interview on Jan. 5 while promoting The Last Mimzy, a New Line family fantasy that marks his first time in a director's chair since 1990's Book of Love. "It will never happen during my watch."

Jackson had told TheOneRing.net in November that he and partner Fran Walsh were bowing out after New Line, which produced the Rings films and has production rights to The Hobbit, told them the studio was moving ahead with The Hobbit without them. Jackson has said he won't discuss The Hobbit until a lawsuit against New Line over Rings accounting practices is settled.

As far as Shaye is concerned, Jackson is no longer welcome. "There's a kind of arrogance," Shaye said. "Not that I don't think Peter is a good filmmaker and that he hasn't contributed significantly to filmography and made three very good movies. And I don't even expect him to say 'thank you' for having me make it happen and having New Line make it happen. But to think that I, as a functionary in [a] company that has been around for a long time, but is now owned by a very big conglomerate, would care one bit about trying to cheat the guy, ... he's either had very poor counsel or is completely misinformed and myopic to think that I care whether I give him [anything]."

Shaye, who was also an executive producer on the Rings films, added: "He got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right, and this guy, who already has received a quarter of a billion dollars, turns around without wanting to have a discussion with us and sues us and refuses to discuss it unless we just give in to his plan. I don't want to work with that guy anymore. Why would I? So the answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working for the company."

Shaye said that many of the Rings trilogy actors "suddenly, because, I'm guessing, of Peter's complaint," have declined to participate in celebrating New Line's 40th anniversary. "I'm incredibly offended," he said. "I don't care about Peter Jackson anymore. He wants to have another $100 million or $50 million, whatever he's suing us for. He doesn't want to sit down and talk about it. He thinks that we owe him something after we've paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars. ... Cheers, Peter."

New Line's hardened position against Jackson isn't the end of the story, of course. MGM, which owns the distribution rights to The Hobbit, on Nov. 20 told Variety through a spokesman that "the matter of Peter Jackson directing the Hobbit films is far from closed."

In his own online statement, Jackson said that New Line executive Mark Ordesky, who shepherded the Rings trilogy, argued that New Line is dumping Jackson because the studio has a "limited time option" on the film rights, obtained from Saul Zaentz.


Then Ain't It Cool News had this to say . . .

Quote
The dirty fighting is starting between Peter Jackson and New Line. Moviehole.net reported on an interview with Bob Shaye done by Sci-Fi.com, where he rips into Jackson and says he's not welcome at New Line ever again.

He points out what Jackson has been paid so far on Rings... a lot of money... but he doesn't answer why New Line refuses to allow Jackson's representatives into the books. I believe Jackson is suing over his contracted percentage on the FELLOWSHIP DVDs, but from Jackson's letter to the fans about the situation, it sounds like he just wants to make sure he's not being short changed. So, the question still remains... If New Line is sure they've fulfilled their contractual obligation to Jackson and Co, why are they fighting this?

I guess now it's personal and Shaye is going to do his damndest to fast track HOBBIT, which is always a good reason to make a film. Here's hoping MGM, who still owns the North American distribution rights, puts their foot down and stops a hastily made HOBBIT movie. If they can filibuster New Line and Saul Zaentz gets the rights back, he's said he wants Jackson to do it.

Even if Jackson ends up having nothing to do with a HOBBIT film, I'd still love to see it made right. Not just for the right reasons, but with the right amount of care put into the project. His blessing on the project would also open up the possibility of returning actors who wouldn't come back in this new situation at New Line. I know Ian McKellen has publicly stated that he won't return unless Jackson does.

So, a clusterfuck. Hopefully the fans aren't the ones who take it up the pooper in the end, but I think that's where Mr. Shaye is taking us right now.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2007, 03:50:10 PM »
I like how Shaye, in talking about arrogance on the part of Jackson, comes across as insanely arrogant.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2007, 03:56:30 PM »
I've always liked Shaye because he's the guy who helped bankroll the original Nightmare on Elm Street, and has never forgotten that Wes Craven and that film put New Line on the map.

However, yes, he sounds extremely arrogant here.

Then again, it's his word against Jackson's. The difference is, the fans LOVE Jackson.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2007, 10:45:06 PM »
A rebuttal from Wingnut Films. (Jackson's film company.)

Quote
"Our issue with New Line Cinema has only ever been about their refusal to account for financial anomalies that surfaced from a partial audit of The Fellowship of the Ring. Contrary to recent comments made by Bob Shaye, we attempted to discuss the issues raised by the Fellowship audit with New Line for over a year but the studio was and continues to be completely uncooperative. This has compelled us to file a lawsuit to pursue our contractual rights under the law. Nobody likes taking legal action, but the studio left us with no alternative.

