Hobbit begins, casting rumours and studio problems
It looks as though The Hobbit films are now officially a go with the studios, except none of the problems hanging over the production have been solved, and in fact they've been complicated by another bid to save MGM from a separate company.
So with the complications and the strange go announcement, we hear some additional casting rumours which may mean the film really is happening despite all the troubles around it.
The story seems to say that the production schedule is so tight that the films have to start happening right now, and so they are, production is beginning, however none of the big issues have been solved such as the union dispute from Australia and the problem with MGM about to falter.
Deadline Hollywood Daily has the news about the production moving forward, and yet they too point out that that the Australian actors union issue is still unresolved (they control the New Zealand actors union too) and more than that last week a deal came through from Lionsgate to save MGM, adding to the complications on that side.
MGM are the ones behind Hobbit and if they falter, which they've been threatening to do for such a long time, then the project could stall or die a terrible death. Things were looking up with a deal from Spyglass Entertainment to save the company and place it under new management, this would save the Hobbit films too, and all seemed good as that was under consideration.
Now though, Lionsgate have entered the fold with an offer to merge with MGM and save the company, an offer which is getting some strong backing. So this does complicate the issue slightly and could see the deal to save MGM stretched out even further.
That could either mean a further hold for the Hobbit films, or MGM just building up the bill for the production with whoever eventually wins the deal having to pay for it.
Some positive news, or rather rumour, comes through the story and The Playlist who say that Martin Freeman is set to play Bilbo Baggins, Michael Fassbender and David Tennant both being chased for roles, and now James Nesbitt is rumoured to have been offered the role of Bofur, one of the three dwarves who join Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield on their journey, the other two dwarves are Bifur and Bombur.
Interesting casting choices and they would all make strong additions to the films, but what's happening with those providing the money in the background?