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    The Anderson Chronicles: The Hobbit

    In this first ever edition of The Anderson Chronicles I delve into the behind the scenes happenings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy’ prequel The Hobbit.

    From the start the film’s been plagued with problems. Everything from production delays to MGM’s legal issues to putting the project on hold. Then there was Peter Jackson also stepping aside to allow Guillermo Del Toro to direct the two part adaption, and taking the role of Executive Producer.

    For fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise, right about now I’d start to deflate your hopes on ever seeing a Hobbit film, at least from this creative team that is. I can’t say that I personally care to see the Hobbit or its sequel for that matter, but I do certainly understand the frustration shared by fans of the series.

    Things started to fall apart when Peter Jackson thought New Line was screwing him for his share of the merchandise revenue, and decided to file a lawsuit. Understandably New Line was pissed, so much so that Robert Shaye (New Line co-founder) said Jackson would never again direct a film for New Line, accusing him of being greedy. To add insult to injury MGM then decided to halt development, as they were dead set on Jackson being involved.

    Once the smoke had cleared from the lawsuits things started to move forward once again. In December ’07 Jackson announced he’d be stepping down from the director’s chair in order to allow for Guillermo Del Toro to step in. What was funny about this is, Del Toro had said in the past "I don't like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits, ... I don't like sword and sorcery, I hate all that stuff". Then to top it all off the budgets had been nearly doubled from 94 million to 150 million for each film, with New Line and MGM co-financing the project. Once New Line was absorbed by Warner Bros the films were scheduled for release in Decembers 2011 and 2012.

    So at this point to re-cap not only did they have a director not at all interested in the source material, they nearly doubled the budget and set unattainable release dates for two films that hadn’t even finished being scripted. The nail in the coffin for the franchise could have been a number of things. The Tolkien Estate filed a lawsuit against New Line, and then MGM filed for Bankruptcy. Then in January of this year Warner Bros said the first film would likely not be released until the fourth quarter of 2012. After almost two years of writing and developing the story which because of MGM’s financial issues was never green lit, Del Toro left the project. To take one last shit on the already dead franchise it was revealed that , Jackson himself would not be able to take over either due to previous contractual obligations.

    The most likely option left will be to bring in a new creative team. At which time they may even consider re-booting the rings franchise itself after the release of the proposed two hobbit films. Due to the fact that a lengthy period of time will have passed between the franchises, and reboots are a growing trend in Hollywood not likely to die off any time soon.

    Reader Comments (7)

    I highly doubt we'll see a LOTR reboot anytime soon. We'll definitely see The Hobbit before that ever happens. I think del Toro's 2007 comments weren't so much a diss of Tolkien's work, but more of a dislike of the "light" aspect of fantasy genre - he tends to favor the darker, more gothic type of fairy tale. His "Hobbit" film would have been less like the original animated films more in line with the work he's done in the past, and it sounds like he had amazing stuff planned, a lot of which they're still using in the film, according to what he posted in forums this weekend.

    I don't see where they're going to need a new creative team - the work they started is continuing. It's more the transition to a new director we have to be more worried about (not to mention the fate of MGM, which everything is hinging on).

    06-7-2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Mayhew

    We're not going to see a Hobbit film any time soon. They are going to go through the motions, you'll hear director's names, but that is about it. It will be years before another one surfaces. I agree with Mitch.

    06-7-2010 | Registered CommenterPeter Georgiou

    As much as I don't agree I agree, and we might be better off with a new group.

    06-7-2010 | Unregistered CommenterBatmanfan

    Jen are you talking about the recent comments deltoro made on their website? I would to see this get made even with a different driector attached, although I doubt that will happen. I don't think they're even close being done a screenplay, and they still plan to release it hoildays 2012? Not likely, they have superman there now for more then one reason.

    06-7-2010 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

    Yes, the comments he posted on the forums this weekend saying that they're still working on what he already started. I think the whole thing is a mess and the movie is in doubt as well, I just hope they don't ditch the whole creative team.

    06-7-2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Mayhew

    The problem being a lot of the creative team has or will leave with Del Toro anyway.

    06-8-2010 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Loomis

    I think this is for the best. Sure Del Toro was fully on board the last two years, but before that llike you pointed out he even said that this kind of story is something he's not into.

    As far as rebooting the entire franchise, I think it's definitely a possibility. But it all comes down to how much time has passed. If they release the first Hobbit film (the new creative team) in say five years and then the sequel a year later, it will have been 13-14 years since the last rings films was released. Which in hollywood is ages, just look at the crow remake.

    06-8-2010 | Unregistered CommenterBatmanfan

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