Peter Jackson Promises ‘Hobbit’ News ‘Soon’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:14 pm,

While the effects of MGM’s bankruptcy are still rippling through Hollywood, it sounds as though progress is being made on one of the flailing studio’s biggest properties, The Hobbit.

Two months ago we mentioned that Lord of the Rings director, and honorary white wizard, Peter Jackson was reportedly in negotiations to direct the franchise prequel, The Hobbit, in place of Guillermo del Toro. Now, we’re getting word that plans for The Hobbit might be stabilizing – and that we should have an announcement clarifying Jackson’s role ‘sometime soon.’

According to The Dominion Post, a New Zealand newspaper, Jackson stated:

“[Warner Bros. is] making progress untangling the MGM situation, so we should have certainty with The Hobbit sometime soon.”

In addition to the Hobbit tease, Jackson also discussed his interest in a film about the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (also known as the ANZAC). The ANZAC fought in the first World War and is often mentioned in conjunction with the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915 – as the conflict was the first major operation carried out by the newly formed army branch.

Epic military battles are certainly nothing new for Jackson. Following Lord of the Rings, which featured enormous battles in an elaborate fictional universe with several magical races, a real-life war movie should be a total breeze.

Lord of the Rings Hugo Weaving as Lord Elrond 570x311 Peter Jackson Promises Hobbit News Soon

While news about a potential Hobbit announcement might initially sound like a stretch. The quote, however brief, definitely hints at a ray of sunshine in a gloomy post-Guillermo del Toro Hobbit landscape. Either Jackson is merely attempting to keep hope alive – or the film might actually be gaining some traction.

It’s been a rough six months, as production on The Hobbit has basically been in free-fall, causing a systemic breakdown of the previously assembled parts: financial woes that resulted in delayed start dates and the potential loss of fan-favorites such as Sir Ian McKellen – not to mention del Toro dropping out of the director’s chair.

I realize I’m in the minority but I’m still hoping that Jackson has found someone else to direct The Hobbit. Jackson has dedicated a disproportionate chunk of his career to Tolkien’s universe and while he’s certainly done an incredible job, I’d like to see him freed up to explore the countless other projects he’s got in the pipeline.

bilbo 2 Peter Jackson Promises Hobbit News Soon

While the Lord of the Rings trilogy was certainly epic, there were moments that suffered from being a bit “samey” – especially upon repeat viewings of the trilogy. I’d rather see someone new come in, from a totally fresh perspective, with Jackson’s guiding hand as executive producer to keep them honest.

However, Middle-Earth fanatics still have a lot of reason to be hopeful for a Jackson-helmed Hobbit. Given the numerous reports stating that Jackson was negotiating for the director’s chair, coupled with his recent promise of new Hobbit information sometime soon, it seems likely that Jackson will be returning to finish what he started.

Stay updated on The Hobbit by following us on Twitter: @screenrant and @benkendrick

Source: The Dominion Post [via Coming Soon]

TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. The best part is that these films won’t be in 3-D.

    • I know! 3-D is like “the” biggest movie fail.

      • It’s not a “fail”, it’s just good to hear that some films aren’t taking on that trend.

        • I agree. I think when I responded, I became ill at the possible thought of it (3-D)


    • Well we could always get Sir James Cameron on board to bring this project into the future (read: 3-D) also read: KIDDING!!!

      • haha for a split second I took that seriously! There is NO WAY on God’s green earth that James Cameron will get his hands on Tolkien’s amazing universe! NO WAY! NO HOW!

        • In fear of anybody else taking it seriously I will repeat your comment, “NO WAY! NO HOW!” hahaha… oh but to see Smaug in 3D glory with Cameron’s “visionary” vision… or delusion, if you will… 😉

  2. I can trust Jackson to do the Hobbit. It would have been interesting to see Del Toro’s take on the Hobbit. But for Pete’s sake, get this movie going!

      • I doubt they’d cast a 67 year old as a “younger” Bilbo Baggins, especially considering that the producers originally intended on splitting the novel into two parts. Even is fimling was to start tomorrow, by the end of production Bilbo/Sylvester McCoy would be in his 70’s.

        It’s more likely that another previous Doctor Who will fill the role of Bilbo, namely David Tennant.

        • That guy totally suits that role man!

  3. “While the Lord of the Rings trilogy was certainly epic, there were moments that suffered from being a bit “samey” – especially upon repeat viewings of the trilogy.”

    Really Ben??? Seriously?? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is one of the best acted, best directed, best written trilogies ever. Nobody, I repeat, nobody would have done a better job directing than Peter Jackson. I am glad that Del Torro is not in the director’s chair for this movie. He has quite the imagination but his movies have been subpar at best (i.e. Hellboy 1 and 2).

