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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Source says the MGM situation of 'great importance' to two 'The Hobbit' films

MrCere
Sr. Staff


Mar 28 2010, 2:27am

Post #1 of 18 (2082 views)
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Source says the MGM situation of 'great importance' to two 'The Hobbit' films Can't Post

TheOneRing.net has received rock-solid information from an absolutely reliable source that the MGM financial situation is indeed what is behind the delays of the start of "The Hobbit."

The venerable film studio behind James Bond and about 4,000 other titles is reported to be in about $3.7 billion in debt but holds the distribution rights for two "Hobbit" films that are under contract to be made by Warners Bros. The two studios have an agreement in place to produce and distribute the film but financial difficulties for MGM, including the potential sale of the studio and its holdings, including rights to the films based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has delayed the films.

The source inside the production has told TheOneRing.net that all of the wrangling with MGM is indeed a significant part of possibly pushing the films back.

"At this stage we are all working and hoping for the best case scenario. Without a doubt, the MGM situation carries great importance."

Conflicting reports list the first of the films' release in 2011 as well as 2012. Studio and other sources told TORn that 2012 is a foregone conclusion but some involved say there is still hope for 2011.

Peter Jackson told TheOneRing.net in July that the first script was only weeks away from completion and Ian McKellen has talked about reading it since then. (You can read a much more extensive Comic-Con report here )

Meanwhile, Variety has reported that Lionsgate dropped out of the bidding for MGM, leaving two bidding entities, with a strong possibility that the approximate 140 debtholders will reject both offers.

It appears the two films will not get funded and a green light from the studios until the MGM financial affairs are settled. Meanwhile the team in New Zealand continues to work on pre-pre-production (or unofficial pre-production) and perhaps the script, although Jackson's timeline as discussed at Comic-Con indicate that it should be well finished.

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(This post was edited by MrCere on Mar 28 2010, 2:34am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Mar 28 2010, 2:35am

Post #2 of 18 (901 views)
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Some News at Last and it is 3/27. [In reply to] Can't Post

MGM will be settled soon.

Oh and thanks!

Kangi Ska

The Hobbit Deserves More Respect!

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(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Mar 28 2010, 2:36am)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 28 2010, 2:44am

Post #3 of 18 (885 views)
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I remember in 2006 [In reply to] Can't Post

when news broke that PJ had walked away from the possibility of directing The Hobbit films due to his bust-up with New Line, that MGM piped up and said "Don't forget we've got the distribution rights to The Hobbit, and we want PJ involved." For that, I have a soft spot for the company.

I hope MGM gets its own happy ending.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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sharku
Rivendell

Mar 28 2010, 2:57am

Post #4 of 18 (859 views)
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...or a quick youth in Asia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I hope MGM gets its own happy ending.


Either that or hurry up and die quickly so the artists can get on and make the damn film already!


macfalk
Valinor


Mar 28 2010, 8:16am

Post #5 of 18 (799 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

but all this is MGM's fault, and I wont forgive them for that.

If I got this straight, Time Warner offered 1,5 billion dollars, but MGM shareholders wants around 2 billion.

Solution: TW coughs up those lacking 0,5 billion, makes a new bid, negotiations, and grab the rights.

A lot easier said than done though Unsure


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Mar 28 2010, 10:06am

Post #6 of 18 (797 views)
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A silly question [In reply to] Can't Post

From a layman. But how does one get into 3.7 Billion dollars in debt and remain in business? Not a Premier League soccer team, are they?


rings7
Rohan


Mar 28 2010, 3:50pm

Post #7 of 18 (728 views)
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I scratch my head on all this [In reply to] Can't Post

This is what don't get. Whether the release is for 2011 or 2012, shouldn't the filming be on the way right now? Like, working on it now? I remember the LOTR trilogy took 18 months of filming before the release of the first film. They started filming (and actual filming it) on late 1999 and the release was on 2001. Unless i'm wrong there, but i think the timeline was like that.

So i don't understand why they keep saying that the release will be for 2012 and even mentioning 2011 (just one year away!) when they haven't even started filming it. There's not even a cast. I don't get it.Unsure


shadowdog
Rohan

Mar 28 2010, 4:17pm

Post #8 of 18 (724 views)
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There is still 18 months [In reply to] Can't Post

If they can start shooting in July 2010 and release in December 2011 which is what they are still hoping for.


Patty
Immortal


Mar 28 2010, 4:29pm

Post #9 of 18 (679 views)
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It's that love-hate relationship... [In reply to] Can't Post

the same one that I have with Bob Shaye. Without him, LotR as we know it would never have been made. But, because of him and his fight with PJ, the Hobbit didn't get started years ago.

Now we have MGM and its worries. You're right, without their having said they want PJ involved, we might not have PJ involved. But because of their money ineptness, The Hobbit is being stalled even more. And admittedly, because of the ages and/or popularity (business) of some of the folks we might want to see in it, time is of the essence.

Permanent address: Into the West


Huan71
Lorien

Mar 28 2010, 4:34pm

Post #10 of 18 (681 views)
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Seems very similar to me! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
From a layman. But how does one get into 3.7 Billion dollars in debt and remain in business? Not a Premier League soccer team, are they?


