NEW YORK – Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema have reached agreement to make J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” a planned prequel to the blockbuster trilogy “The Lord of the Rings.”
Jackson, who directed the “Rings” trilogy, will serve as executive producer for “The Hobbit.” A director for the prequel films has yet to be named.
Relations between Jackson and New Line had soured after “Rings,” despite a collective worldwide box office gross of nearly $3 billion an enormous success. The two sides nevertheless were able to reconcile, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) splitting “The Hobbit” 50/50, spokemen for both studios said Tuesday.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line,” Jackson said in a statement. “We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth.”
Two “Hobbit” films are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, similar to how the three “Lord of the Rings” films were made. Production is set to begin in 2009 with a released planned for 2010, with the sequel scheduled for a 2011 release.
I do hope that they are able to cast Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf once again. I have watched the LOTR trilogy of movies multiple times and each time I find just how amazing Ian McKellen’s performance was and that his performance should have won him the Oscar for Best Supporting Oscar. His homosexual activism is annoying, but it doesn’t spoil for me his pitch perfect portrayal of Gandalf or the excellent job he did as Magneto in X-Men.