Some backstory: Peter Jackson had been battling Newline in court because he felt he was owed a lot more money for Lord of the Rings. Newline had the rights to The Hobbit, but didn’t want Jackson to direct until the lawsuit was settled. It started to get ugly. Also, their option1 was expiring and would be given to another company. So they were making plans to find another director, which got fans and Jackson upset. It looked like the movie would be made without Jackson directing.
Well, Jackson and Newline made nice. But the bad news is, Jackson is now too busy to direct! Sam Raimi (Spiderman, Army of Darkness) will direct with Jackson producing2. So Jackson will still be involved, and they’ll almost certainly film in New Zealand and use the f/x company Jackson set up for LOTR, preserving the look of LOTR. Overall, I’m expecting it to be a good film, although I’d still rather Jackson direct. But let’s face it: if it was directed by McG or Michael Bay and starred Rob Schneider as Bilbo Baggins, you’d still go see it.
- The legal right to film, which has an expiration date.
- In fact, Raimi said he wouldn’t direct if Jackson wasn’t involved