Warner Bros is Picking Up All of the $500M Bill for 'The Hobbit'
An interesting announcement hit Deadline today regarding the production status of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. With shooting initially set to start in just a few months and a cast coming together, details about its financing are now coming out. The real news is that MGM and Warner Bros have finalized a deal that gives Warner Bros complete worldwide theatrical distribution on the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit. How did they get that? Warner Bros is paying the "entire cost of the two installments… a price-tag that is expected to exceed $500 million." At least this means it'll finally be able to start shooting without any more problems.
Deadline explains that MGM was essentially trying to hang on to their pieces of international distribution, but had to let go of them to Warner Bros. Therefore it was suspect that they were paying for the whole thing and, well, Deadline has confirmed that. So hopefully you're happy knowing that Warner Bros is paying most of the $500 million (thanks mostly to Inception and Harry Potter this summer) budget for The Hobbit. I'm just happy that this means we'll finally be able to get under way and not have to worry if MGM will make it out of debt or just flounder for a while longer. And in the meantime, Jackson is finishing casting the movies.
So far we know he's got Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, but Deadline says "possibly Elijah Wood" and Orlando Bloom being in talks, the latter of which we've heard before. The rest of the cast includes Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Aidan Turner, Rob Kazinsky, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy and Mikael Persbrand. "The two Hobbit films are set to begin production in February 2011, with release dates targeted for December 2012 and December 2013. Jackson will utilize groundbreaking visual effects and his incomparable storytelling to bring Tolkien's novel to the big screen." As we know, both Hobbit movies will be filmed in Digital 3-D on 30 RED EPIC cameras. We'll continue to keep you updated!