Jackson talking to Hobbit actors?
You've got to wonder what's been happening with The Hobbit. For so long it seems to have been sitting in development and without a green light from the studios on the project, something which seems crazy considering it's supposed to be a bit of a saviour for MGM, and with Peter Jackson behind the two films, you'd think this was an instant green light.
However it's not been, and Guillermo del Toro recently left the production to get on with some other projects, mainly because nothing has been happening. That suggested that Peter Jackson was going to be in charge, and it seems he's wasting no time in heading out to talk to actors.
Apparently Peter Jackson is on Los Angeles right now meeting with actors, the story says quietly and that he's heading off to New York and the U.K right after to meet with more.
The story in The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision has the usual "sources" caveat, but it does raise the question of just what seems to have suddenly changed with the production. To the outside eye there are three things, the departure of Guillermo del Toro, the possible move of Peter Jackson into the directing chair for both Hobbit films, and finally the stories that have appeared about the possibility of losing some important stars returning from the Lord of the Rings films.
Could it be something from this list, or is it just coincidence and production has finally started regardless? Something definitely has happened if this casting trip is in fact the truth.
Personally I think the driving force is the MGM position. The company was given a lifeline to finish the Hobbit films and it needs to do just that, but it's not happening, and the rumours also go that it's MGM holding things up. The longer it does, the longer the films and the company are in jeopardy.
The other aspect to consider is Jackson himself, other rumours suggest that he'll take the job as director but only if they can fast track the films over the next couple of years, and who can blame him? He's already spent ages in the Rings universe, as well as The Hobbit films.
Still, as the article says, Jackson hasn't signed the deal yet, and neither has anyone else, plus there's still no green light on the project. The big question is will everything come together in time for the film to go forward? Is Jackson resting his chances on getting all the cast to say yes to come back to the studios and say green light now and it gets made, wait any longer and we're done.