Monday, September 11, 2006

"The Hobbit" Without Peter Jackson?

In a story about the rebuilding of MGM, they mention briefly about developing "The Hobbit" which they say will be made in one or two installments and which the studio head HOPES will be directed by Peter Jackson. The rights to Tolkien's classic have been confused for years, but presumably with the stage musical by Saul Zaentz and the recent movie version by New Line, everyone agrees that MGM (which I believe made the clunky animated Ralph Bakshi version) has the rights to "The Hobbit." I'm not sure "The Hobbit" should be split up into two movies. (Where would they stop? After the Misty Mountains, when Bilbo and the dwarves and Gandalf were rescued by the Great Eagles?) The tone is very different from "The Lord of the Rings" and the tale is much simpler, with just a hint of the darkness to come. A sprightly three hours (if that's possible) seems right to me. But making it without Peter Jackson is unthinkable unless he flatly turns it down. Jackson has several other projects in the works and it's almost a no-win proposition for him. But surely the thought that someone else might make it will spur him on. And the sooner the better: Ian McKellen isn't getting any younger and he must play Gandalf.

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