It was reported a little while back that MGM had intentions on bringing a feature film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” to the big screen along with ideas of Terminator 4 and so on. Of course the most interesting news here is “The Hobbit” and the idea that MGM is ready to roll on the project and also stated they would like Peter Jackson to be the one to bring it to life.
Fanboys around the world unite and shout for joy at this news, but when Ain’t It Cool News caught up with Peter Jackson following the Variety article being published we learn that Jackson hasn’t even been approached.
“The reality is I’ve never had a conversation with anybody about it. Not one person has ever made a phone call to me,” Jackson said. “The irony is that we’re acquiring our own projects now and we’re buying the rights to books. The reality is, to be quite honest with you, we’re getting ourselves now nice and busy, in a good way, for the next 4 years. So, people have not (spoken to us) about THE HOBBIT and it’s making it more and more impossible for us to be involved.”
Fortunately as you read the interview it is extremely obvious Jackson would love to take on the project. The interviewer even suggests getting footage of 84-year-old Christopher Lee as Saruman just to be safe and Jackson replied, “I would love to! If I was doing THE HOBBIT I’d try to get as many of the guys back as I could. I mean, there’s actually a role for Legolas in THE HOBBIT, his father features in it, obviously Gandalf and Saruman should be part of it. There’s things that you can do with THE HOBBIT to bring in some old friends, for sure… I wouldn’t want to do it unless we could keep a continuity of cast. I have zero interest in directing a Gandalf who wasn’t Ian McKellen for instance. Strange to be even talking about it, for three years it’s been in this rights situation limbo.”
The “rights situation limbo” Jackson refers to is between MGM and New Line as both of them share differing portions of the movie rights for “The Hobbit,” but it seems all has been worked out and MGM would produce the film in partnership with New Line. It even goes a step further to suggest “The Hobbit” would become two films instead of one and Jackson sees this as a good thing, “We think the two film idea is really smart. One of the problems with The Hobbit is that it is a fairly simple kids story, and doesn’t really feel like The Lord of the Rings. Tonally I mean. It’s always made me a little worried, but with two films that kinda gets easier. It allows for more complexity. At that implied stuff with Gandalf and the White Council and the return of Sauron could be fully explored. That’s what we (Jackson and his writing partners Frances Walsh and Philippa Boyens) talked about this morning. Taking ‘The Hobbit ‘and combining it with all that intrigue about Sauron’s rise, and the problems that has for Gandalf. It could be cool. That way, it starts feeling more like The Lord of the Rings and less like this kids book. You could even get into Gollum’s sneaking into Mordor and Aragorn protecting The Shire. That’s what we’d do. Love to work with Viggo again.”
The rest of the interview is intriguing and if you would like to get the rest click here.
It seems that Jackson would be more than willing to get started on the film, I can’t understand why he hasn’t been contacted.