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