Movies

Peter Jackson teams up with MGM, New Line for The Hobbit

MUMBAI: Oscar winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, New Line Cinema co-chairmen and co-CEOs Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne have jointly announced that they have entered into a series of agreements:

MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films The Hobbit and a sequel to The Hobbit. New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally. New Line had earlier made The Lord Of The Rings trilogy with Jackson. The Hobbit is the prequel to those films.



Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as executive producers of two films based on The Hobbit. New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.



Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy.



Jackson says, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind and begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. The Lord of the Rings is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through the Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”



Sloan says, “Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life, and we full-heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making The Hobbit. Now that we are all in agreement on The Hobbit, we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film."



Shaye says, “We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with The Hobbit movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.”



The two Hobbit films are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of The Hobbit release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.



The Lord of the Rings films grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box-office. In 2003, Return of the King swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated including Best Picture.

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