More Hobbit

The Frodo Franchise’s Kristin Thompson discusses the recent online Q&A hosted by Weta and featuring Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. A PDF file of the chat is available from the fine folks at Weta. There are hints about the mysterious “Film 2.”

Hobbits thwarted again?

Peter Jackson and New Line finally seem to have kissed and made up and now the film adaptation of The Hobbit is in jeopardy again because of subprime? WTF?!?!

Wednesday afternoon, the Financial Times published a scoop breaking the news that funding for a slate of upcoming blockbuster movies may be delayed because of Wall Street’s current woes.

The studio in question is MGM: The movies on the list include “The Hobbit” and the next installments in both the Terminator and James Bond sagas.

It seems that in recent years Hollywood has moved to a relatively new financing model in which it raises funding for a slate of upcoming films by having investment banks tap the pockets of private equity funds, hedge funds and institutional investors. In this case, MGM had contracted with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to raise as much as a billion dollars.

But all these heavy hitters play with other people’s money, and right now, the cost of borrowing that money has shot up. Access to credit has withered. Buyout and merger action has come to a screeching halt. The initial impetus for this crunch came from homeowners failing to make their mortgage payments, but the damage is spreading far and wide.

I’m sure our resident economists even understand what that actually means. I think in layperson’s terms though it translates down to more delays. Grrr! Argh!

New Line still courting Jackson

New Line Cinema would love to get production on The Hobbit underway, but seem intent on wooing Peter Jackson back to the franchise first.

Eager to move ahead with “The Hobbit,” New Line has quietly been trying to mend fences with “Rings” filmmaker Peter Jackson, who has sued the company over his share of profits from the first “Rings” films. When asked if it was true that company insiders had been in talks with Jackson’s reps, Shaye replied, “Yes, that’s a fair statement. Notwithstanding our personal quarrels, I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in ‘The Hobbit.'”

No word yet on whether Jackson is receptive.

Thanks to for the find!

Who needs the Hyatt?

Seems LOTR director Peter Jackson has the best guest house in the world! And Sir Ian McKellen will be staying there while in Wellington to perform in King Lear with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

“He kept the set of Bag End, which was Frodo’s house, and set it up for guests with running water, so I’m going to spend the night there,” Sir Ian said yesterday.

“It’ll be the one the hobbits were in which made them look small, so it’ll be big enough for humans.”

I wonder if Sir Ian would put in a good word for us. Can you imagine what a fantastic con suite it would make? I wonder if Frodo would bring us fresh towels?

Movie news: Trek, comic books and trailers

You can imagine yourself the pointy ears.Is Sylar-Spock reality after all? E!’s Kristin thinks so… We’ll find out for sure at Comic-Con, where reports are that J.J. Abrams plans to announce his Trek casting


Age of the comic book movies

Trailer park

  • The Darjeeling Limited. Wes Anderson film starring his regulars, as well as Adrien Brody and Natalie Portman. (She’s not in the trailer, though.)
  • The Last Legion. Colin Firth, Romans, Excalibur, melodrama, etc. Highlight looks to be Aishwarya Rai with a sword.

Jackson to direct The Hobbit?

Has the cold day in hell arrived?

“Never say never,” hints New Line Cinema co-founder and co-chairman Robert Shaye about the possibility of Peter Jackson returning to direct The Hobbit.

“There’s nothing I can really talk about except to say that I believe ‘The Hobbit’ will be made,” says Shaye, choosing his words carefully like the lawyer that he is. “There’s a bunch of issues and elements that have to be addressed.”

Hmm… still not holding my breath.