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Old 11-09-2006, 12:12   #1
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The Hobbit

UPDATE: Theonering.net has said that a source close to them has stated that Sam Raimi has been asked to direct The Hobbit. ----

MGM to Unveil The Hobbit!

Source: Variety (via comingsoon.net): In a Variety article talking about MGM's move back into the tentpole business, the trade mentions a few highly-anticipated projects that are in the works:

Over the next few years, MGM is planning to release half a dozen films, some in the $150 million to $200 million-plus range. Studio is ready to unveil such high-profile projects as "Terminator 4"; one or two installments of "The Hobbit," which Sloan hopes will be directed by Peter Jackson; and a sequel to "The Thomas Crown Affair" with Pierce Brosnan.

It has already announced a "Pink Panther" sequel and the next 007 pic "Bond 22," due out in November 2008. "Rocky Balboa" unspools in February.

The pics are all franchises that MGM owns the rights to through its 4,000-title library. The goal is to release two or three tentpoles a year, all of which will be made with financial partners, including Wall Street money or other studios.

---

This is remarkable news, as previously it was known that Newline Cinema had the rights to make The Hobbit with MGM clutching the Distribution rights to the film. I thought that Newline's rights might have expired, then remembered that Saul Zants owns the movie rights to both LotR and The Hobbit. Great news for Hobbit fans!

So do you think they should make one film or 2?

Last edited by Liquid_Language; 23-11-2006 at 12:06. Reason: New news.
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Old 11-09-2006, 12:46   #2
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Hobbit maybe, but apart from the Bond film, the rest of this line up looks terrible
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Old 11-09-2006, 12:56   #3
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MGM is not a powerhouse anymore. Their only truely successful properties are Bond and Stargate.

Terminator 4? Surely they cant bring back Arnold....but then it could be interesting if they tackle the machine war that we've only seen brief glimpses of in previous films.
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Old 11-09-2006, 13:08   #4
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The Hobbit and Jackson would definitely be something to look forward to! Let's hope...

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Old 11-09-2006, 14:01   #5
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Hobbit - as ONE movie. It doesn't need to be 2 movies. It is not nearly as complicated as Lord of the Rings.
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Old 11-09-2006, 14:11   #6
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I wouldn't get too excited yet - there's a piece over at ain't it cool where Harry Knowles says that he interviewed Peter Jackson recently and nobody had approached him about making The Hobbit.
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Old 11-09-2006, 14:27   #7
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If they cut out all the gay singing out of the Hobbit they could get it down to one film.

Of course they'll then bring out a Directors cut that's 4.5 hours long afterwards.
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Old 11-09-2006, 16:46   #8
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I really don't think that the head of a major studio is going to make an announcement without there being some truth in the matter. And as for The Hobbit being 1 or 2 films, i think the best guide is the BBC radio adaptation, which, with the titles removed ad trimmed, would come in at about 3 hours and 20 minutes with a complete narrative. The Hobbit doesn''t really have any Tom Bombadil moments, with all of the story elements contributing to the final act.

Anyway, should be interesting to see what Jackson says about it. As far as i know, he isn't attached to automatically direct the film. Sure, we want to see him make it, but with a director's fee of $20m (probably with Fran Walsh et all as well) that could be kind of expensive. If Jackson wasn't able to make the film, who would be 2nd choice?
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Old 11-09-2006, 16:58   #9
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I can hear Bret Ratner rubbing his hands together now.
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Old 11-09-2006, 21:07   #10
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Ian McKellen has always gone on record saying he would jump at the chance to play Gandalf again
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Old 11-09-2006, 21:19   #11
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Whilst I'd greatly welcome another Peter Jackson Tolkien project, especially if Ian McKellen reprised his role as Gandalf, I do hope PJ keeps the film below the butt numbing run times he's so fond of inflicting on cinema going audiences.
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Old 11-09-2006, 21:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquid_Language
I really don't think that the head of a major studio is going to make an announcement without there being some truth in the matter.
What about the head of the studio that made Titanic, following it's box office succes he went on record saying there would definately be a sequel.
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Old 11-09-2006, 21:44   #13
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Mark Ordeski from New Line talked about the multiple-rights problems with MGM having distribution and New Line the film rights way back around the time of "Return of the King". He claimed New Line were in negotiations all the way back then and hoped to have something to announce soon.

