Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Peter Jackson Not Making "Hobbit".

This is a shame.

Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy made about 3 billion dollars and won every Oscar there is. Now that the prequel (a great book in its own right) is moving forward, Jackson and WETA won't be a part of it.

Once again, it all comes down to money. Reports say that Jackson is still owed $100 million from the trilogy. Not only is that an astronomical sum, but remember, Jackson built WETA for the trilogy and now has to keep it running. What if ILM was never paid for "Star Wars"? Where would moviemaking be today?

Jacksdon had plans to tie "The Hobbit" in tightly to the trilogy, possibly making two movies which would tell not only the story of "The Hobbit" but lay much of the groundwork for "Lord of the Rings". And he all but had Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving ready to go. Think they'll be likely to sign with the next Brett Ratner?

Jackson could have used the job as well. "King Kong", his other dream project, was a disappointment. The studio found it underperformed. I found it overlong and pretentious for a 'b' monster movie. "Halo" just fell through as well, leaving him only with the indie "The Lovely Bones" a lock for the future. Jackson could quickly go from being the next George Lucas to the next Orson Welles.

I was expecting these problems to take a long time to work out, but I thought they would. "The Hobbit" will make money just from audiences who don't know Jackson is not a part of it. If "Batman Forever", "X3" and "Superman II" could turn a profit, this one will do fine. Which, in the end, is all the studios care.

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