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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Summary of The Hobbit matter, and why there's hope...

Tol Eressea

Jul 30 2007, 10:51pm

Post #1 of 12 (958 views)
Summary of The Hobbit matter, and why there's hope... Can't Post

Hello! I know there mnight have been talk of these in other threads, but the premise of this thread is that things are moving forward, instead of absolutely being stuck, or hopeless ad they were 6 months ago.

It's been 10 months since MGM said they were doing The Hobbit with Peter Jackson. Article here.

Days later, it is said MGM plan on doing two movies: The Hobbit and a LotR prequel. Peter Jackson is delighted with the idea, as he mentions in an interview with aicn.com, where he says he hadn't been contacted yet, but the prospect was looking nice. Article here.

It's been 8 months since PJ's letter for the fans, in which he said he wouldn't be doing The Hobbit, names that appeared in the letter were Michael Lynne and Mark Ordesky.

Article here.

Then hell was unleashed and Robert Shaye said Jackson wouldn't work with New Line again as long as he was in charge. Jackson answered by saying he respected a lot of people at New Line, but didn't elaborate on his current relationship with Shaye.

Actors stepped up, and Wood, Bloom and McKellen were clear about them wanting Jackson to return. Bloom and McKellen even said they would not appear in a Hobbit movie directed by someone else. Monaghan and Howard Shore were more diplomatic on their statements saying they still had good relationships with New Line Cinema.

After a lot of not so kind statements, a rumour sprang on the Internet, saying Sam Raimi had been approached by NL to direct The Hobbit. After a month of so of silence, Raimi, choosing his words carefully, said it was Jackson's project, and that he wouldn't take it unless Jackson "gave him his blessing".

Things cooled down. Shaye stayed in the spotlight while Michael Lynne, co-CEO remained surprisingly quiet.

Silence was broken in Cannes, when both CEO's had small statements on Jackson and The Hobbit. Shaye said: The clash happened because "one of us has gotten poor counsel" he didn't specify who got poor counsel. (that is mine) Lynne, in an upbeat note said: "We do want to settle our dispute and I think we will."

Neither of them eleborated on the possibility of having Raimi direct.

Article here.

On July 10, statements were even more careful and mesurated, when Shaye told the New York post "I don't like to have issues with anybody. Any issues with Mr. Jackson, I would prefer to have them closed, rather than open." And according to the author of the article, Shaye hinted that "we should never say never about Jackson directing The Hobbit".

Article here.

Finally, McKellen, in a conference about gay rights, made a small statement about The Hobbit: "I detect that there is movement and it's movement in the right direction. I'll be seeing Peter (Jackson) when we tour (New Zealand) next month. I hope it will happen."

A radically different statement from those he had given.

Article here.

To me, things are moving forward, statements are a lot less harsher nowadays. We'll have to wait, but I believe Jackson directing The Hobbit is no longer a longshot.

Thanks to www.derhobbit-film.de for helping me complete my own timeline.


Jul 31 2007, 1:06am

Post #2 of 12 (621 views)
That's an excellent summary, thank you. [In reply to] Can't Post

We're all keeping our fingers crossed that things work out.

There's potentially a huge amount of money to be made, and whenever that's the case, folks are motivated. What we *don't* know is whether anything is happening with respect to PJ's suit to get open accounting from New Line. IMO settling that will be key to letting PJ do this movie. And there's time pressure: the rights to make the movie expire fairly soon, I think (matter of months?), and thereafter Saul Zaentz (who has publicly stated that he prefers to see Jackson do it) is back in the picture.

Son of Elizabeth in Frodo's tree
March, 2007

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Jul 31 2007, 2:37am

Post #3 of 12 (612 views)
Hope's last gleaming [In reply to] Can't Post

Very nice summary! At least 18 minutes of documentary so far.

It seems that there is not actually any movement, so much as some backpedaling, by NL. Perhaps they did not like the cards and want a new hand to play, as time runs out. But even if NL would lose their seat in this, there is not yet any new agreement by the new main players. It all seems still quite up in the air and some nasty problems may yet occur.

I want to move beyond hoping for a film, to hoping they make a great film.

Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea

Jul 31 2007, 9:22am

Post #4 of 12 (590 views)
Thank you for that summary [In reply to] Can't Post

That really summed up things nicely... has it been that long already since MGM announced that they would film the Hobbit with PJ? Wow.

Personally, I am looking forward to the Hobbit happening... LOTR managed to happen... the Hobbit certainly can. I'm willing to wait a couple more years.

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Jul 31 2007, 4:35pm

Post #5 of 12 (639 views)
Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

Great timeline.

There's another AICN article that I think is interesting on this topic too. I've linked to it before, because I think it shows something of PJ's thinking.

