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So Peter Jackson Won't Direct The Hobbit After All!

by
December 18, 2007
Source: Deadline Hollywood

Peter Jackson / The Hobbit

Breaking news today: Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema CEO Bob Shaye have settled their legal woes and ended their fight. The two have been fighting for nearly three years over money issues and finances related to the Lord of the Rings films. Nikki Finke over at Deadline Hollywood, who has confirmed the details with a very reliable source, reports that they've reached a deal settling all of Jackson's litigations. However, the big news is that Peter Jackson won't be directing The Hobbit. Instead, it's confirmed that he'll only act as executive producer on the films, due to his previous obligations with The Lovely Bones and Tintin.

The deal that was struck between Jackson and New Line sets out a lot of specifics. MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute the two Hobbit films. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as executive producers and New Line will manage the production. It is officially confirmed that there will be two films for the one book. Both will be shot back-to-back with principal photography tentatively set for a 2009 start. The intention is to release the first Hobbit movie in 2010 and the sequel in 2011.

So if Peter Jackson isn't directing, that puts The Hobbit all the way back at the drawing table. There was the Sam Raimi rumor way back when that I thought would be an admirable choice if it ended up coming true. However, The Hobbit is such a sensitive subject with me (considering that Return of the King is my all-time favorite movie), I'm very nervous no matter who they end up choosing. Until they get a director set, let's start some discussion. Who would be the perfect person (besides Jackson) to direct The Hobbit films?

