Friday, October 01, 2010

The Hobbit Close to Green Light?

A new article from LA Times Blog indicates that The Hobbit is finally on the verge of an official green light after nearly a year of unofficial (but still costly) pre-production on the film. Two major hurtles, MGM's bankruptcy and actor unions' strike, seem on the verge of being cleared. It seems that MGM's in paying the nearly $500 million production might be loaned to MGM by Warner Bros. to go ahead and get the official go ahead. The goal seem to be to avoid further delays and still hit now desired Christmas 2012 and 2013 release dates.
MGM is eager to make the films, people close to the situation said, and could give Warner Bros. the official okay in the next few days. However, it will still need to secure its half of the financing. Barber is expected to approach a number of potential investors, including studios including 20th Century Fox, which has an existing deal with MGM to release its movies overseas. Other possibilities include outside financial investors or Warner Bros., which could loan MGM its share in exchange for additional distribution rights to the pictures.

People close to the project said that, barring a last-minute glitch, they expect to have all issues settled shortly in order to begin production in mid-January so that the first of the two movies would be ready for a holiday 2012 release. The second film is planned for a December 2013 opening. If production doesn't begin by the first quarter of next year, the people said, "The Hobbit" will miss its planned release dates and will likely have to once again be delayed.
If this green light comes as planned with a January start date, Sir Peter Jackson is on the verge of signing the deal that will bring him back to the director's chair for the film. Overall, assuming everything lines up as hoped, this is fantastic news for fans of the Trilogy.

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