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John Drew

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

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Looks to be a broken link, Greg. Could you check it?

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Ah! Much better.

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: Raimi is out ... and PETER WEIR is being courted?!?

Or Stephen Sommers... or Michael Bay... or Brad Silberling... or Bill Condon...

I wouldn't take any of these suggestions seriously, of course. Although Condon is an interesting name to drop, since he worked with Ian McKellen on Gods and Monsters and could, possibly, get McKellen to reprise the role of Gandalf even though McKellen has suggested he wouldn't want to do so without Peter Jackson...

BTW, did anyone else see that recent interview with Raimi's buddy Bruce Campbell, where Campbell basically implied there was no way Raimi would want to work with New Line after what that studio did with Evil Dead way back in 1981?

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THE BIG PICTURE: New Line's midlife crisis

Eager to move ahead with "The Hobbit," New Line has quietly been trying to mend fences with "Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson, who has sued the company over his share of profits from the first "Rings" films. When asked if it was true that company insiders had been in talks with Jackson's reps, Shaye replied, "Yes, that's a fair statement. Notwithstanding our personal quarrels, I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in 'The Hobbit.' "

Los Angeles Times, August 10

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This may be the most pertinent thread for this story, though The Hobbit is not mentioned in the story itself:

- - -

New Line sanctioned in 'Rings' suit

With studio accounting practices in the spotlight during contract negotiations, a ruling last week by a federal judge could become grist for the Hollywood guilds.

U.S. Magistrate Steven Hillman ordered New Line Cinema to pay $125,000 in sanctions over the mini-major's failure to provide documents related to the film's revenue stream in its legal battle with Peter Jackson over "Lord of the Rings" accounting.

Hillman said in the ruling that New Line may have destroyed documents and failed to search for documents and emails it was required by the court to produce, and cited a number of examples in which the searches were "haphazard." Jackson's suit against New Line alleges that he has not received proper accounting of income from "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring." . . .

Variety, September 23

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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FWIW, lately I've been thinking that, since New Line Cinema has so much riding on The Golden Compass, it might be nice if that movie flops, not merely because it's the first part of an anti-Christian trilogy, but also because it might send the New Line executives crawling on their hands and knees to Peter Jackson, begging him to make The Hobbit because it's the only potential blockbuster left open to them after a few years of almost nothing but flops.

My only worry is that the Peter Jackson who makes The Hobbit might be the Peter Jackson of King Kong (a 90-minute movie bloated up into a 3-hour remake) rather than the Peter Jackson of The Lord of the Rings. The original trilogy got increasingly indulgent the further it went (to the point where the extended version of TRotK -- with the avalanche of skulls and the scene where Jackson is killed on the pirate ship, etc., etc. -- may have been slightly worse than the shorter theatrical version), and King Kong took the indulgence to a whole new level.

One can hope and pray that Jackson would hew closer to the source material if he were to tackle The Hobbit, but who knows.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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since New Line Cinema has so much riding on The Golden Compass, it might be nice if that movie flops, not merely because it's the first part of an anti-Christian trilogy, but also because it might send the New Line executives crawling on their hands and knees to Peter Jackson, begging him to make The Hobbit because it's the only potential blockbuster left open to them after a few years of almost nothing but flops.

Bob Shay already had his personal comeuppance with The Last Mimzy -- so that part of the job is already done, and, if the rumors are true, has led to a deal with Jackson.

But The Hobbit needs to be made while fantasy films are still hot. If Compass flops, the budget for The Hobbit will drop.

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SDG   
But The Hobbit needs to be made while fantasy films are still hot. If Compass flops, the budget for The Hobbit will drop.

:blink:

Cognitive... dissonance...

must not... support Pullman... but The Hobbit must rock...

...kidding. LOTR trumps all. Jackson will get the budget he wants. If Compass flops, it will only make New Line all the more desperate for Jackson to pull their fat out of the fire.

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If Compass flops, it will only make New Line all the more desperate for Jackson to pull their fat out of the fire.

Very funny post! And while I think you're mostly right, timing is a big issue. Even if they greenlight a project now, a Hobbit movie won't see the light of day until probably 2010 at the earliest. The fantasy genre, at some point, is going to start making everyone in the industry nervous -- given the history of the Western and Sci-Fi. The long-term pressure will be to keep decreasing budgets, not increasing them, because the genre gets riskier as time goes by. And suits don't like risks.