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  • Mickey
    Andrew Adamson: He has already worked with Weta for the Narnia movies and with Peter Jackson's visual aid as a Exec. Producer, I believe he could muster up good follow-ups to LOTR.
  • E. Jones
    Alfonso Cuarón!
  • Pacific Whim
    But why two films? I assume it's because they want to include every tidbit of the book—Beorn, Lake Town and so on—but that seems like they're milking the source.
  • EtotheZ23
    For the love of all things holy! I hope this movie never makes it thru production! LOTR was a great trilogy, so lets not ruin it with a prequel! Two films would be even worse, man i hope they reconsider.
  • Keith
    I dont think it would ever happen, but Spielberg. Hes used to doing very epic films and he always has a good end product. or Bryan Singer, but he will probably be starting the next superman film at around that same time. Actually, come to think of it Mike Newell would be fantastic.
  • http://www.thatmoviesite.com Jeff Warner
    I really hope Sam Raimi doesn't do it...he would ruin it like he ruined Spider-Man. Alfonso Cuaron or Guillermo del Toro would be good choices...
  • James
    Guys, I believe this report is somewhat inaccurate...You can check out a different report on foxnews.com It looks like Jackson and his partner Walsh will have full authority over the movies. I dont believe they would allow anything bad to be done. I agree with the below article in that Jackons will wind up writing and directing. from foxnews.com 'Hobbit': Will Peter Jackson Direct? Big news Tuesday for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and "Lord of the Rings." New Line Cinema has patched up its differences with director Peter Jackson. The result is a two-picture deal for "The Hobbit," plus a sequel. Jackson will executive produce the films with partner Fran Walsh, just as he did on the gazillion-dollar Oscar-winning "Rings" trilogy. Getting "The Hobbit" to this point was a huge effort, because Jackson and New Line were really at loggerheads over "Lord of the Rings" money. New Line co-chief Bob Shaye told me Tuesday morning he conceded a lot of the trouble had to do with his "personal rancor" over Jackson's comments. But he also said, "When there's a lot of money involved, there are a lot of intermediaries who say things. We had to be responsible to the millions of [Tolkien] fans." So will Jackson direct? So far Shaye and Michael Lynne are sticking to the story that Jackson will executive produce. But the Oscar-winning director of the "Rings" trilogy has creative control over all of "The Hobbit." "We're going to sit down in January and talk about possible writers and directors," Shaye told me. "He's not going to hire just anyone. This way Peter can oversee this and all his other projects," such as "Tin Tin" and "The Lovely Bones," which he's shooting. But my guess is that Jackson and Walsh will wind up writing and directing. The stakes are too high, and the legacy after the "Rings" is too important. Shaye and Lynn didn't deny it when I asked, they just diplomatically skirted the issue. By the way, why is MGM involved? It turns out its United Artists division had the rights to "The Hobbit" following Saul Zaentz's 1978 animated Ralph Bakshi feature. "Once we resolved our issues with MGM, and then Peter, we were set to go," Lynne told me.
  • ramez
    I second del Toro.
  • Charlie
    I still like the idea of Peter Weir making The Hobbit.
  • avoidz
    Michael Bay.
  • Boo-Yah
    While I know PJ wants to do other things besides LOTR-related stuff, I share the same concern with him not attached a director. With what he did with the LOTR trilogy - not only in the original films, but then the extended cuts as well - I just can't imagine anyone else taking the helm and being able to continue that.
  • http://edtech-nohype.blogspot.com/ Joe Makley
    Peter Jackson will need those ladies more than ever to keep him from making what would only be a prequel. The Hobbit can certainly be done justice in a film, but it isn't LOTR. First, It's a PG film, not PG13. The age spread in the audience starts lower by two-three years. It's action is very scary, but the whimsical elements (de-emphasized successfully in LOTR) are more integral to its truth. It has a distinctly different feel that has to be preserved for it to work. The pallet has more gold in it. The core themes are less elemental than LOTR. It's more about faraway places and adventure, and personal courage, and greed/desire over peace. The violence and terror have a different quality. Yes, you could make it just like LOTR, and it would be fascinating; even riveting as an action/adventure film...but it wouldn't be The Hobbit. For The Hobbit, you need merry making elves, talking wallets, and a certain autumnal dream quality. It's much more of a fairy tale. I think (from their statements, not gender) Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens will get this more readily than Peter Jackson. With full creative control, he'll be tempted to gruesome excess. I don't favor a different director. Jackson understands in his heart that when you are playing with something this popular, it is essential to get the themes right. He achieved this in LOTR, to his lasting credit. Where he may need help is in knowing (admitting) that the core themes of The Hobbit are different. And if you don't have time for Beorn, at least put in his house and grounds!
  • http://www.tracksounds.com Christopher
    It's hard to believe that LOVELY BONES and TIN-TIN would take precedence over THE HOBBIT for Peter Jackson. While each will have their merits...neither one (or both combined) will be what THE HOBBIT will. It's not like Jackson is Lucas...where people are crying for someone else to direct. In terms of film, Peter Jackson IS the world of Middle Earth. Any other director will suffer...and so will audiences. That said,...I would be much more happy to read that THE HOBBIT has been put into the hands of some of his second unit directors from LOTR than the likes of Sam Raimi, Del Toro, or even Spielberg. John Mahaphee (sp?), Barry Osborn, and the lot of them all know PJ...his sensibilities...and if he has overall creative control...it just makes sense. The idea of a two parter? I love it...hoping that they will integrate bits from THE SILMARILLION into it.
  • http://www.critical-acclaim.info grendel
    George Lucas!!!!! I'd love to watch the zealots come out in droves. Star Wars fans dancing with the LOTR in peace and harmony. No more clashing on which trilogy is better.
  • http://davelog.com davelog
    If Peej ain't doing it, may as well let Burton and Elfman fuck it up.
  • kllj
    what! now the movie is going to be crap
  • gvyh
    the movie hobbit will be the same because peater jackson is the boss of the directer even if theres a crapy directer peater will tell him what to do so the movies not @$$
  • Daniella
    I definitely agree with Guillermo Del Toro-- after seeing Pan's Labryinth and The Orphange, I think he is really the only one that stacks up to PJs level. Hell no to Sam Raimi, George Lucas, Spielberg and those other guys... Maybe.. (maybe!!) Andrew Adamson but what we're trying to avoid is have it look like a crappy little prequel. Besides, to whomever said that they can't believe PJ would go for The Lovely Bones and Tintin instead of The Hobbit-- NO ONE ever said he should direct ONLY J.R.R. Tolkien related things... he can choose what he wants to direct and I think he also wants to let go of that and move onto other projects-- maybe just supervise this one haha. That's my two cents.
  • Jan Jarrell
    Don't care who directs as long as Peter, Fran, and Philippa don't WRITE. they eviscerated Tolkien's characters in LOTR and I'm sure they'd be happy to do the same with 'The Hobbit'. PJ is fine when he's doing B spatter films. For anything else.. he's all style.. no substance. Anyone else they'd get would be an improvement. As long as weta's involved... The Hobbit will look amazing.
  • Cai-chan
    I would definitely have to say Guillermo Del Toro, if PJ isn't going to direct. The Hobbit is a bit more magical than the other Lord of the Rings (excluding The Silmarillion), and if Del Toro is perfect at anything in particular it's that he's perfect at the magical and mystical elements of any and all movies. After all, he pulled off El Labarinto del Fauno (I spelled that right... right?) perfectly, not to mention Hellboy.
  • nasiruddin
    dear peter. I have a story to share witch u. if u want to make new filem. gerenty to u my story will be mike big mony. sorry my english not very good. hop u contack mee as son posible.. title of my story is gog and magog..
  • michael w
    If not Jackson- then it must be someone completely unheard of. Jackson was completely unheard of before the fellowship so if he finds a FRESH director instead of an old one then the produce will be fresh and creative instead of just another blockbuster. BRING ON THE NEW! lol
  • yumyumfish
    yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaah

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