For over two years, New Line has denied us the ability to audit The Two Towers and The Return of the King, despite repeated requests. Film auditing is a common and straightforward practice within the industry and we don't understand why New Line Cinema has taken this position.

In light of these circumstances, I didn't think it was appropriate for me to be involved in New Line Cinema's 40th Anniversary video. I have never discussed this video with any of the cast of The Lord of the Rings. The issues that Bob Shaye has with the cast pre-date this law suit by many years.

Fundamentally, our legal action is about holding New Line to it's contractual obligations and promises. It is regrettable that Bob has chosen to make it personal. I have always had the highest respect and affection for Bob and other senior management at New Line and continue to do so."

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 05:58:52 PM »
Quote from: Yahoo News
Jackson can still make The Hobbit
 
Peter Jackson could still make Tolkien's The Hobbit, despite falling out with the studio which commissioned him to film The Lord of The Rings trilogy.

Bob Shaye, head of New Line Cinema, has told The Los Angeles Times his studio -- which Jackson had sued for profits from The Lords of The Rings -- was in talks with Jackson's representatives in a bid to mend fences and get him to direct The Hobbit.

"Notwithstanding our personal quarrels, I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit," he said.

He had previously labelled Jackson as "arrogant", while Jackson and partner Fran Walsh took the unusual step of issuing a long statement on the Internet last year declaring that because of clashes with New Line they had "no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go".

A spokesman for Jackson told The Dominion Post last night: "Peter and Fran have always wanted to do The Hobbit but whether that happens is yet to be decided."

Offline fajwat

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 06:02:44 PM »
Peter: looks greedy for wanting the money (from the existing LOTR franchise)
Studio: looks magnanimous for wanting the money (from The Hobbit)

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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2007, 10:13:42 AM »
History of the Hobbit debacle and a primer in Hollywood politics.

Quote from: EW.com
'The Hobbit': Peace in Middle-Earth?

Last month, in the academic journal Science, paleontologists presented new evidence that they had discovered an overlooked relative of prehistoric man. Officially, they've labeled the species Homo floresiensis — unofficially, they're calling them ''hobbits'' — but by any other name what they've found are the 18,000-year-old fossilized remains of a three-foot-tall hominid with a recessed chin and a brain the size of a Wiffle ball.

As it happens, they're digging for hobbits in Hollywood, too. The kind with a thing for finger bling and a knack for raking in billions at the box office. Up until a few weeks ago, it was looking as if this breed might be extinct as well, wiped out by dark lords more powerful than Sauron himself — entertainment lawyers. But now the legal battle that's kept The Lord of the Rings' prequel, The Hobbit, hung up for years — a bitter feud between Rings director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema co-chairman Robert Shaye — may finally be nearing resolution. For once, there's reason to be cautiously optimistic. At this writing, no agreements have been announced and details of the negotiations are sketchy (neither New Line nor Jackson's camp would comment to EW on any aspect of this story), but sources close to the talks tell us that they're detecting a lot less frost in the air, and that a deal may be reached that could help usher J.R.R. Tolkien's maiden Middle-earth masterpiece to screens before the end of the decade. ''There has been a détente,'' says one insider. There is now the beginning of a discourse between Peter Jackson and New Line that's running parallel to the litigation proceedings.''

Okay, so it's not the sort of declaration of peace that sets church bells clanging. But it is a vast improvement from just 10 months ago, when Shaye and Jackson duked it out in the press and the studio co-chief angrily told a reporter that the director was too arrogant for his tastes, adding ''I don't want to work with that guy anymore.'' Besides, in Hollywood, any movement on this long-stalled project is major news. It was The Hobbit, after all, that first introduced the world to the lovely and terrifying universe of Middle-earth. The novel is set about 60 years before Lord of the Rings, and for many readers who dove into Tolkien's work as kids, it retains a warmer glow in memory than the daunting and sometimes slow-moving trilogy. Its hero is one Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming homebody hobbit who gets dragooned by one wizard and 13 dwarves into an adventure during which he relieves a dragon named Smaug of an ill-gotten treasure and the wicked Gollum of a certain all-powerful ring. Only a few LOTR cast members make return appearances in this earlier tale. But the story has precisely the same themes — of loyalty and unexpected bravery — that made the Rings series huge. And by huge we mean gargantuan, with each film earning about a billion dollars worldwide between 2001 and 2003, along with 17 Oscars, including ones for Best Director and Best Picture. In Hollywood, in other words, The Hobbit is that rarest of magical creatures — a sure thing.

And that's what makes this lawsuit mess so mystifying. What disagreement over Lord of the Rings could possibly be so important, so personal, that both sides would blow a potential billion dollars in revenue over it?

