The Hobbit is Back On and Peter Jackson is On Board

Posted on December 18, 2007

It's official-- Peter Jackson has settled his lawsuit with New Line, has sung Kum Ba Yah with former arch-enemy Bob Shaye of New Line so that The Hobbit films can go forward. Yes, that's right, LOTR fans -- the Hobbit is On. Jackson will executive produce the first film, and maybe direct it if he can find the time. He is more likely to direct the second film. A fairly giddy MGM CEO Harry Sloan talked about the deal in an interview:

Can you tease us with who might be in line to direct? Guillermo Del Toro, Sam Raimi...

Well, those are the names that have been mentioned and they're both top directors, excellent directors. It's Peter's project. Peter and Bob Shaye are going to oversee it creatively but in the end ... our choice had always been Peter. But if after he and Fran [Walsh, Jackson's wife] and whoever they work with develop the script, if Peter feels comfortable and Bob feels comfortable with another director, then there will be another director.

Is there any chance that Peter could direct the Hobbit sequel?

Well, he could direct either of them.

He's been busy with The Lovely Bones, so has it been a scheduling thing?

Well, he's got Lovely Bones, he's got Tin Tin, he's got two or three projects, but it is the right time for him to devote his intentions to developing the property and the script with himself and Fran and maybe other writers as well. And once the property is developed and there's a picture that's ready to go, he may consider directing it -- although the second film might be more likely due to scheduling.

Does Peter have the right to refuse a director for this one, or script approval?

Neither us nor New Line would want to hire a director that Peter was not completely comfortable with. Remember it's Peter's project, he's overseeing it. So I don't want to tell you what's legally in the contract.... But we wouldn't do that.

We think Peter should drop everything to write and direct both films. But, alas, he hasn't asked our opinion about what he should do.

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