Peter Jackson was quoted today as saying he'll know whether or not he'll be directing The Hobbit "sometime soon" by The Dominion Post.
Jackson reiterated that legal negotiations are still plaguing the film's impending production, but offered some assurance with his statement that Warner Bros. (who control half the rights) is, "making progress untangling the MGM situation...". MGM is currently having financial difficulties and it is undecided what course the studio will be taking with its holdings.
Jackson went on to say that, after the decision is reached, he will be able to make a five-year plan "that will keep many people very busy". Among the potential projects the director is eying is a retelling of the Battle of Gallipoli from the point of view of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).
Another of the article's notes of interest is the suggestion that casting is still underway for The Hobbit despite the delay. Australian actor Jeremy Sims reportedly auditioned for the part of a troll, presumably either Tom, Bert or William Huggins from the original novel. One of the three characters even makes a cameo in both the book and film version of The Fellowship of the Ring.