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The Hobbit - movie details worked out!


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Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:


* 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.?


?Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life and we full heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making ?The Hobbit,?? said Sloan, MGM?s Chairman and CEO. ?Now that we are all in agreement on ?The Hobbit,? we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film.?


Bob Shaye, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO comments, ?We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with ?The Hobbit? movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with ?The Lord of the Rings? Trilogy.?


?Peter is a visionary filmmaker, and he broke new ground with ?The Lord of the Rings,?? notes Michael Lynne, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO. ?We?re delighted he?s back for ?The Hobbit? films and that the Tolkien saga will continue with his imprint. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Harry Sloan, who has been instrumental in helping us reach our new accord.?


The two ?Hobbit? films ? ?The Hobbit? and its sequel ? are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of ?The Hobbit? release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.


The Oscar-winning, critically-acclaimed LOTR Trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box-office. In 2003, ?Return of the King? swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the eleven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture ? the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The Trilogy?s production was also unprecedented at the time.


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So PJ won't direct?


It certainly reads that way, though resolving their difference would have been for nothing if he, Walsh and Boyens are not back writing and PJ/Walsh directing again. Hopefully it is a case of them still having to come to agreements on contracts that both sides will be happy with before they can make any further announcements. Given the aftermath of contractual agreements relating to LOTR it wouldn?t surprise me.

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At this point, I'm just happy that PJ will be involved. I'm hoping whom ever directs will be greatly influenced by PJ & Company. There is also a good chance that Weta Workshop will be involved as well.


I'm interested in hearing the details behind the Tolkien estate greenlighting a hobbit "sequel" / fellowship prequel.

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Gee, and this all got signed one week after The Golden Compass movie crashed and burned? What an amazing coinc-i-dink.


My wife has been keeping tabs on the Hobbit films, she says that PJ has already said he is not strictly sticking to the book. There will still be Gollum, Smaug, and such, but the Bilbo goes from scene A -> B -> C -> D won't match the story. Makes sense as the Hobbit is a much lighter and not nearly as tightly written as the LOTR books. I get the feeling PJ agrees and he'll be beefing up the story and lead in to the LOTR storyline.


And if people will pay twice (over two Xmas holidays) to see one story, I'm sure New Line isn't throwing a sh*t-fit either.


Wow, this is great news. TNT has been showing the LOTR films in HD, I just can't get enough.

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afterwards he will be directing a trilogy of films based off of the Tintin comics with Steven Speilberg producing (which is going to kick ass, by the way).


He will be be directing one of the films, speilberg one, and another director will do a third. He's not directing all three.


If Jackson is involved you can bet Weta will be doing work on the film. Good news all around

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Without PJ directing, I'm not onboard with this as much as others, unless he pulls a Poltergeist...if you know what I mean.


He's probably going to be in the mix as a Producer or something, which I'm OK with. As long as he and his crew are writing it.


I'm kind of tentatively thinking that they are going to try to link up the Hobbit more with the rest of LOTR. I can see them with a blended approach, a certain amount of the Hobbit and some of the stuff from all those other books (the books that normally put me to sleep).


Personally I think the Hobbit is perfect as is, especially for a movie. We'll see.

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I'm kind of tentatively thinking that they are going to try to link up the Hobbit more with the rest of LOTR.


There's no "tentative" about it - they've said as much to the press. The first is an adaptation of the Hobbit, the second will be constructed from footnotes, other existing materials etc to bridge the Hobbit to LOTR. At least EW & the British press says so.

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  • 1 month later...

From the trades this week it now appears increasingly likely that we can expect news announcing that Guillermo del Toro will take on directing duties for The Hobbit, with Jackson/Walsh producing.


Del Toro doubles up for 'Hobbit'

By Borys Kit

Jan 28, 2008


Guillermo del Toro is in talks to direct back-to-back installments of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," which is being co-financed by New Line and MGM.


Del Toro's name was on a short list of directors who could tackle the project, one of the most anticipated literary adaptations of the past decade. An ill-chosen director for "Hobbit" could put billions of dollars at stake for New Line and MGM and could turn off an audience that encompasses millions of passionate readers, Tolkien fans and obsessive geeks.


Few filmmakers have the cachet that del Toro has, as well as a deep love for the source material, an assured grasp of fantasy filmmaking and an understanding and command of geek culture as well as its respect. Del Toro has built that goodwill through such films as the Oscar-nominated "Pan's Labyrinth," "Hellboy," "Blade 2" (which was made by New Line) and "The Devil's Backbone."


For New Line, making "Hobbit" had become a priority in the wake of its billion-dollar success of the Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" movies, which were co-written and directed by Peter Jackson. Jackson wanted to adapt "Hobbit," but when he got into a dispute with the studio over profit participation, the project went into limbo; neither New Line nor MGM, both rights-holders to the film, wanted to risk alienating fans of the trilogy by making an adaptation that didn't have Jackson's involvement.


The December resolution of the Jackson suit, facilitated by MGM CEO Harry Sloan, paved the way for "Hobbit" to get back on the road to the screen. However, because of other commitments that included "The Lovely Bones" and "Tintin," Jackson could not take on writing and directing roles, opting instead to become an executive producer with approval over creative elements of the pair of films.


Because of the strike, no writer has been hired to adapt Tolkien's children's classic, though that process will be fast-tracked once it's resolved. Del Toro and Jackson will oversee "Hobbit's" writing.


Principal photography for the films, which will be shot simultaneously, is tentatively set for 2009. The production budget is estimated at $150 million per film. The release of the first film is slated for 2010 and the second in 2011.




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I must admit I'd be pleased with the decision, as unfortunate as it might be to not see Jackson and Walsh directly finish what they began. Back in December it didn't even occur to me that del Toro could be on the shortlist, which was stupid of me really given his pedigree not to mention friendship with Jackson. I got too caught up with the horrendous thought of Sam Rami helming the two films.

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