I see nothing new in this announcement, and no indication that things have moved on at all since that original announcement. Where are New Line in MGM's general "we hope to..." announcement? Jackson has already said nobody's spoken to him.

And who really wants a rather messy, and extremely episodic children's book anyway? Does anybody really think this will be on any sort of a par with Lord of the Rings, given its very childish storyline. McKellen was right when he said it would work better as a TV series, with each chapter, written by Tolkien as a bedtime story for his kids, making a good weekly episode.
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Old 11-09-2006, 22:15   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irascian

And who really wants a rather messy, and extremely episodic children's book anyway? Does anybody really think this will be on any sort of a par with Lord of the Rings, given its very childish storyline. .
Didn't stop The very lackluster Lion, Witch and the wardrobe from making buckets loads of money.
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Old 11-09-2006, 22:48   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irascian
And who really wants a rather messy, and extremely episodic children's book anyway? Does anybody really think this will be on any sort of a par with Lord of the Rings, given its very childish storyline. McKellen was right when he said it would work better as a TV series, with each chapter, written by Tolkien as a bedtime story for his kids, making a good weekly episode.
LOTR is equally a messy, episodic, meandering book but look what Peter Jackson managed to achieve with the storyline.
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Old 16-09-2006, 17:59   #16
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The Hobbit - The Movies!

UPDATE:
This from the chaps over at AintItCool.com...

QUINT: I saw in Variety that THE HOBBIT came up. The MGM thing. Did you see this?

PETER JACKSON: Where the guy who runs MGM was announcing their tentpoles and saying they were doing TERMINATOR 4 and they want me to make 2 HOBBIT films? I was reading that this morning on the net. It's a rather strange thing to wake to. I'm up for it, but somebody should phone me because I'm getting a bit booked out at the moment!

Everybody asks me about THE HOBBIT, you know? But the reality is I've never had a conversation with anybody about it. Not one person has ever made a phone call to me. I don't know. The irony is that we're acquiring our own projects now and we're buying the rights to books. The reality is, to be quite honest with you, we're getting ourselves now nice and busy, in a good way, for the next 4 years. So, people have not (spoken to us) about THE HOBBIT and it's making it more and more impossible for us to be involved.

QUINT: So, if you got a phone call tomorrow telling you that you could have any budget you need and creative freedom, but it has to be finished and in theaters by December 2009. Would you find room for THE HOBBIT?

PETER JACKSON: Well, it depends. No one has phoned me, which is kind of weird, but I don't know. We're very, very excited and committed about the films that we're working on now, so I don't know. I'd have to sit down and look at it all. Obviously, I'm interested in THE HOBBIT, but right now we have no emotional investment in it. For the last few years, we have put our hearts into other projects. It would seem strange to have somebody else do it, although some part of me would be interested in going to see somebody else's HOBBIT, be able to buy my popcorn and go and sit and watch the film.

I'm not against that and if our schedule is impossible, then that's what they'll do. They'll certainly go and get someone else to make it. They won't wait, which is their right.

QUINT: I think no matter what you should write some dialogue for Christopher Lee and pack up the robe, staff and beard and go film about 10 minutes with him playing Saruman again while you still have the chance!

PETER JACKSON: I would love to! If I was doing THE HOBBIT I'd try to get as many of the guys back as I could. I mean, there's actually a role for Legolas in THE HOBBIT, his father features in it, obviously Gandalf and Saruman should be part of it. There's things that you can do with THE HOBBIT to bring in some old friends, for sure. I have thought about it from time to time... Elrond, Galadriel and Arwen could all feature. Elves have lived for centuries. Part of the attraction would be working with old friends. I wouldn't want to do it unless we could keep a continuity of cast. I have zero interest in directing a Gandalf who wasn't Ian McKellen for instance. Strange to be even talking about it, for three years it's been in this rights situation limbo.