In particular, PJ said this:
QUINT: Maybe [New Line] will offer a settlement [of the lawsuit] that includes The Hobbit

PETER JACKSON: No. Well, they might, but we would never do that. Never. You make movies because you love the idea. You feel kind of emotionally driven. I would never commit to a 2 or 3 year project because of a court order! I mean, what a jinx. It would bring bad karma. No, our dull audit stuff can get figured out by lawyers or courts or whatever. We'll keep our movies completely untarnished by that.

From Jackson's point of view, it seems that the lawsuit and the movie are two different things that he keeps in two different compartments of his mind. The question is, can New Line separate the money from the creativity the way PJ can? I suspect that they hoped to head off PJ's lawsuit by offering him the chance to make lots of money on The Hobbit instead, and were amazed to find that his mind doesn't work that way. As we were just discussing in OhioHobbit's thread a bit further down the board, PJ cares first and foremost about making the movie - the movie he wants to see himself. And only secondarily does he care about the money, mainly for the sake of all the people who rely on him, and for his own future ability to make yet more movies he wants to see. So I think he cares about the lawsuit not to get more megabucks for himself, but to establish a principle about the right of smaller players like himself not to be pushed around by the studios - and the one thing he would not agree to is a deal that leaves him working under a "court order" - in thrall to the studio - when what he wants more than anything is creative freedom.

I suspect that not only did New Line fail to take PJ's attitude to money into account, but they perhaps also failed to realize just how much clout he has these days. Since the debacle over The Hobbit, PJ has shown his stature in Hollywood by offering his screenplay of The Lovely Bones to all the major studios and having them fall all over themselves to win his movie. In the event, of course, he's working with Steven Spielberg on it, and all kinds of other vistas are opening up for the two of them as well. Still, I think PJ remains committed to the idea of making The Hobbit, if the chance arises. But he'll only agree once the studio realizes it has to give him the kind of freedom he now expects.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jul 31 2007, 8:40pm

Post #6 of 12 (616 views)
Yes, that's right. [In reply to] Can't Post

I suspect that they hoped to head off PJ's lawsuit by offering him the chance to make lots of money on The Hobbit instead, and were amazed to find that his mind doesn't work that way.

Not just hoped to, they were very blunt about it. In standard Hollywood fashion, they offered him a deal to make The Hobbit which expressly included his giving up the lawsuit. PJ's refusal, his letter to us and the comment from him that you quoted were what sparked Shaye's furious and extremely unbecoming outbursts. PJ doesn't need the money and doesn't want to make a movie under the shadow of unresolved financial disputes (nor, I suspect, under the controlling thumb of the studio still disputing the profits of his last blockbuster movie with them) and who can blame him? No matter what they've claimed, it's pretty clear they need him and he's stated loudly and clearly that he doesn't need them.

At this point, I'm expecting the option to run out and the whole thing to fall into another set of studio hands before this thing makes any real progress toward getting made. Preferably before Ian McKellan is too old to need makeup to play Gandalf. Tongue


Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


Jul 31 2007, 9:07pm

Post #7 of 12 (592 views)
That's a terrific summary! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting this. My hope is that New Line knows that there is a whole lot of money to be made here. In Hollywood, money rules.


Aug 2 2007, 2:09am

Post #8 of 12 (589 views)
Thanks Compa. I just found this news on the same site ... [In reply to] Can't Post


In a video interview (at 1:54 minutes) Sam Raimi said that New Line is in negotiation on The Hobbit, more he couldn't say. On a comic con he said that "while he loved what Peter Jackson did with the franchise, he had no plans to follow it up".

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it sounds to me like Sam Raimi is out possibly because New Line is negotiating with Jackson.
I sure hope so anyways.

Tol Eressea

Aug 2 2007, 3:53am

Post #9 of 12 (561 views)
I am glad it was useful for you all. :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks maximus, I saw it as well, and I understood the same thing you did. Someone at an another forum said the same. Perhaps we're reading too much into it... or perhaps not. Smile One can only hope.


Aug 3 2007, 11:31pm

Post #10 of 12 (533 views)
belated thanks from me, too... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for putting all the pieces together for us!

Reading this in light of the history of the trilogy that Ohio Hobbit's been doing is interesting -- I sense a pattern here....



Aug 4 2007, 5:10pm

Post #11 of 12 (552 views)
The pattern being [In reply to] Can't Post

against all odds? I never would have thought of that, but I so hope you guys are right. And like I said "SOON". How old is Chris Lee now?

Riding with the Rohirrim!


Aug 4 2007, 5:18pm

Post #12 of 12 (573 views)
yep... [In reply to] Can't Post

It does seem like the film has to be on the edge of a knife before it can come to pass, to mix a few movie metaphors...

I have been involved in other creative projects where it seems like every conceivable roadblock got in the way, but later it looked like it was just the aligning of the planets to get the right people in the right place at the right time to make it work. That certainly seems to have been the case with the LOTR trilogy and I'm hoping this is the same kind of process going on for the Hobbit...



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