    • true that, true that.

    • What about “Pan’s Labarynth” or “The Devil’s Backbone”?

      That reminds me, anyone know if they are keeping Del Toro’s creature designs and if the film is still going to be split in two?

    • I totally agree! I see nothing wrong with Lord of the Rings! It was wonderful in every area and I would never change it! Now Avatar on the other hand… 😀

      I know what you mean about a fresh idea, but I believe that using a new director for the Hobbit would be a bad idea. I mean, Jackson did an excellent job and I feel like someone new wouldn’t do as great as a job.

    • @Herman

      I definitely didn’t mean to disparage the trilogy. After watching each of the Extended Editions on repeat viewings it all started to blur together (at times) for me.

      I think Jackson was the best director for the original trilogy, and completely agree that it offered terrific performances, writing, and directing.

      However, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a new person coming in – just to keep things interesting. Obviously Jackson didn’t think new blood was a bad thing – since he was the one who approached del Toro. I don’t want Jackson directing the film out of some kind of obligation to the material – instead of genuinely being excited to take it on. Especially considering, as I mentioned in the article, that Jackson could help guide the new director since he’s still going to serve as executive producer.

      That said, I understand why fans of the films want Jackson – and I wouldn’t be disappointed, or shocked, if he ends up directing.

      • @ I’m with ya 100% Herman.

    • Nobody’s dissing Jackson’s take on LotR, considering the source material it’s a wonder it didn’t turn out (more of) an epic snoozefest.
      Even with significant portions cut from the books (like the whole Tom Bombadil non sequitor, the razing of the Shire etc) the extended version clocks in at almost 12 hours. That’s quite an achievement, I mean, that’s almost as long as it takes to read the damn thing.
      Well done, considering a picture is worth a thousand words, and most of the words in the books are scenery and character descriptions.

      • @ Guest Star, well said.

  4. “I realize I’m in the minority but I’m still hoping that Jackson has found someone else to direct The Hobbit…While the Lord of the Rings trilogy was certainly epic, there were moments that suffered from being a bit “samey” – especially upon repeat viewings of the trilogy. I’d rather see someone new come in, from a totally fresh perspective, with Jackson’s guiding hand as executive producer to keep them honest.”

    This is my perspective as well (although I probably go a good deal further in my Jackson skepticism). While Jackson did a lot of things right, I do not think that he really picked up on the more subtle aspects of Tolkien’s writing and the way certain themes are laced within the books. Jackson does a good job with epic-wizbang-ra-ra excitement, but his interpretation of LoTR lacked the trilogy’s poetic nature. With his noise about “The Hobbit” being “lightweight”, my suspicion that Jackson can’t really understand the beauty of Tolkien’s story telling is only further confirmed. I personally hope Cuaron ends up in the director’s chair, although I realize this is most likely a sad fantasy.

    Also, yes I am aware how unpopular this viewpoint is. :)

    • You don’t make $100 million+ profit exploring the poetic nature of swords & sorcery. You make that much coin and more giving people a gee-whiz, get the bad guy excitement.

      Cuaron butchered Harry Potter. I would like to see Cuaron go into documentaries or commercials, some place far away from literary work adaptations.

      • Yes, I am aware that money is unfortunately (at best) a big concern and (at worst) the motivating factor in movie making. However, the amount of money earned by a film is not really a legitimate indicator of that film’s artistic merit. I would much rather have had a more sublime trilogy that made less money (although let’s face it, given the Tolkien fan base the movies would have had to have been pretty awful not to have made a lot of money).

        We are still only ten years out from the first film, so it might be a bit early to pass judgement on their overall value. Nevertheless, I would be surprised if in another 10-20 years Jackson’s LotR trilogy is as generally respected as it is today. I enjoyed the films when they first came out (I was one of the nerds at the midnight showings), but I can’t even sit through them now without constantly rolling my eyes. The acting is fairly weak in places and some of Jackson’s choices in filming seem…well…self indulgent.

  5. It is not an unpopular view with me.
    I agree with you.

  6. I agree, just get this movie going, before we lost McKellen. I didn’t understand why they thought the movie should be split into two movies anyway. Other than making more money, I didn’t see a reason. Unlike LoTR, the Hobbit can be and, IMHO, was meant to be ONE movie. Keep it that way, get it done, and I’m happy if Peter Jackson directs it because that would be the most conservative way to go about it (he KNOWS what the movie is supposed to look like).

    There’s not much more to be hopeful about in terms of future movies based on the Tolkein books, this is the one movie left, don’t screw it up.

