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The Hobbit Still On Track?
Head of New Line says it's due 2009

19 February 2007  |  Written by   |  Source: The New York Times

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Speculation about the fate of The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien's first Middle Earth novel and prequel to The Lord of the Rings, has become something of a sport since the huge success of its huge, three-headed successor. It's been on again and off again more often than Lindsay Lohan's stint in rehab, with directors and stars rumoured to be attached and just as quickly scotched.

But despite it all, New Line chief Robert Shaye remains optimistic. In fact, he's positively bullish. He told the New York Times that although there is no workable script as yet, he expects the film to be released in 2009 - which would suggest that pre-production should get going in the very near future.

With the lawsuit between Peter Jackson's Wingnut films and New Line still rumbling on, don't hold your breath for Jackson to come back onboard: Shaye said that his comments last year, calling Jackson "arrogant", were made "in a moment of emotion" but that he doesn't regret them. That said, Shaye offered no comment on the rumours that Sam Raimi could step in (schlock horror history - check; box-office credentials - check; Oscar-winning past - well, not yet) so consider that particular story alive and kicking - although whether Raimi will want to go straight from a mega-budget Spider-Man franchise to another huge film is more open to debate.

One thing at least is clear - talking about The Hobbit is becoming a habit, but the film itself isn't really getting any closer. And the stakes are high - if New Line get a director who isn't Peter Jackson and he or she doesn't hit it out of the park, the whole world will be waiting with knives (possibly called Sting) drawn. Let's hope that whoever gets the gig is wearing a mithril shirt.

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Your Comments

Only PJ
I'm not being narrow minded here but like many others on PJ will do to direct this - anyone else & I will boycott the film. But I'm sure the Hollywood execs don't care - as long as they make money from a film they don't care what happens to a film - can you tell that I'm losing faith in Hollywood & all the suits/moneymen fast? More

Posted by XVII at 20:11 on 22 April 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Consistency
I agree it's still a big disappointment that Jackson seemingly will not be able to complete the Rings experience, but he's certainly not the only director that could do a fantastic job on the Hobbit.  There are surely a few directors out there who could put a fresh slant on the story, and give us a damn good film on what is a somewhat lighter story in tone then the epic Jackson gave us.  Hands down I'd prefer to see Jackson's take on the film, but I'd be somewhat satisfied with a dire More

Posted by Dark Aje at 13:11 on 25 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Consistency
L: FUBAR A bit worried that without Jackson some of the others won't be on board. You need the same faces as od Gandalf, for example, to make this work, not to mention Serkis as Gollum. But, you can't blame them for siding with Jackson and not signing up if there is another director because it will be a huge movie and without Jackson you would have some concerns over whether or not it will work. sp; Now that's what I'd like to see- Phil silvers, Hobbit style.   Seriously thoug More

Posted by Filmic Joe at 13:12 on 24 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Must be Jackson
e had noo chance withoutout jackson! no one would be better than jackson and if they take anyone other, the project will flop! does anyone know, if they make a movie of the silmarillion? i love the book! greetings hw left] More

Posted by werner3112 at 11:56 on 24 February 2007 | Report This Post

Must be Jackson
Jackson must be the guy to do this film. Not only is he a movie genius with LOTR but he has a passion for the books also which showed in the LOTR trilogy. He must be the man to make the hobbit it would simply be class and I agree with the above the movie wouldn't feel right if Jackson was not in the chair. More

Posted by Vinda at 18:38 on 23 February 2007 | Report This Post

i really hope all this mess gets sorted out. one way or the other ill ONLY be happy if jackson is directing. new line cant POSIBLEY be thinking of makeing this movie without the original stars. some one else as gandalf, gollum, bilbo, it would be a crazy load of shit. i just hope what ever happends its jackson. and what the other guy said about jackson owning WETA i didnt know that but its a dam good point. if weta aint going to be doing it then they may aswell just COPY & PASTE Ja Ja binks More

Posted by DeadCell79 at 14:52 on 22 February 2007 | Report This Post

A bit worried that without Jackson some of the others won't be on board. You need the same faces as Bilco and Gandalf, for example, to make this work, not to mention Serkis as Gollum. But, you can't blame them for siding with Jackson and not signing up if there is another director because it will be a huge movie and without Jackson you would have some concerns over whether or not it will work. More

Posted by FUBAR at 13:35 on 22 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Go, no go?
This will be a studio controlled mess, you need Jackson to make this. If it doesn't line up with LOTR i.e. Gollum and McKellen's Gandalf then what's the point? Personally I still want Holm as Bilbo, give him a wig and whatever they ironed Arnie out for Terminator 3 and we are ready to go. More

Posted by Kilo_T_Mortal at 08:49 on 20 February 2007 | Report This Post

Go, no go?
The fans will only trust Jackson with this 'Precious prequel' any atempt to make without him and his team better be up to scratch. a poor Version of the Hobbit could spoil the triolgy More

Posted by stu 2 stu at 16:35 on 19 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: not sure
Hmmm, I can actually imagine that they'll kiss and make up. It makes sense, after all... More

Posted by Glorfindel at 15:51 on 19 February 2007 | Report This Post

not sure
ok,new line may go ahead with a hobbit movie,but is there anything to stop jackson making his version when the rights go back to the tolkien estate?that i would love to see,and would'nt it be one in the eye for new line when it rips the shit outa their version? More

Posted by danbo1138 at 15:04 on 19 February 2007 | Report This Post

Rights issue?
Jackson owns WETA doesn't he? And didn't WETA design Gollum? So could that mean Jackson could veto the use of WETA's design and likeness of Gollum in the new film? That would be hilarious - an ILM Gollum with a Ja Ja Binks twang and hip Eddie Murphy style voice over! It's SO simple guys - you CANNOT do a Rings movie without Jackson and his team. End of story. They are so inter-connected and New Line will lose so much more money than they're being sued for. Just give in to Jackson and ma More

Posted by oliraceking at 14:40 on 19 February 2007 | Report This Post

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