MGM Holds Out Hope to Hobbit Fans

Posted on November 28, 2006

Fan reaction to the news that New Line dumped Peter Jackson from the film version of The Hobbit has been overwhelmingly angry. But now MGM is offering new hope to Lord of the Rings fans that Peter Jackson will direct The Hobbit.

Last week Mr. Jackson posted a letter on a fan Web site, theonering.net, explaining that he had been dumped by New Line from The Hobbit, a movie based on the book by J. R. R. Tolkien, and still in the planning stages.

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Within hours thousands of other fans weighed in on lordotrings.com, onering.com and other sites, worrying about the future of the Tolkien enterprise and asking New Line, which has an option to produce the film until 2009, to back down. Theonering.net was among those calling for a boycott of any Hobbit film not made by Mr. Jackson.

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On the heels of the protest, reporters and entertainment bloggers called the studio to ask about the film's fate. In what was once an insular club of power brokers and back-stabbers, the voices of outsiders - dancing across the globe at the speed of a modem - have begun to penetrate.

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But anxiety continued to reverberate in cyberspace. Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the Rings series, wrote on his Web site, mckellen.com: "I'm very sad as I should have relished revisiting middle Earth with Peter again as team-leader. It's hard to imagine any other director matching his achievement in Tolkien country."

MGM is trying to calm the concerns of Hobbit fans. An MGM spokesman is quoted as saying, "We expect to partner with New Line in financing The Hobbit. We support Peter Jackson as a filmmaker, and believe that when the dust settles, he'll be making the movie. We can't imagine any other result.

So the guys with the money, MGM, say they can't imagine anyone else directing the film, eh? That's a very good sign, we think.


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