Peter Jackson in negotiations for 'The Hobbit'

jacksonImage Credit: Everett CollectionAlmost one month after Guillermo del Toro dropped out of directing The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is in talks to helm the two films in the franchise. While we wait for the studios involved or Jackson’s manager to confirm, there are lots of questions that remain before The Hobbit can actually begin production, let alone reach the big screen.

First, MGM, the debt-laden studio that owns 50 percent of the rights to the classic tale, is facing an uncertain future. The studio failed to attract bids high enough to satisfy its creditors during an auction earlier this year, and the latest plan may see Spyglass Entertainment running the studio in a prepackaged bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Talks are continuing and no decision has yet been made, though some resolution is needed before the studio’s debt waiver expires in mid-July. Some Hollywood insiders question whether production could actually proceed if there’s a chance that those rights could wind up in bankruptcy court along with the rest of MGM’s assets (it’s the same reason why the Bond franchise is tied up since MGM owns half of those rights, too), but sources close to the Hobbit project insist that MGM’s financial woes aren’t a factor in this production.

The other issue to consider is how much money the studios can offer Jackson. Saul Zaentz, Harvey Weinstein, and the Tolkien estate are all gross participants in the Hobbit movies — meaning they get a share of the profits right off the top. Jackson will also receive a part of the pie for his producing efforts, but adding director to his title card greatly increases his right to the revenue generated from the movies. How much can the studios pay and will they even be able to get this thing up and running with MGM’s future so uncertain? Stay tuned as we learn more.

Read more:
Guillermo del Toro drops out of directing ‘The Hobbit’
‘Hobbit’: Del Toro’s explanation just leaves us with more questions

Comments (189 total) Add your comment
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  • S

    Is it wrong I just fist pumped at my desk?

    • Cynthia

      Amen! That was my first reaction too!

      • Ryan

        agreed…this is awesome. I thinks its hilarious how so many people said that “he wont do it” acting like they know the contract agreements ….. well they can eat it…woohaa

      • Kat

        Hooray!! Then the right director is going to the The Hobbit. I don’t know why Peter Jackson wasn’t slated to direct it in the first place? LOTRs are among my most favorite films ever! Yipeeeeeeeee. ;-)

      • Carla

        Agreed, agreed! Jackson is the only director for The Hobbit!!

    • Anne

      Me too!! FINALLY!! Jackson should have been the one to direct it all along.

      • Shirl

        You are sooo right!

    • Tinuviel Undomiel

      Nope it isn’t wrong S, my sister and I high fived when I read this news

    • Michael

      PLEASE GOD, LET IT BE TRUE THAT PETER JACKSON WILL DIRECT THEM!!! PLEASE!!!

      • Peter

        Jerry Bruckheimer would do a better job IMHO.

      • Johnification

        Setting aside my issues with your taste, Jerry Bruckheimer is a producer, not a director.

      • chris

        even as a producer, i would not want bruckheimer within 1,000 miles of this. all he does is make summer popcorn movies (see pirates of the carribean/national treasure/prince of persia). how many oscars do you think he would bring the hobbit? if you answered zero you are correct! PJ will knock this out of the box

      • LeeLee

        JERRY BRUCKHEIMER??!!

      • Mark C

        Bruckheimer???? Kill yourself. He’s a producer who hasn’t directed so much as a public service announcement.

      • Mark C

        And yeah if Dreckheimer produced it would be every bit as good as Prince of Persia.

      • micker77

        I agree, lol. Jerry Bruckheimer?!? kill yourself, lol. Way to screw up some of the best movies of all time… like someone else said, “pirates of the carribean?!?, national treasure?!?, and whitey-got-a-surfin’ do, Prince of Persia!?!”

      • micker77

        But then again, the person that said Bruckheimer up above, his name is “Peter.” Jackson, I wonder, lol?

      • Chris B

        Don’t worry man, some of us are smart enough to detect irony when we read it.

      • AcaseofGeo

        @ Chris B: When someone types “IMHO”, there is absolutely NO sense of irony in it. This poor deluded and possibly very dull person ACTUALLY thinks Bruckheimer would do it better. As for PJ, isn’t this how it SHOULD have been all along???? And MGM, best of luck. No one here seems to be recognizing we could be losing one of the biggest names in motion picture history. Business, politics and mogul mistakes aside, MGM is a name that would be a shame for us to lose.

      • asdfjkl;

        He’s clearly joking just to get people fired up… It worked.

      • Desmo

        Bra, Bruckheimer would rock the cat poo out of The Hobbit.

    • James

      I just did the Jersey fist pump too.. HAHAHA.. I’m PSYCHED about this.

      • Tim G.

        Just an FYI, Nobody in Jersey really pumps their fist.

      • Michelle

        Sadly Tim, that’s not true. Especially since the airing of that stupid show.

