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Author Topic:   The Hobbit
N F S I 2
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posted August 20, 2008 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for N F S I 2   Click Here to Email N F S I 2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ackson And Del Toro To Write The Hobbit

Lord Of The Rings filmmakers Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro have called off their search for a writer to pen franchise prequel The Hobbit - after deciding they are best suited for the task.

The Hobbit director del Toro and Jackson, who directed the first three original films, had previously launched a global search for a scribe to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to the big screen.

But after eight months, the pair has announced their plans to tackle the movie and its follow-up themselves.

Writers Frank Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who both collaborated with Jackson on the Rings trilogy, will join the filmmakers in the writers' room.

Shooting on both movies, which will take place simultaneously, is slated to start in late 2009 in New Zealand, with The Hobbit expected for release in 2011 and its sequel in 2012.

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N F S I 2
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posted August 20, 2008 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for N F S I 2   Click Here to Email N F S I 2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
anna Buy A Hobbit?

19 August 2008 10:38 AM, PDT

MGM is looking to raise as much as $600 million to finance an upcoming film slate, including Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, additional Pink Panther comedies starring Steve Martin, and a remake of the 1980 musical Fame, Bloomberg News reported today (Tuesday). "In the past, movie studios haven't offered Wall Street the opportunity to participate in their biggest and best films," MGM spokesman Jeff Pryor told the wire service. "There is a lot of interest because of the quality of product we have." Only last month Paramount scrapped similar plans to raise $450 million from a unit of Germany's Deutsche Bank, blaming the current lending climate. The Deutsche Bank unit, set up specifically to invest in entertainment projects, was subsequently shut down.

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indiedan
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posted July 24, 2009 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jackson: It’S Not Easy Being A Hobbit

24 July 2009 11:22 AM, PDT

The grim reality of creating fantasy was driven home by director Peter Jackson during a news conference at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego Thursday. Jackson, the Lord of the Rings director who is now preparing to film The Hobbit as two prequel movies, refused to employ the PC term "little people" to describe the characters in the as-of-now-uncast movie. "We have 13 dwarves to cast" Britain's Empire magazine quoted him as saying. "There's 13 poor guys who are going to be walking around the mountains in summer wearing heavy costumes, sweating under their prosthetic make-up. It's going to be tough. And logistically tough - imagine getting those guys through wardrobe at the beginning of each day and then shooting... They'll be passing out from heat. It's going to be tricky."

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HollywoodProducer
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posted October 01, 2009 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
'Hobbit' stays with MGM; Debt deal allows studio to remain a player in adaptation (THR)

MGM has secured support from key lenders to allow the studio enough cash to proceed with its participation in "The Hobbit." A recent proposal by MGM's new CEO Steve Cooper to defer interest payments on its debt load for the next three months on Thursday won a crucial endorsement from J.P. Morgan. The investment firm leads a lenders steering committee that has been agitating for a dramatic restructuring of the Lion's operations and its ownership structure. In exchange for an agreement to limited interest forbearance, J.P. Morgan secured a few changes in existing debt terms. Concern over MGM's hold on "Hobbit" is at the heart of the activity. In a 50-50 rights partnership with Warner Bros.' New Line unit, two "Hobbit" pics are being developed. The first "Hobbit" aims for theatrical release in 2011, with Peter Jackson on board to direct that and a sequel. Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are writing scripts for both and are expected to deliver the first screenplay by the end of November. Warners will lead production and distribute at least domestically. For now, the Burbank studio also is covering any immediate expenses. In the end, the forbearance was granted, but not everyone was thrilled with the move. But a 51% majority would have had to oppose the plan to block its implementation, and that was never likely given such a disparate group of lenders. The move to delay interest payments until Dec. 15 wasn't motivated by any immediate fears of insolvency at MGM, as a recent company audit showed cash flow should be sufficient to keep the lights on for at least another year. But both current management and the lenders realize the studio's various rights on major properties such as "Hobbit," "The Pink Panther" and, most of all, the lucrative James Bond franchise are key to MGM maintaining a decent market value. Eventually, once equity is shifted from the Lion's current owners to the lenders group, an auction likely will be held for the studio. Keeping its 50% hold on "Hobbit" -- broadly viewed as a potential big moneymaker -- would bolster interest in bidding on the Lion. In backing the studio's payment holiday, lenders will get weekly reports from MGM regarding its cash levels and other financial details. Execs also pledged to submit a detailed restructuring proposal and updated valuation of its assets by Nov. 30. MGM execs hope to corral at least $40 million for its "Hobbit" activities. The requested interest deferrals amount to more than $50 million.
Lion management first proposed the forbearance on Sept. 28, seeking a payment holiday until Jan. 15. The shorter period of interest deferral was hammered out in subsequent negotiations with lenders. Current MGM owners include investment firms Providence Equity and TPG, Sony and Comcast. A banking source said some of the tweaks to debt terms will begin to dilute those owners' current equity. A much more dramatic shifting of equity is expected over coming months as lenders agree to convert debt to equity. Once the lenders become owners, that group likely would conduct an auction for the assets. Nobody sees the lenders group as a long-term operator of MGM.

