Second ‘Hobbit’ Script Finished, Film Not Greenlit Yet

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:29 pm,

the hobbit header Second Hobbit Script Finished, Film Not Greenlit Yet

Those looking forward to the upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit have probably been rather confused and quite irritated at all the back and forth news regarding the production of the movie. No sooner than we hear word that three of the main cast members are returning do we hear that no actors are confirmed; we hear that Tobey Maguire is in talks to play Bilbo Baggins, then he isn’t; we hear the movie is going to start shooting this summer but oh no, it’s been delayed till the end of the year.

It’s gotten to the point where we don’t really know who to believe when it comes to news about The Hobbit.

However, if anyone’s going to be trusted more than others it’s the people directly involved with the film. In a new update to the whole “Will it, won’t it?” Hobbit situation, producer Peter Jackson spoke to Moviefone about it during a interview promoting The Lovely Bones DVD. What Jackson said may disappoint but necessarily surprise those who have been closely followings The Hobbit news.

Before we get to the quotes, the gist of what Jackson reveals is that even though the second script is now complete and has been handed into the studio (the first script was handed in a while back), the film has not yet been officially greenlit by the studio. Here’s what Jackson said:

“It’s not really been delayed, because we’ve never announced the date. I mean it’s sort of interesting because the studio [MGM] has never greenlit ‘The Hobbit,’ so therefore ‘The Hobbit’ has never been officially announced as a “go” project, nor have we ever announced a date.”

“We’ve just delivered the script. Literally last week, we delivered the second of the two screenplays — the first draft. So the studio’s got both scripts now, which is a milestone; and if anything was holding it up, it was us doing the screenplays, because we’d just been writing as fast as we can, but it took us this long to get them finished. So we take whatever responsibility there is for the speed. And we’re now in the process of budgeting the films, and then hopefully we’ll get to a budget the studio [people] are happy with, and they’ll greenlight the movies and we’ll announce the shooting dates. I’d be pretty optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year. I would imagine October, November, we’d be shooting by. I’m NOT announcing it, though.”

The likely reason The Hobbit has not yet been greenlit by MGM is because of their current financial predicament (that’s a soft word to use about the whole situation). The last we reported on MGM’s financial woes it appeared it had delayed The Hobbit until the end of 2010 after Ian McKellen (who supposedly was the only actor confirmed to be returning) “confirmed” a summer shooting start date. However, according to Jackson, the film hasn’t been delayed because they never officially announced any date.


Moving on to casting for The Hobbit, Jackson confirms what has been said previously by either himself or Hobbit director Peter Jackson – no actors have been cast. According to Jackson in this interview, they’ve done a little bit of auditioning (they’re casting a wide net to find the right actors). He says that people think they’ve been doing some sort of secret casting when they haven’t. It’s not something they could do until this thing gets the go-ahead from the guys up top.

the hobbit ian mckellen as gandalf Second Hobbit Script Finished, Film Not Greenlit Yet

Lastly, Jackson directly answered the question of whether any of the actors we’ve previously heard about returning are in fact returning. He said that there have been no deals with any actors to come back, even Ian McKellen who we thought was absolutely confirmed to come back as Gandalf. I still think the likes of McKellen and Andy Serkis (who played Gollum/Smeagol in motion-capture form in LOTR) will return but at this point it’s “very likely” and not “definitely.”

I guess we’ll have to wait for MGM to be sold off at auction before The Hobbit can officially be greenlit and we can start hearing word of official dates and casting announcements. For now we’re left to give our thoughts on the whole back and forth nature of the news that crops up regularly.

What do you make of the latest Hobbit update from Peter Jackson? Surprised? Annoyed? Indifferent? Sound off in the comments below.

We’re still no quite sure when The Hobbit will start shooting or when it will be released. With regards to the latter, the general dates of December, 2011 for Part 1 and December, 2012 for Part 2 have been floating around for quite a while.

Source: Moviefone (via Coming Soon)

TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. Extremely disappointing but not in the least bit surprising. As long as they take the time to get it right, that's all that we can really ask for as fans of both the series and Tolkien's work. They've stumbled through every obstacle to get this thing made and with the amount of creative talent onbaord (especially with the addition of del Toro) this project will be nothing short of brilliant. I'm holding my breath, no matter how long it takes.

  2. I cannot express how much I am looking forward to this film. The fact that it's being directed by Guillermo del Toro, my favourite director, the fact that it's being made only a few years after Lord of the Rings, so all the actors are alive and well, the fact that the LotR writers, produucers, and SFX guys are all involved, the fact that they're splitting it into two films so that they won't have to cut anything like they did with LotR… when taken together, all of these things seem almost too good to be true. I've been terrified at the notion that the film might not get made. The sooner they get to work on this, the better. I'm going to spend the next two years in a constant state of mild anxiety.

    I've heard on another (not-as-cool-as-Screen Rant) website, that if MGM can't manage to find a buyer, all of its properties will be split-up and auctioned separately. If this is true, then how much longer will it be until it happens, and will the 'Hobbit' property be snapped up quickly if it does? Personally I just how that Warner buys MGM. They're already co-financing the project, and bringing all the financial duties under one company just seems like the least-messy way to proceed.

    I just deeply hope that this film gets made.

  3. Considering the success of the LotR trilogy, the staff they have ready to helm the project, and that they've already finished scripts for both films, I believe “a” studio will pick it up and finance The Hobbit (if MGM falls through).

    It's already a gold mine with a large, loyal following. Just like the probability of McKellan, Serkis, and the others returning, I think this film is “extremely likely' to be made.

  4. I'm not holding my breath, because this could get delayed again and again. Eventually, I think it will be made, but who knows when? Guess I'll go watch “Born of Hope” and “The Hunt for Gollum” again while I'm waiting!

  5. It will be made, there is no way two guarrenteed box off gold movies don't get released. I think our main concern is just how long we might have to wait for them.

  6. I wish Jackson and company at Wingnut Films and Weta could consolidate their money and power and just buy the rights to The Hobbit, that would be the best news we could hear about the project.

  7. 'It’s gotten to the point where we don’t really know who to believe when it comes to news about The Hobbit.'

    'However, if anyone’s going to be trusted more than others it’s the people directly involved with the film.'

    Exactly. And I think you've just nailed why blogs posing as news outlets is a bad idea. Blogs don't have the burden of verifying sources and more often than not are just regurgitating rumors and bits that they've found on other sites. This kind of stuff is great for discussion, but little else.

    Everyone's trying to scoop the other guys, but a scoop isn't a scoop if it turns out to be bogus.