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The Hobbit Movie: Latest News
Peter Jackson Back On Board Bilbo Baggins Adventure
Finally the long running feud between Peter Jackson, partner Fran Walsh and New Line Cinema has been resolved. The lawsuit has been settled, the air cleared and the way paved for two new movies to begin production.
"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," Jackson said on Tuesday December 18, 2007.
"We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle-earth."
Fans of JRR Tolkien's classic tales are delighted also. Peter Jackson's adaptation of Lord Of The Rings made cinematic history and became an instant classic. His innovative decision to film the trilogy as one long production allowed for unparalleled consistency throughout the films. The actors could truly own their characters and each of them gave superb, compelling, critically acclaimed performances. When the filmmaker stated that he may not play a part in The Hobbit prequel because of ill will between him and New Line the viewing public was bitterly disappointed.
It all began when Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh filed suit against New line claiming they were not being upfront in regards to the profits of the LOTR trilogy. They felt that money was owed and they wanted their fair share. New Line retaliated saying they would continue on with a new director. Fans, actors and even MGM stated that they wanted Peter Jackson involved with The Hobbit project.
MGM CEO Harry Sloan talked with Hollywood Insider this morning and had this to say: "MGM has always said, and taken a firm position, that we want Peter to be involved, and we have to compliment and be very gratified that [New Line’s Bob Shaye and Michael Lyne] and Peter were able to put their differences aside for the good of these movies. We saw that take place over the last six months. I wouldn’t say it was instant by any means."
"I think the most important thing was for the participants, for Peter and Bob and Michael, to first get talking and start focusing on what great work they had accomplished together. That began to build a bridge toward cooperation on resolving the lawsuit and, of course, making a deal for Peter to oversee these two movies out of the Hobbit property."
This wonderful news has Hobbit-philes all over the world rejoicing. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have entered into contract as executive producers on the project and the films will be shot simultaneously, with a tentative start date of 2009.
It is still undecided who will direct the feature films, where they will be shot and who will be cast in the lead roles. Many people feel that it was New Zealand's stunning scenery which helped the films skyrocketing popularity and would like to see a reprise in location and crew. Particularly Wellington's Weta workshop and Weta Digital who created the Oscar winning special effects.
The Hobbit is the prequel to The Lord Of The Rings and follows the quest of the original ring bearer Bilbo Baggins as he leaves the safety of the shire to help a band of dwarves recover treasure from the marauding dragon Smaug. Gandalf the wizard is the one who convinces Bilbo to undertake this dangerous journey and is a major player in the events that unfold.
Many fans will be hoping for Ian McKellen to take up the role of Gandalf once again. The actor received an Oscar nod for his stunning original performance as the great wizard and would certainly bring a credible presence to the new films.
2010 is when the first movie is slated to appear in theatres. The sequel to follow in 2011.