Peter Jackson and New Line are BFFs again. Two Hobbit movies are coming, an adaptation of "The Hobbit" and a second film bridging the gap to Fellowship of the Ring.
No doubt the disaster of The Golden Compass helped kick New Line in the ass about making nice with Peter Jackson. They need a new Lord of the Rings franchise desperately.
It's funny, I rewatched most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on TNT HD this weekend, so this stuff is fresh in my mind again. They'll obviously have to recast Bilbo Baggins as younger version of Ian Holm. Andy Serkis can reprise Gollum and Galdalf is always an old man so Ian McKellan slide the grey beard back on easily.
No Aragorn or Legolas in this one though so not as much beefcake for the ladies in the new movie, unless there are some changes made.
I look forward to returning to Middle Earth in a few years.
Peter Jackson to produce `The Hobbit' By JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer 55 minutes ago
NEW YORK - Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema have reached agreement to make J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a planned prequel to the blockbuster trilogy "The Lord of the Rings."
Jackson, who directed "Rings," will serve as executive producer for "The Hobbit." A director for the prequel films has yet to be named.
Relations between Jackson and New Line had soured after "Rings," despite a collective worldwide box office gross of nearly $3 billion — an enormous success. The two sides nevertheless were able to reconcile, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) splitting "The Hobbit" 50/50, spokesmen for both studios said Tuesday.
"I'm very pleased that we've been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line," Jackson said in a statement. "We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth."
Two "Hobbit" films are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, similar to how the three "Lord of the Rings" films were made. Production is set to begin in 2009 with a released planned for 2010, with the sequel scheduled for a 2011 release.
Late last year, acrimony between Jackson and New Line became very public, with the studio announcing they would move forward with "The Hobbit" without the Academy Award-winning director. Jackson sued New Line over the amount he was paid for "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first installment of the trilogy.
That litigation, the two sides announced Tuesday, has been settled.
Jackson, who shepherded Tolkien's Middle-earth saga to the screen in a series of three films, won a best-director Oscar for 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The trilogy also includes 2002's "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and 2001's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."
New Line, which is owned by Time Warner Inc., holds the rights to produce "The Hobbit," while MGM, which is owned by a consortium including Sony Corp. and Comcast Corp., has the right to distribute it.
I'm surprised to see them saying Jackson is going to produce, but as of now at least not direct the movies. I always figured he would be at the helm of the Hobbit movies.
And while there won't be an Aragorn, they can include plenty of willowy pretty elf-men for the ladies.
That said, I have a terrible sense this will be a disappointment unless they really bend the story. The Hobbit, though wonderful in its way, is not LOTR. It is not the giant cinematic epic that LOTR is. People expecting LOTR 4 and 5 will likely be somewhat disappointed. But then, if anyone has earned the chance to find a way to make it awesome, it's Peter Jackson.
You're right about The Hobbit, spf. I mean, Bilbo gets the One Ring (the only part relevant to the LoTR story) like halfway through. The rest is stuff that isn't really important to the overarching story told in LoTR.
The only other returning character (John Orquiola got most of them) is Elrond (and maybe Saruman), I think.
I don't really know about what the 5th movie will be about, though. Going by the book it's 60 years from when Bilbo gets the ring (he returns to the Shire in 2941) to when he has his 111th birthday party (3001). Saruman shows his true colors at this time (that's the flashback scene in FoTR where he imprisons Gandalf). It can cover Aragorn's early days. He meets Arwen and finds out he's the heir to the long-dead throne. Later he meets Gandalf. How Frodo came to be under Bilbo's care can also be shown. All of these are fine scenes, but there's no real combined narrative to them.
But I'll still give Peter Jackson the benefit of the doubt.
EDIT: NO one will see this, but filmdrunk.com reports that Sam Raimi is the first choice to direct, and Guillermo del Toro is the second.
Better article here (WARNING: Sound-enabled commercial pops up) If they really want to win audiences back, they need to settle down the writing team and do more mainstream stories. This show has been really out there the past couple of seasons.