    • Lauren

      I think we all just fist pumped. Chris your comments about Bruckheimer being a possibility make me shudder in my boots. Please Peter Jackson we need another epic film!

    • Al

      This should be Jackson’s project. I’m all in favor of it!

    • Andrew

      I think this was just about everybody’s reaction, mine included. It’s just not the same without Jackson.

      • Lily

        Truthfully, I couldn’t imagine The Hobbit without Peter Jackson directing. I never understood why “they” went with someone else, brilliant as Del Toro is. Fingers crossed Peter is in!

      • LeeLee

        I thought it was bc of PJ’s lawsuit over LOTR that he decided to produce rather than direct.

    • Bekah

      Precisely what I did!

    • Meg

      They is never, ever wrong.

    • aleksa

      I didn’t fist-pump, but I did smile.

    • Celia

      Why is he just “in talks?” Just give it to him already. He’s the only one who should make these movies.

    • darclyte

      No, but is it wrong to have a geek-gasm?

    • Lolita Hansen

      I did the same damn thing, now we know the movie will be done correctly and awesomely.

    • Person Who Talks

      Hell yes!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nicole

    I really hope he does, it would’ve been cool to see del Toro’s completed version of his take on the story, but having Jackson as an alternative? I could live with that.

    • Will S

      As the alternative? He should’ve been the first pick as a director, since he was the one who brought Middle Earth to life…and not to mention how damn successful the trilogy was.

      • Jeff

        Tolkein brought Middle Earth to life.

      • James

        GE, brings good things to life. ™

      • Will S

        I’m referencing to the big screen. I know Tolkien created the world.

      • LeeLee

        James, that was funny..

    • ab707

      i agree. del Toro would have definitely been interesting, but p-jack is just as good. if not better.

      is it bad that i just fist pumped? under my desk?

      • Ryan

        better be careful you could get fired for that if anyone saw you

      • M

        “Fist pumped” means in the air, not around the crotch… get your head out of the gutter….

      • Skip182

        There’s air around your crotch.

  • Hannah

    Now, WHY didn’t they just do it this way from the beginning? Yeah Jackson “didn’t have time” or whatever, but if he was gonna end up doing it anyway…? *sigh*
    The movies could’ve been halfway done by now.

    • Will S

      It had nothing to do with Jackson not having time…You’re thinking of del Toro

      • Hannah

        Hence the “whatever” at the end, opening it up to other possible reasons.

      • Will S

        I was just letting you know.

    • Monty

      Guierrmo or Peter directing, New Line/MGM is still being sold…hence the delay…

    • thin

      Yeah, the issue isn’t talent, it’s the financial troubles the studio is having. Even a movie that is likely to make a lot of money has to be able to pay upfront to get it made.

    • Rico Marks

      Yeh could have been half done, but now hopefully will be done twice as well, with all the extended editions and extras too!

  • Rahul

    Yes, finish the job!

  • Tinuviel Undomiel

    ALRIGHT!!! Who can replace Guiellermo Del Toro? How about the man who made the first three? Oh I hope this happens!!!

  • Michelle

    Thank goodness! It should have been Peter from the very beginning. I was starting to worry that it would never get made!

  • Rachel

    Oh please let it happen. Oh please let it happen. Oh please let it happen. Oh please let it happen. Oh please let it happen. PLEASE!!

    • Indis Arwen Oden

      Peter Jackson all the way! He knows how to bring JRR Tolkins work to life!!!

      • Lauren

        …It’s Tolkien. With an “e”.

      • Indis Arwen Oden

        Andriod keys boards are small excuss the hell out of me!! FU

  • Stella

    My heart just stopped and I got goosebumps. Best news I’ve heard all day. Peter Jackson make it happen because we miss you and Middle Earth!

  • Zoe

    AWESOME! Nothing against del Toro, but Jackson should always have been the director of the Hobbit movie(s). I honestly couldn’t ever imagine anyone else doing it. This is great news!

  • BlackIrish4094

    Yes please, may I have some more.

  • Elizabeth

    Yayyyy!!!

  • frederick

    Glory to God in the highest!

    • M

      …And peace to his people on earth! Thank you Lord for Peter Jackson… PLEASE let him be the director for The Hobbit films!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Skip182

      All glory to the Hypnotoad.

  • Fred Garvin

    Hopefuly he still knows how to direct a film, since everything he’s touched since LOTR has been dreadful, including one of the worst movies of all time, King Kong.

    • Lanny

      I completely agree Fred. King Kong was an overbloated mess, The Lovely Bones was a terrible bore and bomb. I do have faith he’ll do ok with the Hobbit though that is if this is anything but pure rumor.