The irony is that once upon a time, Peter Jackson and Bob Shaye gave each other the greatest gifts of their careers. In 1998, Jackson's bid to make LOTR as three separate films — as opposed to two, or even one — had been rejected by virtually every studio in Hollywood. Shaye and New Line were his last hope, a fact the director camouflaged by calling a couple of times to reschedule the appointment with New Line because of his supposedly hectic itinerary. Jackson and Shaye made for an odd pair: a shy Kiwi perennially in short pants and bare feet, and one of the last real Hollywood mavericks, who was so fond of his sunglasses that Jack Nicholson once took to calling him ''Bobby Shades.'' What Jackson and Shaye did have in common was a kind of fearlessness and an absolute indifference to what other people thought was financial or creative suicide. Shaye greenlit Jackson's dream of a trio of $100 million fantasy films about elves and dwarves. (Not even Harvey Weinstein had the stomach for that; he told Jackson he'd sign on for only two. Because he was an executive producer, he wound up with a cut of the box office anyway.) And Jackson gave Shaye a $3 billion franchise and a new image for his company. New Line, which Shaye launched 40 years ago by discovering such camp classics as Reefer Madness and marketing them out of his apartment, is no longer best known for A Nightmare on Elm Street or Austin Powers.

There's invariably tension between studios and filmmakers during production. New Line learned quickly that despite being grateful for the job, the director and his partner, Fran Walsh, were not people to be shoved around. So there were scuffles and hurt feelings of varying magnitudes on both sides, all of which was compounded by the industry perception that Shaye had literally bet his studio on The Lord of the Rings. The first public indication that all was not well came around 2003. The second LOTR installment, The Two Towers, had earned its billion dollars, and it began to dawn on cast members that they weren't exactly sharing in the wealth. (Two sources close to the production recall a principal player receiving a merchandising residual check for 45 cents.) Eventually, after the bigger-name actors hinted they'd be too busy to do further publicity for the films, New Line coughed up extra bonuses. (The second-tier performers have since filed a lawsuit alleging that the studio withheld merchandising revenues.) Then came rumblings from producer Saul Zaentz. He had bought the film rights to the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit from United Artists back in 1976 — UA partner MGM retains distribution rights to The Hobbit — and in 2004, Zaentz filed a lawsuit too, claiming that New Line wasn't paying all it owed him in royalties. His case was settled a year later for an undisclosed sum, but by then Jackson was elbows deep in his own audit of New Line's financial records.

Nobody enjoys getting audited, but it's a fact of life in Hollywood. Shaye, however, seemed to have taken Jackson's audit personally. ''It rankled him,'' notes one observer. ''Like, 'I gave this guy his shot — where does he get off?''' Shaye had apparently forgotten that Jackson was not just some cuddly Kiwi. When New Line began planning to sell the LOTR props and costumes at auction, Jackson intervened and said that he'd like to have them, both for sentimental reasons and for a museum he hoped to set up one day. The studio balked. Jackson then pointed out that he had never signed a contract for the extended Return of the King DVD. He informed New Line that he'd be happy to accept the costumes and props as his fee — the suggestion being that he might not work on the DVD otherwise. Those extended cuts had become far richer revenue streams than anyone could have predicted. Jackson got his props. The relationship between the filmmakers and the studio at that point was said to fall somewhere between hellish and nonexistent.

In November of 2003, Jackson and Walsh sat in their private theater in New Zealand, making last-minute tweaks to the trilogy's final film, The Return of the King. ''The ghosts are looking good, but to my eye the heroes are a little big,'' Jackson said of a sequence known as the Paths of the Dead. He drew circles on the screen with a laser pointer, then moved on to the close of the movie where Sam Gamgee returns home and embraces his family. The shot needed the slightest tweak. Jackson asked his special-effects team how long it would take. Ten days, he was told. ''No, no, no, no,'' he responded. ''Ten days would cause cardiac arrest in L.A.'' Walsh smiled. ''That's not such a bad thing,'' she said. As tittering spread throughout the theater, Jackson turned around: ''Show of hands, everybody?''

If the audit irked Shaye, the worst was still to come. In February 2005, Jackson filed his suit against New Line, claiming the studio had been dragging its feet providing documents to his auditors. The lawsuit asks for no specific dollar amount in damages, but insists that Jackson be allowed to examine the studio's books, looking into matters such as how New Line, a division of Time Warner, sold the ancillary rights to his films. (Entertainment Weekly is also owned by Time Warner.) In several instances, New Line struck deals with companies within the Time Warner family, such as Warner Bros. Records and the TBS cable network. If Jackson can show that New Line could have signed more profitable deals with outside companies, he might be able to demand some significant lost revenue.

