Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’ Is Officially Greenlit [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated October 15th, 2010 at 8:24 pm,

the hobbit movies Peter Jacksons The Hobbit Is Officially Greenlit [Updated]

[Update: An official press release from New Line and Warner Bros. confirms what is said below. Peter Jackson is directing, the films are officially greenlit and production begins in February]

As promised by Peter Jackson, good news for The Hobbit has finally come to start off our weekends on a high note. While unofficially, we knew J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale of Bilbo Baggins’ journey was going to happen sooner or later, officially it has the green light, so says an insider close to production.

MGM, the main obstacle creating the development turmoil, has agreed to commit to The Hobbit and while they need to sort out their financial obligations to the project, negotiations are still ongoing (almost finished?) over the management and ownership.

The news comes from The Wrap whose source details that The Hobbit films have been given the green light and that production is set to begin in February.  Peter Jackson will be writing the screenplays, producing and stepping into the director’s chair for both parts, making him the one true helmsmen of the Middle-earth movie pentalogy (3 Lord of the Rings pics + 2 Hobbit features).

With Jackson’s deal reportedly having been finalized this week, MGM and Warner Bros. went ahead and finally gave the go ahead for production on The Hobbit to move forward.

With sets having already been constructed, actors in talks for key roles and the scripts near completion ($30 million spent so far on production), both industry talent and moviegoers alike can be relieved that MGM’s financial woes are no longer holding back our return to Middle-earth.

Now that this mess is over, the MGM ownership situation still needs to be resolved. While Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinemas is in charge of production, MGM has to cover half of the nearly half-billion dollar budget as they own international distribution rights. MGM is therefore looking for funding options which could include Lionsgate or Spyglass stepping in or Warner Bros. covering more of the budget for greater distribution rights.

Soon, we can move on to the fun stuff: Casting! Will Martin Freeman have time in between projects that jives with The Hobbit’s production schedule?

Expect confirmation from the studio(s) shortly on The Hobbit, once New Zealand labor disputes and the financial plan are resolved. Interestingly enough, if production does indeed begin in February, Ian Mckellen (Gandalf) was actually correct in one of his forward-looking statements about the project!

Follow us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

The Hobbit Part 1 is still scheduled for theatrical release December 19, 2012, with Part 2 following a year later in December, 2013.

Sources: The Wrap, Los Angeles Times

TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. I’ll wait til I hear something official from the studio. It could go either way with this film.

  2. I wondered how they would stretch it into two movies,but I guess they’re going to incorporate some of the back story from the appendices.Gandalf going to The White Council,and Dol Guldur too when he leaves the Dwarves at the edge of Mirkwood.Maybe even Aragorn in Rivendale.Should be in his thirties I think.If they actually get this going it should be a pretty decent movie.Hopefully Ian McKellen will be able to reprise his role.

  3. Finally some good news and with Peter Jackson confirmed and the hobbit gettin greenlit I’m sure he’ll bring us great movie on an epic scale can’t wait though it’s not official it’s still great news ^_^

  4. Please, I am so tired of the ups and downs with this one! Keep on it Rob!
    *crosses fingers*

  5. Finally! Now to get Bond off the ground.

    • I agree

  6. Second the bond. Really don’t care about the hobbit. *shrug

  7. FINALLY!!!!

    • lol :)

  8. So, is McKellen returning to the role of Gandalf…? I really don’t want another Dumbledore (original actor is unable to return, even if not their fault, and we get a COMPLETELY different actor, in every sense of the word).

    Also… We’re all speculating on whether the movie’s gonna be made. My question(s) is/are:

    1.) Who’s gonna play: Gandalf, Bilbo, Gollum (got my fingers crossed for Serkis)?

    2.) Are they gonna have the Troll sequence? That was HILARIOUS.

    3.) When will we start getting images? I remember hearing about the new Conan movie with Jason Momoa, and I thought, “Yeah, that’ll happen *laugh*.” But I’m seeing some stills from it, and it looks INCREDIBLE. So where are the initial shots they usual have leaked?

    • McKellen and Serkis are coming back as Gandalf and Gollum. Martin Freeman looks to be the new Bilbo. David Tennant is being persued also (HELL YEAH) for a role.

      • David Tennant for biblo? oh hell yes, forget martin freeman. I’m liking this already. And have Samuel L. Jackson as bard whatever the guy’s name is, the one tat can change into a bear. (joking on that one, but kinda not lol)

        • According to what I read, Feeman pretty much IS Bilbo. I’m not sure what role Tennant will be up for, but I hope he doesn’t get it. He’ll be too busy starring as The Riddler in Batman 3 (just hopeful speculation).

  9. The best part of this whole thing is that Peter Jackson is directing.Now we know this will truely live up to LOTR.

    • Amen to that! I loved all the LOTR films and I expect both Hobbit films to be just as good.

  10. and they have to have the trolls b/c its refrenced in FOTR (once in theatrical twice in extended)

  11. “Where there’s a whip! (WHHOOOOPAH) There’s a way!”

  12. I suppose that no good thing lasts forever . . .

    Still, I’ve enjoyed the delay and time well spent won’t come back to haunt me.

  13. I was under the impression that the scripts were already done, by Jackson, Walsh, Boyens and Del Toro. Jackson is now writing the screenplays? Still, it’ll be interesting to see if the New Zealand labor troubles will be resolved and the films shot there, or not.

  14. I loved the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, never read the books and had know excitement to see the films, but when I rented “The Fellowship of the Ring” back when it first came out I was hooked and saw the next two films in theaters. I don’t know much about the Hobbit but I am looking forward to it.

    • Dennis, you really should read the books, then you can really fully appreciate Tolkiens universe and Jacksons vision of the films