      • Michael

        Okay, you are so wrong. The Lovely Bones was meticulously directed. Every moment of that film was perfectly thought out and executed to brilliant detail. I was on the edge of my seat watching that. I think you should rent it and watch it again… brilliant thriller, that was.

    • Jeff R

      Did anyone even see King Kong before commenting? While it was too long and slow at the beginning, it has some of the greatest sequences ever put on film and Naomi Watts is fabulous in the lead. It is a terrific, if flawed, film. If only he could have gotten Robert Downey instead of Jack Black!

      • BlackIrish4094

        Gotta disagree, the movie was horrible, Naomi Watts performance was nothing special and jack Black and Adrien Brody and the horrible Ape in Snow sequence. definite crap.

      • Fred Garvin

        Yes I did see King Kong, and I honestly rank it among the worst big budget films of all time. The fact that is was long and slow never crossed my mind, there are plenty of good movies that are both. The “sequences” you mention are some of the most awful ever produced, (running thru a sauropod stampede without injury, a waterfall at the peak of the tallest mountain…)

      • tmel

        So, in a movie about a giant gorilla on an island of giant dinosaurs, you quibble about a waterfall on a mountain?

      • Fred Garvin

        I enjoy Sci-Fi as much as anyone, but when the laws of physics and probability are ignored (continuosly, and repeatedly again, and again, and again…) an explanation is required. Thats what separates the genre from fantasy.

      • Aly

        King Kong IS fantasy, not sci-fi. Unless the dinos were genetically engineered, but that’s a completely different movie. Sci-fi has scientists, not witch doctors.

    • Amy

      I thought King Kong was really good. In fact, and this is probably blasphemy to you film buff types, I preferred his version to the original.

    • tipsy

      I`m totally with you. King Kong and Lovely Bones were beyond terrible and his inability to admit those movies didn`t work (he said he wouldn`t have changed anything about his vision of Bones ) make me think his Oscar hubris is still very much alive and hurting his better judgement. I wish he wasn`t surrounded by all the Yes Men and yes Women because he needs some reality check about why his post-LOTR work fails to connect with people (too much slo mo, too little real character and emotion). But, hey, when your closest co-worker and friend said that “directors will give up when they see King Kong”(Boyens quote), how could you not develope dellusions of grandure?

      That said, i`ve no doubt that he decided on taking the Hobbit helm after the Lovely Bones debacle because now he really needs a hit to restore some of his clout. I get that, right after ROTK winning 11 oscars, he didn`t think he`ll ever need Tolkien`s help to save his career, but now it`s obvious that he needs the Hobbit more than the Hobbit needs him. the movies would open big regardless of the director, but Jackson`s name proved it cannot open just anything. So, yeah, this ain`t a triumphant return to the franchise but a defeat, career-saving.

    • Lanny

      Yeah I saw King Kong too..what a piece of s**t. Sorry it was just a bad movie.

  • faiell01

    Please God,let it be Peter Jackson. No one is better qualified to bring Middle Earth back to life, than Peter. The seamless continuity he would bring to the Hobbit would surely be awesome! I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

    • gps

      faill01 you seem to forget how he(jackson) ruined the ending of the movie by completely changing the story. reread the book

    • Phil

      No one better qualified… Yet the proclaimed long-time fan preceeded to re-imagine the story adding in needless plot twists and changes to a top-class trilogy without any cause or justification (The same mistake made with the HP films). An amazing accomplishment and the visual speldour won’t be lost on this either but there are others who could direct if it came to it.

  • J.

    Excited to hear that Jackson is on board, but they need to get the show on the road before Ian McKellan is too old to play Gandalf.

    • J.

      I should say, at least in talks on Jackson’s behalf.

    • Kate

      And how old is too old to play an immortal being thousands of years old?

      • elsie

        Until McKellen’s health runs out. I know it’s been great so far but he isn’t getting any younger. A heart attack could change everything.

      • J.

        @Kate: I knew some kook would play the ethereal/Gandalf card. However, Ian McKellan is not, and elsie is right, a heart attack or some unforeseen health condition could sadly cause the part to be recast, which would suck. Look what happened to Richard Harris playing Dumbledore. I worry with each Potter movie that Maggie Smith might not make it.

      • Devon

        @J But, Maggie Smith HAS made it through all the Potter movies! And with cancer too. I don’t want ANYONE playing Gandalf but Sir Ian! I’m with Kate – how old is too old to play an immortal? Ian’s the one for Gandalf! And Jackson is the one to direct The Hobbit movies-he always was. I never understood why anyone else was considered.

    • JimboJones

      Too old to play Gandalf? Wha??? How old is the Gandalf character in Tolkien’s books? McKellen is in great physical shape and will be for some time to come. Silly comment.

      • J.

        McKellen is 71, there is a certain amount of risk with older actors, no matter how well they take care of themselves.

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