Friday, December 21, 2007


It's happened!!! As announced at (the official new Hobbit movie blog) and many press releases all over the place:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, "The Hobbit" and a sequel to "The Hobbit." New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on "The Hobbit." New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the "Lord of the Rings" (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, "I’m very pleased that we've been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. 'The Lord of the Rings' is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey."

Awesome! I'm glad someone at New Line finally came to their senses!

And a relevant bit of speculation from

Why did this happen now, after many years of bitterness between Jackson and New Line over the Lord of the Rings payouts? I suppose there are many reasons, but I would suppose one very relevant proximate cause would be Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne trying to save their !@#$ in the wake of the very expensive The Golden Compass cratering very badly at the box office ($40 million in two weeks, with a nearly 66% dropoff in the second weekend — not good news when your production budget is $180 million and you’ve sold off the foreign rights). My guess: it’ll work.

Me, too. ☺ Although I'm not too sure how I feel about them striking out on their own from Tolkien to make a movie depicting, "The 80 years between The Hobbit and LOTR". I'll take a 'wait and see' approach on that one, though with Jackson at the helm, I'm sure it'll be (at minimum) a hit. I'm still personally nervous about Smaug - Aslan was pretty darn convincing in Narnia - even when he talked (the last part of CG characters I still think nobody's ever gotten the hang of, but who's ever seen a dragon? So how do you make one look like it's really talking? I've always hoped they'd wait on making The Hobbit long enough to convince me, rather than having this huge cartoon-y (read: unconvincing) character in the middle of an epic movie. Maybe they'll manage. I hope so. I really hope so.

Oh, and on a related note - here's a great comic that came out regarding the original decision not to let Peter Jackson in on the Hobbit; no longer applicable, but so true, and quite funny (check out the following few days' comics as well for how LOTR might have looked under different directors) - enjoy!

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