Peter Jackson in HobbitonPeter Jackson and Crew at Minas Tirith SetIt’s been officially announced by Peter Jackson that he won’t be helming The Hobbit. New Line Cinema has communicated to Peter Jackson that they would no longer be “requiring” his services for The Hobbit and (the more nebulous second) Lord of the Rings prequel. You may remember, that New Line and Jackson are still fighting a lawsuit regarding the “accounting practices” of New Line and how they calculated profit (Jackson asserts that he was shorted millions of dollars)–clearly, this decision by New Line is a distinct result of the fallout from this continuing lawsuit.
Despite some of my misgivings regarding the LOTR films, I think this is an amazingly shortsighted move on New Line’s part. Without Jackson, the likelihood of any of the faces of LOTR returning to The Hobbit (Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving) is extremely slim. Most likely, this isn’t the end of this story, and the outcry from fans I’m sure will be rather deafening–definitely loud enough for New Line to take notice… Here’s an excerpt from the article at TheOneRing.net:
Several years ago, Mark Ordesky told us that New Line have rights to make not just The Hobbit but a second “LOTR prequel”, covering the events leading up to those depicted in LOTR. Since then, we’ve always assumed that we would be asked to make The Hobbit and possibly this second film, back to back, as we did the original movies. We assumed that our lawsuit with the studio would come to a natural conclusion and we would then be free to discuss our ideas with the studio, get excited and jump on board. We’ve assumed that we would possibly get started on development and design next year, whilst filming The Lovely Bones. We even had a meeting planned with MGM executives to talk through our schedule.
However last week, Mark Ordesky called Ken and told him that New Line would no longer be requiring our services on The Hobbit and the LOTR ‘prequel’. This was a courtesy call to let us know that the studio was now actively looking to hire another filmmaker for both projects.
One question for you. Should the fans take part in any sort of petition to get Jackson to helm The Hobbit? Let us know what you think… click the link below to comment on this article!