New Hobbit Is Looking Hard to Break

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Picture by Ken Denmead.

Their luck could only be worse if they’d hired Terry Gilliam to direct it. There seems to be no end to the calamities befalling the new two-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit. But there is yet a light at the end of the goblin cave!

The first blow to the production was when MGM went bust financially this spring, since the studio owns half the rights to the film and controls the international distribution. Next came Guillermo del Toro’s decision to quit the project, though that was quickly followed by word that Peter Jackson would likely be returning to the director’s chair in his stead. Just about a week ago there was news that two major unions were telling members not to work on the movies.

And, adding insult to injury, word came yesterday that, on Friday, a fire had destroyed Peter Jackson’s miniatures workshop and special studio (reportedly only one of a very few like it in the world) in New Zealand. Surely this would give any superstitious person pause, but not the folks involved in the movie!

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times reported that Warner Bros., MGM and Warner’s subsidiary New Line Cinema are close to an agreement to start production of the films in January! If this happens, we could see the first part hit theaters for the 2012 holiday season and the second part for the 2013 holiday season. So yes, even if the deal goes through now, we still have at least two years and a few months before we get to see the final product.

But at least it might get the curse to go away. Although there are rumors (which given the current movie-making climate are probably true) that The Hobbit films will be made in 3D. This may or may not be good news, depending on your personal feelings on the subject.

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