QUINT: They must have figured it out.

PETER JACKSON: It looks that way. I've always thought that New Line would go to MGM and offer them some money and basically buy them out, then New Line would make the film. But I can see what MGM is doing. If I was MGM I'd do the same thing. What MGM is gotta be saying is, "Well, we'll partner in the film with you. We'll pay for half of it and you pay for half of it and we'll share it." That's what studios do a lot with these films. If I was MGM, I'd think that was the smart thing to do. "We'll share the rights," and actually become a partner in what is already a successful franchise.

It must create problems for New Line because they have all these output deals with these independent guys, who did a great job releasing LORD OF THE RINGS in all the different (foreign) territories. They release a package of New Line films over 2 or 3 years and they get 20 films or whatever. And I'm sure that New Line would prefer to offer their partners 20 films plus THE HOBBIT as part of the package, so MGM might be taking domestic and New Line international. I really have no idea, but it's interesting to see how the politics works. That stuff intrigues me. They must have figured out something I guess. I mean, there's too much money involved. If I was the Time/Warner board, I would have been hassling New Line for a Hobbit film for the last three years! It's a billion dollar franchise for the studio.

QUINT: And I'm sure they'd love the idea of two HOBBIT films. Twice the box office, more DVDs to sell...

PETER JACKSON: I saw that. Yeah, we're supposed to be writing The Lovely Bones, but of course Phil, Fran and I read the thing on the net and spent most of this morning talking about The Hobbit. We think the two film idea is really smart. One of the problems with The Hobbit is that it is a fairly simple kids story, and doesn't really feel like The Lord of the Rings. Tonally I mean. It's always may be a little worried, but with two films that kinda gets easier. It allows for more complexity. At that implied stuff with Gandalf and the White Council and the return of Sauron could be fully explored.
That's what we talked about this morning. Taking The Hobbit and combining it with all that intigue about Sauron's rise, and the problems that has for Gandalf. It could be cool. That way, it starts feeling more like The Lord of the Rings and less like this kids book. You could even get into Gollum's sneaking into Mordor and Aragorn protecting The Shire. That's what we'd do. Love to work with Viggo again.

--- On one hand i'm excited that MGM and Newline seem to have the situation sorted but i'm not entirely sure how i feel about it being 2 films. On one hand i'm excited to really tie things together with LotR, but on the other i'd rather see a straightforward adaptation of my favourite book. Your thoughts?

Shalom.
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Old 17-09-2006, 09:48   #17
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They already covered the Hobbit in the LOTR films.

Bilbo found a ring which Gollum had had for years, and buggered off with it. Sorted.
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:32   #18
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I found this an interesting summary of where things stand right now: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=10

If only it could happen... I can't remember feeling as anxious to go to the movies as for the 3 years when the LOTR movies came out. Jackson certainly delivered...

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Old 04-10-2006, 16:17   #19
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Why would they want Peter Jackson to direct the Hobbit? The Hobbit is so different from the LOTR I doubt he would do a good job, the Hobbit is much more child orientated and isn't really about massive battle scenes.

In my opinion PJ did a competent job with, he had plenty of money and had excellent source material to use. Many other directors would have done just as good a job, he showed with King Kong that his talent is limited at best. Besides he is too busy unnecessarily remaking other classic films.

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Old 04-10-2006, 19:14   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbullivant
Why would they want Peter Jackson to direct the Hobbit?
Because he'd put bums on seats. That whole mindless mass of LOTR fans who've been campaigning for The Hobbit would get upset if "cuddly" Pete didn't make the movie. They feel he deserves it. Plus of course he's seen by most as the front man for Weta and it's hard to imagine anybody else doing as good a job (given their experience on LOTR).

Personally I think the film will prove a disappointment no matter who makes it. But to have a chance of making money Jackson needs to be the man to direct it. I think even New Line, who know how different the "real" Peter Jackson is from the cuddly persona he portrays, realise that and will grit their teeth and bear it just because his name attached to the project means money.
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