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fred
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posted March 28, 2010 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Source says the MGM situation of ‘great importance’ to two potential ‘Hobbit’ films

March 27th, 2010 by MrCere | Discuss

TheOneRing.net has received rock-solid information from an absolutely reliable source that the MGM financial situation is indeed what is behind the delays of the start of “The Hobbit.”

The venerable film studio behind James Bond and about 4,000 other titles is reported to be in about $3.7 billion in debt but holds the distribution rights for two “Hobbit” films that are under contract to be made by Warners Bros. The two studios have an agreement in place to produce and distribute the film but financial difficulties for MGM, including the potential sale of the studio and its holdings, including rights to the films based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has delayed the films.

The source inside the production has told TheOneRing.net that all of the wrangling with MGM is indeed a significant part of possibly pushing the films back.

“At this stage we are all working and hoping for the best case scenario. Without a doubt, the MGM situation carries great importance.”

Conflicting reports list the first of the films’ release in 2011 as well as 2012. Studio and other sources told TORn that 2012 is a foregone conclusion but some involved say there is still hope for 2011.

Peter Jackson told TheOneRing.net in July that the first script was only weeks away from completion and Ian McKellen has talked about reading it since then. (You can read a much more extensive Comic-Con report here

Meanwhile, Variety has reported that Lionsgate dropped out of the bidding for MGM, leaving two bidding entities, with a strong possibility that the approximate 140 debtholders will reject both offers.

It appears the two films will not get funded and a green light from the studios until the MGM financial affairs are settled. Meanwhile the team in New Zealand continues to work on pre-pre-production (or unofficial pre-production) and perhaps the script, although Jackson’s timeline as discussed at Comic-Con indicate that it should be well finished.

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DavidChang
Director

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posted April 28, 2010 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Warner Bros. and IMAX Corp. have just issued a joint press release announcing a partnership through 2013 that will include placing upwards of 20 Warner Bros. films into IMAX theaters, as well as conventional theaters. The biggest news to come out of this whole thing is a tentative release date for The Hobbit of December 2013, two years after its initial date of December 2011. We assume part one will debut in 2013 and part 2 in 2014, but the press release doesn't mention the two-parter and only lists it as simply The Hobbit.

While that's certainly a bummer for you Tolkien freaks, the good news is that both Batman 3 and Superman are part of this 20-picture deal, which means both of those films will hit theaters at some point between now and 2013. If I were a guessing man, I'd say we'll probably get Batman 3 during the summer of 2012 and Superman during the summer of 2013. Other films listed include Gravity, Dark Shadows and Fury Road (aka Mad Max 4), though none of them were given release dates.

UPDATE: We've just been informed that the press release was wrong, and that the correct release dates for The Hobbit are 2012 and 2013.

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DavidChang
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posted May 06, 2010 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first part may be delayed until 2013.

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DavidChang
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posted May 09, 2010 10:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Delayed?

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RobinRafe
Director

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posted May 30, 2010 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobinRafe   Click Here to Email RobinRafe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Guillermo del Toro announced today on the OneRing.net -- the official website -- that he's stepped out of the directing assignment on the two film versions of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, though he will continue to collaborate as a writer. I would have bet that Peter Jackson would be the one to step back into the director's chair because there have been rumblings about this lately. But his manager, Ken Kamins, tells me this is absolutely not a possibility. It seems a sad ending to the dream job that prompted del Toro to suspend his whopping overall deal at Universal -- and a slate full of epic-sized projects -- to take on The Hobbit after he got the offer instead of Sam Raimi (who wanted it badly).

Jackson, who is coming off the disappointing Oscar season entry The Lovely Bones, would seem the perfect solution to retake the directing reins after del Toro's exit. They've worked closely, so there would be no interruption in creative continuity. Whether they bring back Raimi (who is working on World of Warcraft but hasn't committed to his next film) or give the job to a filmmaker like Jackson's District 9 protege Neill Blomkamp (he's committed to do his next project for Media Rights Capital) there would be a steep learning curve to bring Middle Earth to life. Jackson translated Tolkien's creation masterfully in the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. According to Kamins, it's not going to happen.

"Peter has and has had obligations and commitments to other films that would make it impossible for him to direct The Hobbit at this time, even if it was offered, which it hasn't been," Kamins told me. "I've been quietly working on setting up a film for him to direct while Guillermo would have been directing The Hobbit. What you saw in their respective statements must be taken at face value. All of that said, Peter and Fran's commitment to The Hobbit is total and they will do everything necessary to protect the franchise and the investment made by New Line, Warners and MGM."

Here is what del Toro announced:

"In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming The Hobbit, I am faced with the hardest decision of my life. After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien's Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I've been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a cowriter and as a director, I wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director."

