Peter Jackson to direct the Hobbit films
Is it really any surprise to find out that Peter Jackson is now in talks to direct both Hobbit films back to back? I don't think so. I always thought that the appointment of Guillermo del Toro was a strange choice, a good one, but still strange. His film would have meant a lot more darkness and quirkiness that the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings never had.
However he's out of the equation now and the word is that Peter Jackson is offering himself up to direct both Hobbit films, and while that doesn't seem like a big surprise, what is a surprise is why he might be doing it.
The reports are saying that he's in negotiations right now to get the two films made, and has been for a number of weeks, and his desire is to get the films made in super-fast time with releases in 2012 and 2013, no small feat.
However that's not really the delay, nor has it been, for we already had a writer and director in place for some time. The real problem is the shaky aspect of the backing for the film, considering that MGM are the company who own the rights to The Hobbit films and they are in a very difficult situation.
MGM are struggling financially and it was their shareholders and backers agreed that they would keep things going to see The Hobbit films made, one of their biggest franchises that could result in a huge intake of cash once completed. However since then they've halted some of their other big films, such as any chance of another Bond film. They aren't in a good place.
However it's not just MGM behind the film, New Line and Warner Bros. are too, although they don't hold the rights to The Hobbit. So MGM have to stay in there or there could be huge delays as the others try to get hold of the rights in order to keep going.
The latest story from The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision tells us that the negotiations are ongoing, and frankly I don't see they will be a big problem, after all Peter Jackson directed all the Lord of the Rings films and he has been the creative driving force behind The Hobbit, so he seems the natural choice.
The bigger part of this is that he's the man who could get these films made well, and made quickly, perhaps faster and better than anyone else which would benefit MGM and the partnership no end. The quicker the better so that MGM can hang in there with the rights, and then return some cash to the company.
"If that's what I have to do to protect Warner Bros.' investment, then obviously that's one angle which I'll explore..."
It seems that Jackson is the obvious choice, and if they don't hurry up about it all and MGM hits trouble, they could lose the rights and we'll see even more delays on The Hobbit films.