As long as the genre keeps firing on all cylinders, everything else being equal, the project is pretty safe. I really feel that if either Compass or Caspian tanks, execs at all studios will begin that rethinking process when it comes to budgets.

Of course, this is again another one of the reasons a Hobbit movie must get made soon if it's going to get done right. The longer we go, the greater the odds that it's going to suck.

Edited by Greg Wright

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Greg Wright wrote:

: I really feel that if either Compass or Caspian tanks, execs at all studios will begin that rethinking process when it comes to budgets.

Well, obviously New Line would have to rethink its OWN budgeting process if Compass tanks. But I don't think the industry as a whole would turn its back on the fantasy genre unless Caspian did poorly. Compass is a huge gamble on all sorts of levels (the first chapter of a larger trilogy, with a cliffhanger ending; the religious controversy; the fact that EVERY single character has to be accompanied by a CGI animal; the fact that the trilogy is not very well known outside hardcore SF circles in North America, not the way that the books by Tolkien and Lewis and Rowling are; etc.), but Caspian is a sequel to an enormous hit -- and it is part of a series in which each story is pretty much self-contained, except of course for its references back to the original (and already-produced) stories -- so it would seem like a safe bet in its own right. Thus, if Caspian fails DESPITE being a surefire hit, then yeah, the industry would have to rethink its attachment to the genre -- including its attachment to the idea of a seemingly surefire prequel to The Lord of the Rings. But Compass? There would be too many possible excuses for its poor box-office performance, assuming indeed that it DOES perform poorly at the box office.

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Okay, after what happened to The Golden Compass yesterday, I'm nervous even if no one else outside of New Line is.

At least maybe this will get Bob "Roadblock" Shaye completely out of the Hobbit picture...

Edited by Greg Wright

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Greg Wright wrote:

: Okay, after what happened to The Golden Compass yesterday, I'm nervous even if no one else outside of New Line is.

I dunno, Greg. True, The Golden Compass had a worse opening weekend than any fantasy film released in December this century EXCEPT for Eragon -- and even THAT film, it beat by only two or three million -- but we still have Prince Caspian in post-production and Voyage of the Dawn Treader in pre-, and the most recent Harry Potter sequel also happened to be the top-grossing Harry Potter sequel to date (a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that it came out during the summer, and the only previous summer-released Harry Potter film is the LOWEST-grossing film in that franchise). So while it DOES look like brand-new franchises may have trouble getting off the ground, there would still seem to be a healthy market for sequels (and, thus, prequels) to existing successful franchises based on popular fantasy novels.

: At least maybe this will get Bob "Roadblock" Shaye completely out of the Hobbit picture...

He has a nickname now, huh? :)

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I dunno, Greg.

I'm soooooo glad you took the bait there, Peter, I'm not even going to THINK about arguing with you. (There! I just went and did it... Dang.)

He has a nickname now, huh?

They were thinking about "Know It All," but when some editor (I think it was my wife) pointed out that "'Know It All' should be hyphenated," they went with something simpler to avoid confusion in the PR department.

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They'll be making 2 movies out of The Hobbit!?

This is good news, but I'm worried Jackson & Co. might make this too epic.

Next? A Middle Earth HBO series based off the Silmarillion...

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but I'm worried Jackson & Co. might make this too epic.

Count on it.

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A comment at Hollywood Elsewhere says that there's a rumor of Guillermo Del Toro as director...

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Yay! Ain't reconciliation grand?

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I'm really hoping Jackson ends up directing this. If it ain't broke...

Oh, and there's only one reason why this is being broken up into two movies... money. The Hobbit could easily fit into one movie, especially if they allowed it to approach 3+ hours like they did with the LOTR films. What the heck are they going to call the second film? Bilbo Part Deux? I like a friend's suggestion that movie #1 could be called "There" and movie #2 "Back Again."

I'm bummed about this news. The two-film plan and the absence of Jackson as director are both bad signs to me.

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I, on the other hand, am really really worried about Jackson as director. I think that he had a sensitivity for character development in Fellowship that he fumbled in the subsequent films. And unless he's going to serve the story of The Hobbit by bringing the nature and characters of that book to life, well... I don't want Peter "King Kong" Jackson to make this movie. Better someone who will remember that The Hobbit is a children's story, not a massive spectacle of sound and fury.

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