Said Jackson:

"We feel very sad to see Guillermo leave The Hobbit, but he has kept us fully in the loop and we understand how the protracted development time on these two films, due to reasons beyond anyone's control, has compromised his commitment to other long term projects. The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn't feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years... New Line and Warner Bros will sit down with us this week, to ensure a smooth and uneventful transition, as we secure a new director for The Hobbit. We do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work."

The project is years in the works, but the MGM factor only came up after del Toro completed two scripts with the original Lord of the Rings writing team of Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh. There have been rumblings about a possible parting of the ways for Del Toro. But it seems severe that MGM is the sole reason, because there are signs that things are going to happen soon that will decide the ultimate ownership of The Hobbit and other assets. Clearly the fact that the studio -- and a talented production and marketing team -- has been frozen in suspended animation has been as much an albatross around The Hobbit as it has been for the James Bond series. But production is still expected to get underway late this year or early next year, and New Line and MGM claim that the pictures will be in theaters December, 2012 and December, 2013.

I'd heard that with both scripts in, talks about a possible 3D shoot just began. Though under financial duress, MGM has continued to meet its rights payment obligations on The Hobbit, but not much more than that. Warner Bros is the lead studio on the project, and has ultimate say on green light, but perhaps the films are too large an investment to front alone, or that prospect doesn't benefit the leverage Warner Bros has in a potential buyout of MGM's assets. Rumblings are that there may well be a new player entering the fray shortly, bringing equity and new experienced management. Summit Entertainment and Spyglass are the names most often mentioned, though we also hear Terry Semel and Peter Chernin, the latter of whom reportedly doesn't want it.

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RobinRafe
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posted June 01, 2010 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobinRafe   Click Here to Email RobinRafe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Who knows when that will get off the ground now.

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RobinRafe
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posted June 03, 2010 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobinRafe   Click Here to Email RobinRafe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow - permanently put on hold. That has to kill the valuation for MGM.

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fred
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posted June 14, 2010 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
'Harry Potter' Director David Yates Meets 'The Hobbit'?

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" director David Yates has been offered the director's chair of "The Hobbit," according to the latest issue of Production Weekly and echoed by an agency coverage email making the rounds of Hollywood.

Yates' representation at CAA told TheWrap that the reports are "not true at all." And indeed, he would be an interesting choice. At least he's no stranger to fantastical adaptations of popular literary works that require extensive special effects, plus most of the pre-vis work will have been done for him, thanks to Jackson and ex-director Guillermo del Toro, who left the project after developing it for two years.

Yates recently wrapped production on the last two "Harry Potter" movies, which now enters an extended post-production phase. That means Yates wouldn't be available to tend to Middle-earth until sometime next year, and I imagine he has press commitments for the final "Potter" movie, which Warner Bros. releases next July.

However, "The Hobbit" is still likely a year away from filming, since MGM has the rights but not the funds to bring it to the big screen and still hasn't officially greenlit the project.

Stay tuned to Deal Central for more on this developing story.

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fred
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posted June 29, 2010 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My recent scoop that Peter Jackson is negotiating to direct the two installments of The Hobbit is probably the best news for debt-laden MGM in years. But the development has put extra pressures on the beleaguered studio backers. Because making a 2-picture directing deal with the Lord Of The Rings director is no easy feat. I’m told that 30% of the gross is already committed to various participants, including Jackson (just for writing and producing!). He and Fran Walsh once got $20 million against 20% of gross from Universal to direct King Kong, so he doesn’t work cheap. Insiders tell me that gross participants are right now being asked to make adjustments so that MGM and its partner, Warner Bros, can finance the film and make money. Creative deals are becoming routine on sequels like Men in Black, but they aren’t easy.

There’s no certainty that MGM creditors will respond to the urgency that Jackson's reps are ready to make a deal.. This is the same group that reacted to its debt stranglehold by benching its production and marketing executive teams, halting progress on a promising homegrown slate of films, and staging a desperate auction that resulted in a predictable batch of bottom-feeder bids that were too low to be seriously considered. The result is it's brought MGM to a screeching halt and allowed the library to languish.

Now the MGM creditors also must decide either to commit MGM’s half of the production costs for the two films or take available outside funding, all before the studio works out its future ownership strategy. If the creditors don’t seize on the momentum, MGM risks losing its chance to release the first film in December 2012. (The second film would follow a year later.) And there is a good chance that Jackson will change his mind, meaning that inaction costs the studio an enormous opportunity.

Whatever course of action the creditors take, execs like Parent and Vollman will certainly move on as MGM goes through the pre-packaged bankruptcy proceeding necessary to keep in place existing rights deals on franchises like James Bond. That process isn’t expected until late July at the earliest. But decisions on The Hobbit cannot wait that long.

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RobinRafe
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posted August 20, 2010 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobinRafe   Click Here to Email RobinRafe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully the new MGM management team will find a way to pay for their half of The Hobbit.

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fred
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posted September 02, 2010 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's Peter Jackson and he'll receive almost 100% of the profits.

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