    • Well the reasons for splitting up the Hobbit 3 fold:

      1 – First and foremost money. It’s Hollywood and if you can make more money doing something they will find a way to bleed the public.
      2 – They WERE planning doing a whole “trilogy” thing by breaking up the Hobbit into two parts and then creating a third filler movie that would bridge the gap between the Hobbit and LotR. They would have used Tolkien’s extensive notes about the time gap but taking those notes and turning them into a good cohesive movie would have been VERY risky so I understand them dropping the idea.
      3 – Allows them to tell more of the Hobbit story without having to hack and slash the book to get it to fit into 2+ hrs. Jackson did a remarkable job at condensing LotR into 3 movies but as we all know there was a lot that had to be cut/changed for the sake of time. If they actually followed the books page by page it would be probably 3x longer than the extended version. Give it a couple years and the SyFy channel might tackle it 😉

      I would like to think #3 was the prime reason but I would be just fooling myself. We know the Hobbit can and has been done in a single movie so money I’m sure played a major part in the decision.

  7. i’ll direct the “gobbit” if they can’t find anyone else !!!!


    till next time

  8. opps i mean Hobbit

  9. @Ben Kendrick

    I agree with you on getting a new perspective on the universe with Jackson as a guiding hand. But I have to admit that if del Toro isn’t directing I don’t trust anyone else. Plus I think with shared writing credits and all the pre-production design done under del Toro that even with Jackson directed we will still get a very fresh new version of Tolkien while still staying within the realm of the film franchise.

  10. Jackson obviously doesnt want to direct it himself, otherwise he would have done so in the first place!

    I’m in the minority here, but I found Return of The King to be a terrible film, not all of it I admit, there were some good parts but it was mostly a fail in my eyes. It’s a 5 out of 10.

    The acting suffered, certainly for Elijah Wood who was never great in the first two films but having to really act in the third seemed to be a struggle.

    The battles were relentlessly boring, the clever CGI battalions in Two Towers didnt work well in the light of day, the entire siege of Minas Tirith looked like a 90s statergy console game. The Army Of The Dead just looked awful, the creative decision to make them bright green was frankly baffling.

    Considering the stuff left out of the book, adding in stupid bits like Gandalf and the Witchking seems just silly. Legolas sliding down the Oliphant trunk? Come on!

    But those multiple endings. People mock them now and rightly so, the editing let down the last 30 mins of the film completely. Why did Frodo speak in slow motion for all of those sections too? The film hit its emotional high point during Aragorn’s coronation (“You bow to no one”) and everything ran out of steam after that.

    • um…. yeah… The Gandalf vs. WitchKing thing? yeah… in the book. AND the Legolas bit rivals his amazing skate board shield antic in the second film. AND yeah it’s called fantasy for a reason…. calling legolas’ sliding down and such unreal is like saying “that it is stupid that (this may be a bad example, but the only one I can think of) spider-man is shooting webs out of his hands it is so unrealistic.” As for the Army of the Dead, they were limited on their choices, due to Pirates of the Carribean 1 having half dead pirates. they thought that they had whipped the dead army, but they had to switch.

  11. From what I’ve read, it seems more likely that Sylvester McCoy will be playing Thorin Oakenshield rather than Bilbo. The article indicated that he was going to be playing the second most important role in the film. Bilbo is obviously the main character, and since we know McCoy isn’t playing Gandalf, I think they must mean Thorin.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing someone other than Jackson direct the Hobbit movies, except that it would be a gamble. Overall, Jackson’s LotR movies were amazing, but they did have some major flaws, which got worse with each subsequent installment in the trilogy. A lot of misplaced stupid humor (Gimli deserved more respect), turning Faramir into a complete bastard, some ridiculous nonsense with the Army of the Dead, Gandalf physically assaulting Denethor, etc. Another director might be able to avoid these kinds of mistakes in The Hobbit, but they might not do as good an overall job as Jackson did with LotR. Also, Jackson and co. have already written the script, which is where I think the main problems lay with LotR, not with the actual directing, so the damage may have already been done, and it is probably best just to let Peter go ahead and direct it. And I don’t get people complaining about splitting The Hobbit into two movies, and the length of LotR. Were you really dying to get out of the theater during RotK? I would have stayed in Jackson’s middle earth all day if I could have.

    Also: Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter movie. I wish Cuaron had directed all of the subsequent ones. I really don’t like Yates. Hopefully he won’t screw up Deathly Hallows as much as he has the last two films.

    • He’s reportedly saying he’ll play one of the wizards, and dismissed that he’ll be Bilbo.

  12. They just need to get it done. frankly, I want no more news unless it is news about the trailer lol. I grow weary from waiting