In any case, once the lawsuit was filed, The Hobbit was roadkill. New Line did approach Jackson about making the movie at least once, in the fall of 2006, promising to settle the dispute (and pay him an appropriate amount) if he agreed to make the film. No dice. Jackson continued to insist a settlement had to come first. He'd already gone on to make King Kong. For Universal.

The low point came last November, when Shaye actually ''fired'' Jackson from The Hobbit. Jackson took the fight directly to the people. ''[We were told] that New Line would no longer be requiring our services on The Hobbit,'' Jackson wrote in a memo posted on the fansite TheOneRing.net. ''This was a courtesy call to let us know that the studio was now actively looking to hire another filmmaker.'' Shaye erupted. In January 2007, he blasted Jackson in a now-famous public tirade. ''I don't care about Peter Jackson anymore,'' he railed to the Sci Fi Wire website. ''He thinks that we owe him something after we've paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars!''

Shaye didn't appear to be bluffing. New Line began dangling The Hobbit in front of other directors. Like Sam Raimi. (''Peter Jackson might be the best filmmaker on the planet right now,'' the Spider-Man director told EW in March, but ''if Peter didn't want to do it...'') Not that anyone thought it was the greatest idea. ''Frankly, anybody else would be a secondary choice,'' says one high-profile movie executive. ''It won't be the movie people want.'' It certainly wouldn't be what Ian McKellen wanted; the actor, who played Gandalf in the trilogy, has been waging a one-wizard campaign to get Jackson back behind the camera, asking both sides to settle their differences. ''I should have relished revisiting Middle-earth with Peter,'' he wrote on his website. Viggo Mortensen's character, Aragorn, doesn't figure in The Hobbit's plotline, but even he can't imagine the film being made without Jackson. ''He's the ideal candidate,'' Mortensen tells EW. ''In their heart of hearts, New Line [knows] he's ideal.'' Many fans would argue that Jackson isn't merely ideal for The Hobbit, but indispensable. His vision is now synonymous with Tolkien's — as is the work of his F/X houses, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. ''Would fans go see the movie if someone else directed it?'' asks the editor-in-chief of TheOneRing.net, Michael Regina. ''Maybe 90 percent would, but they'd be upset about it. It would break their hearts.''

It wouldn't be the sunniest scenario for Bob Shaye and New Line, either. In fact, time may be running out to launch the movie. On some not-too-distant date, the rights to The Hobbit will revert back to Zaentz. Most insiders guess it's 2010. To make the movie then, New Line would have to renegotiate — assuming Zaentz would want to do business with them again — on much more expensive terms and with plenty of competition from other studios. And there may be another deadline: Shaye and studio co-chair Michael Lynne reportedly have only until late 2008, when their contracts with New Line are said to expire. Not much time to add one last Tolkien triumph to their legacy.

But the real pressure on New Line right now is coming from the courts. Last month the company was fined $125,000 for failing to provide requested accounting documents. Even in the weeks before that ruling, there were signs that New Line's hard line was beginning to buckle. ''Notwithstanding our personal quarrels,'' Shaye told the L.A. Times this August, ''I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit.''

Finally, an olive branch.

Of course, even if the lawsuit is settled tomorrow, there are still a few details to iron out before The Hobbit could get made. Like a script, for instance, which nobody has actually written. In the past, Jackson has suggested that he would make two films, with the second one filling in the story arc between the end of The Hobbit and the beginning of Rings. Although Tolkien never wrote a novel bridging the eras, he did scatter clues in shorter pieces and epilogues that could form the basis of a screenplay. This is not unprecedented. Jackson, Walsh, and screenwriting partner Philippa Boyens enhanced the Rings love story between Mortensen's and Liv Tyler's characters with material from Tolkien's extensive appendixes.

Still, it's hard to imagine Jackson having time to direct one Hobbit movie, let alone two. He will soon begin shooting his adaptation of the best-selling novel The Lovely Bones in Pennsylvania. And after that, he's scheduled to make Tintin with Steven Spielberg. There's speculation that New Line might offer him a deal to executive-produce The Hobbit, letting him pick a proxy director and oversee the production. That might be enough to keep fans' hearts from breaking, but would it be enough for Jackson? Amazingly, after all he's been through — eight years making Rings and several more in court fighting over it — the Shire still holds him in its spell. In fact, Jackson may turn out to be the only person who never once lost hope in the movie. Even in 2003, when his relationship with New Line was quite bleak, Jackson was still giving editions of The Hobbit as gifts. ''Great book,'' he wrote in one copy. ''Wonder when the movie's coming out??''

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Re: The Hobbit
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2007, 04:11:33 PM »
Quote
and a sequel to “The Hobbit.”

Oh wow!  They're going to do Lord of the Rings as well?!  This is gonna be --

Oh, wait...