'The Hobbit' May Supposedly Get the Greenlight in a Few Days!
Finally some good news! Although we don't know who is buying or funding MGM yet, apparently the studio is making progress in some ways. LA Times is reporting that Warner Bros, who now runs New Line Cinema (the other half developing in addition to MGM), may be very close to giving The Hobbit a greenlight in the next week or two. The studios have nearly finalized a deal with Peter Jackson to direct the two films with a rumored budget of around $500 million. They're also close to resolving other legal issues that have long held up the project, including those related to the underlying rights from the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Nothing is official yet (you will definitely know when that is the case!), but anonymous sources close to the production told the LA Times that MGM is "eager to make the films," and they "could give Warner Bros the official okay in the next few days." But, of course, they need to come up with half of $500 million, which is a challenge for a studio on the verge of bankruptcy. WB and New Line have "been waiting for MGM, which for more than a year has been virtually out of cash." Word is they "expect to have all issues settled shortly in order to begin production in mid-January so that the first of the two movies would be ready for a holiday 2012 release." We'll be crossing our fingers hoping that everything works out soon, as I'm already anxious!
There's also a ticking clock associated with the project, as they say that "if production doesn't begin by the first quarter of next year," then The Hobbit "will miss its planned release dates and will likely have to once again be delayed." You may remember that we wrote a few articles earlier this year saying that 2012 was a delayed release, but as far as I know, it was always planned for 2012/2013. Obviously they had a big hiccup with Guillermo del Toro leaving, but it seems as if Jackson is still pushing forward and is trying his hardest to get this ready to start shooting next year. We'll let you know when/if they officially do get the greenlight!