Goblins and Wargs beware: Peter Jackson is reportedly heading back to Middle-earth to direct The Hobbit.
Jackson is currently in negotiations with Warner Bros, MGM, and New Line to step in as Guillermo del Toro's replacement for the film. If the negotiations work out, it would be a dream come true for Lord of the Rings fans who have been clamoring for the Academy Award-winning director to pick up the reins of his beloved franchise again.
The fact that Jackson has reportedly agreed to take over as director of The Hobbit is not a total surprise. Previously, we reported that Jackson was willing to take on the role, but only if he could fit it around other contractual obligations. Furthermore, during the search for a replacement director, it became apparent that Warner Bros and MGM were not going to commit to another director - unless they were absolutely certain Jackson wouldn't take on the role.
Of course, it isn't a done deal yet. According to a Deadline source, there are a few remaining issues that need to be worked out.
"While Jackson’s camp has been tight-lipped, I’m told that the case is being made to MGM's owners to loosen the purse strings and make the movies happen. The impetus for these talks is that Jackson will be the director of both of The Hobbit films, which will be shot back-to-back in his New Zealand backyard."
Personally, I'm very hopeful that the negotiations come through and Jackson does end up directing The Hobbit. After spending years working on The Lord of the Rings, I can understand why he might be hesitant to commit fully to the project, but there really isn't anyone better equipped to handle the film.
Consider some of the alternatives that were floated among fans: Alfonso Cuarón would have undoubtedly made an excellent director (as Screen Rant's own Kofi Outlaw suggested) as would have Jackson's protegé Neill Blomkamp (though that turned out to be nothing more than rumor).
Is there really anybody out there with as much experience managing a massive-scale, multi-year production like Jackson? For a movie that has already seen so much behind-the-scenes drama, it is important to have a director with the ability to take decisive control of the production. I think Jackson is the guy that can do that.
I suspect there will be some fans who are frustrated that someone else didn't get the opportunity to imprint their own vision on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale, but I don't prescribe to the belief that just because Jackson made The Lord of the Rings he won't do anything new with The Hobbit. As a producer, he had been working closely with Guillermo del Toro before he decided to leave the film. Surely, their discussions will influence Jackson's interpretation of the story. What's more, it's been seven years since Return of the King was released. I seriously doubt that Jackson is the exact same guy he was back then.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a watershed moment for fantasy film. Not only were all of the movies critically acclaimed, but they were also massive box office successes, elevating Jackson to God-like status in Hollywood.
While his involvement on The Hobbit as a producer was exciting, the fact that he may now also be directing the film is a win for everyone involved - especially fans.
As the negotiations continue, we'll stay on top of all the news here at Screen Rant. In the meantime, what do you think of the news that Peter Jackson might be on the cusp of directing The Hobbit?