We all read that Peter Jackson did not want to discuss making a film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” until his lawsuit with New Line Cinema was resolved. Amidst the rumors related to Jackson and his camp being involved in making The Hobbit Jackson went on record with fansite TheOneRing.net and discussed his involvement with the film and reported that he would, in all likelihood, not be making the picture. Here is a snippet of his correspondence:
…our Manager Ken Kamins got a call from the co-president of New Line Cinema, Michael Lynne, who in essence told Ken that the way to settle the lawsuit was to get a commitment from us to make the Hobbit, because “that’s how these things are done”. Michael Lynne said we would stand to make much more money if we tied the lawsuit and the movie deal together and this may well be true, but it’s still the worst reason in the world to agree to make a film.
Several years ago, Mark Ordesky told us that New Line have rights to make not just The Hobbit but a second “LOTR prequel”, covering the events leading up to those depicted in LOTR. Since then, we’ve always assumed that we would be asked to make The Hobbit and possibly this second film, back to back, as we did the original movies. We assumed that our lawsuit with the studio would come to a natural conclusion and we would then be free to discuss our ideas with the studio, get excited and jump on board. We’ve assumed that we would possibly get started on development and design next year, whilst filming The Lovely Bones. We even had a meeting planned with MGM executives to talk through our schedule.
However last week, Mark Ordesky called Ken and told him that New Line would no longer be requiring our services on the Hobbit and the LOTR ‘prequel’. This was a courtesy call to let us know that the studio was now actively looking to hire another filmmaker for both projects.
Ordesky said that New Line has a limited time option on the film rights they have obtained from Saul Zaentz (this has never been conveyed to us before), and because we won’t discuss making the movies until the lawsuit is resolved, the studio is going to have to hire another director.
There is more to the letter Jackson submit to TheOneRing.net and you can get that here, but before you go you should know that TheOneRing has recently posted a new rumor about The Hobbit and it involves none other than Spider-Man franchise writer/director Sam Raimi.
Rumors are now being reported that Raimi has been approached to direct The Hobbit and TheOneRing says the news comes from “a reliable source.”
This news brings into question one thing: Will there be a Spider-Man 4?
If there is a Spider-Man 4 the likelihood that Raimi would take on such a massive project as The Hobbit and its Lord of the Rings prequel are highly unlikely. However, if Raimi makes the decision that there will be no more Spidey films, at least for the next 3-4 years it is possible. As of now this is the only news available, we will report back as more becomes available.