Maybe they've been given advice by one of the 57 FA chief execs that have resigned over the last 18 months ! lolLaugh

It is somewhat annoying! I get in trouble if i go 5 quid overdrawn at the bank or am late in paying my council tax by a couple of weeks!!
I personally don't mind if it knocks back the release date! So long as time is taken over quality and it doesn't affect who can be involved!
I would be most upset if the likes of Ian Mckellen or Guillermo had to pull out due to future projects!Unsure
This point has been touched on before, i just couldn't help mentioning it again...


Garfeimao
Rohan


Mar 28 2010, 6:10pm

Post #11 of 18 (671 views)
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Need a green light first [In reply to] Can't Post

You can't make a film without funding, so they can't begin production until they have the Green light on the budget, which means money in place to make the film as proposed in the script. GDT, PJ and WETA are doing all they can in the pre-pre production end of things, first by writing the script, second by having WETA work on conceptual art and third by performing some now heavy duty work on the Hobbiton location in Matamata. But the real heavy duty lifting of real pre-production work (casting, costuming, set building) can't begin until there is a budget that get's approved, and for that, you need a studio that is not $3.7 Billion in debt. They know exactly how long it will take, give or take a few weeks, once they do get the greenlight, but until then, everything keeps getting pushed back. And yes, availability of actors and everyone else get's affected by the delay.

Peace, Love and Rock & Roll,


Garfeimao
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jschomburg
Rivendell

Mar 28 2010, 9:57pm

Post #12 of 18 (618 views)
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2012 may be earliest for film 1... [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR began filming in October 1999 and completed late 2000 (I think) and wasn't released till December 2001. Hard to think that they can have film 1 completed by December 2001, as I believe I have read that filming will run at least a year, which best case would put conclusion at mid to late 2011, then editing, CGI, etc. At this stage I think December 2012 is the the most likely premier of film 1. But then - what the heck to I know.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Mar 29 2010, 2:35am

Post #13 of 18 (606 views)
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Kind of drifting OT... [In reply to] Can't Post

It may not be that MGM created all that debt on it's own. Sony has been struggling for over a year, only returning to profitability last quarter. I am only speculating but often debt and losses are shifted around among subsidiaries to shore up the parent company's position. Again, I am not saying that this is what happened with MGM, but I do know many people who were made redundant and have seen otherwise profitable branch plants get closed or sold due to such maneuvers.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Mar 29 2010, 2:36am)


shadowdog
Rohan

Mar 29 2010, 2:47am

Post #14 of 18 (549 views)
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But don't forget [In reply to] Can't Post

All the money they poured into MGM hotel casinos in Vegas only to lose their shirts when the economy tanked.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Mar 29 2010, 3:06am

Post #15 of 18 (553 views)
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Ah yes [In reply to] Can't Post

That likely would account for a big chunk of the debt. But then aren't we talking about capital expenditures where the debt usually takes the form of a mortgage and is not expected to be paid off right away? It's kind of like the idea of a loss: sometimes companies say they had a loss when in reality it's just that profits weren't as high as they hoped they would be. How can it be a loss if you made more money than you spent?

Bringing it back to the Hobbit, sadly film makers working in the very expensive end of the pool (heavy cg, world wide distribution targets) as well as their fans have to sit tight while these corporate shenanigans play out.


Theodred
Lorien


Mar 29 2010, 9:23pm

Post #16 of 18 (495 views)
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One more sign everything's getting pushed back: [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
They know exactly how long it will take, give or take a few weeks, once they do get the greenlight, but until then, everything keeps getting pushed back. And yes, availability of actors and everyone else get's affected by the delay.



Ian McKellen told Absolute Radio in this interview at the Empire Awards (at 02:00) that he still doesn't have a contract, so it seems everything is on hold:


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Garfeimao
Rohan


Mar 29 2010, 9:36pm

Post #17 of 18 (468 views)
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No casting until budget in place [In reply to] Can't Post

But that is exactly what GDT and PJ have been talking about all along. The biggest news everyone wants is who will be cast, but they absolutely can not begin to do that without a budget in place, and that goes for the 'no brainers' such as Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis or anyone else who might return. Nothing concrete can be discussed without a budget, because money can not be offered without a budget, and contracts can't be signed without money being paid, which can not be discussed without a budget.


So, no matter what else they would like to do, without a budget, they can not go forward. It is like the game of Parchesi, you can put two pieces on the board in one space and no one can pass you. And as long as you have another piece on the board that you can move, you can keep those two pieces on the board acting as a dam to all the other pieces coming up behind until you get to the point where no one can move or do anything until the two piece dam is finally moved. There is all this stuff GDT, PJ and WETA would like to do, and all these actors who would like to be working, but without the money, all the pre-pre-production stuff is damming up until the Budget logjam is finally cleared.

Peace, Love and Rock & Roll,


Garfeimao
The orange stripey One



My page in the Traveling Journal


MrCere
Sr. Staff


Mar 30 2010, 9:17am

Post #18 of 18 (501 views)
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That is a fair sum [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe they borrowed a sum and banks and lenders, like any banks or lenders, thought there would be a return on investment / loan. Things haven't gone well with poor movie performance and other factors like a bad economy.

Financial performances of DVDs has been lower than expected and on and on.

Funny enough, one major way to earn some money would be to make The Hobbit happen and they are delaying it and that may also go for other projects like James Bond and so forth.

If it weren't so problematic for 'The Hobbit' it would be fascinating.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

My blog



 
 

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