Robert Shaye, the head of New Line Cinema, has made clear New Line Cinema’s position on the expected timeframe of working with Peter Jackson again.
Yep, there’s not a human’s chance in the Halls of Mandos that Jackson will ever work with New Line on The Hobbit (as long as Shaye’s in charge). Here’s what he said in an interview promoting The Last Mimzy:
“I do not want to make a movie with somebody who is suing me. It will never happen during my watch.”
“There’s a kind of arrogance. Not that I don’t think Peter is a good filmmaker and that he hasn’t contributed significantly to filmography and made three very good movies. And I don’t even expect him to say ‘thank you’ for having me make it happen and having New Line make it happen. But to think that I, as a functionary in [a] company that has been around for a long time, but is now owned by a very big conglomerate, would care one bit about trying to cheat the guy, … he’s either had very poor counsel or is completely misinformed and myopic to think that I care whether I give him [anything].”
“He got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right, and this guy, who already has received a quarter of a billion dollars, turns around without wanting to have a discussion with us and sues us and refuses to discuss it unless we just give in to his plan. I don’t want to work with that guy anymore. Why would I? So the answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I’m still working for the company.”
“I’m incredibly offended. I don’t care about Peter Jackson anymore. He wants to have another $100 million or $50 million, whatever he’s suing us for. He doesn’t want to sit down and talk about it. He thinks that we owe him something after we’ve paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars. … Cheers, Peter.”
Now, when all is said and done, New Line doesn’t have the absolute final say on what happens with The Hobbit. As MGM (who owns the distribution rights to the film) says, “the matter of Peter Jackson directing the Hobbit films is far from closed.”
There is, to me, no uncertain irony that it is the greed of men that has gotten between the formerly good relationship between Jackson and New Line; the sort of greed that Tolkien made clear was the doom of humanity.