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Peter Jackson Back on Board with "The Hobbit" - Two Movies Planned

Posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2007 12:12 PM

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Fans of the "Lord of the Rings" movies have been anxiously awaiting news about Peter Jackson doing a movie of the story that came before, namely "The Hobbit." Unfortunately, movie studio New Line had a bit of a disagreement with Jackson about how much of the profits from the LOTR movies they were going to share with him, and the argument spilled out into the public arena.

In November 2006, Peter Jackson let it be known to fans on the fan site TheOneRing.net that he was ready to do a movie version of the beloved Tolkien story, but he would not as long as he was still owed money from the trilogy. Then, in January, New Line co-chairman Bob Shaye drew the line in the sand and said that Jackson wouldn't make another movie with New Line while he's with the company.

Fast forward to yesterday, and the news is much brighter for those of us who want to see The Hobbit on the big screen with Peter Jackson at the helm!

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that New Line and Peter Jackson have resolved their differences and "The Hobbit" is back on track. Two surprises are that it will be not one, but two movies, and that Peter Jackson will not be writing or directing the movies, but will be an Executive Producer with partner Fran Walsh. Jackson's current schedule is cited as the reason behind his not being directly involved in the writing and directing:

Jackson decided not to take on writing and directing roles because with his other commitments, he figured that he would not be able to complete the "Hobbit" films until around 2015. Jackson didn't want to keep the "Hobbit" fan base waiting that long, and New Line and MGM knew that if they moved ahead on the project without Jackson's involvement, they risked alienating fans. As executive producer, Jackson will have approval over creative elements of both films.

Click the Read link below to read the full Hollywood Reporter article (registration may be required).

The three Lord of the Rings movies have grossed over 2.9 billion dollars in worldwide box office revenue.

The first movie is set to be released in 2010, with the second in 2011.

New Line co-chairman Bob Shaye was quoted as saying that he was "energized and gratified and pleased." No doubt that the lackluster showing that "The Golden Compass" had in the box office this month had something to do with New Line's softer stance in the matter.

I'm just glad to hear that "The Hobbit" is back on track and that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are involved! The top speculation is that Sam Raimi of the "Spider-Man" series is going to direct (I liked the first two of that series, not so much the third. He did direct a great movie, "A Simple Plan," so I'm cautiously optimistic), so hopefully they can find a writer that will do a great job, and that Jackson will remain as deeply involved as the initial comments lead me to believe.

As a result of this news, I have created a second movie entry for "The Hobbit" and have called each installment "The Hobbit - Part 1" and "The Hobbit - Part 2." No titles have been officially assigned, but I think it would be interesting if they called the first "There" and the second "Back Again" but those who haven't read the book or paid very close attention to the first movie in the Trilogy would get the association...

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