Despite the announcement a few months ago that MGM were planning to work with Peter Jackson on The Hobbit, a recent e-mail from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh to LOTR fansite TheOneRing.net has just shattered this rumour and is sure to send all of the fanboys into a tizzy. Apparently Wingnut Films (Jackson’s production company) has been involved in a lawsuit with New Line regarding income from The Fellowship of the Ring, and although Jackson wanted and always expected to work on The Hobbit (and possibly a 2nd LOTR prequel), they hadn’t planned on doing it until the lawsuit was resolved.
Unfortunately, last week, New Line called to inform them that they simply couldn’t wait any longer for the lawsuit to work itself out. Since they had a “limited time option on the film rights they have obtained from Saul Zaentz”, they are now “actively looking to hire another filmmaker for both projects”. So Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films and WETA will all apparently not be involved. The truth of the situation is, this is probably not the last we’ll be hearing about it from either party, and it sounds like a strategic move from both sides to try and apply pressure to have the lawsuit resolved. New Line threatens to take away The Hobbit, so Peter Jackson goes and rallies his fans.
Personally I’m not even adverse to the idea of someone else doing The Hobbit, after all, it has a bit of a different feel than The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, I just don’t honestly think New Line would go with anyone else in the end. Jackson has proven he can handle this massive franchise competently, and he has all the fans behind him. And I can’t see any other effects studio handling the effects quite as well as WETA did. No, I think this is all B.S. and Peter Jackson will probably still direct it. But hey, maybe they really do have a limited time option, and maybe we will see some new blood tackling Tolkien. Who would you like to see direct The Hobbit instead?» Related Link: TheOneRing.net [via]