Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Line To Peter Jackson: Bugger Off

I assumed the massive amounts of money to be made would smooth things over. But New Line's Bob Shaye feels personally insulted by Peter Jackson's lawsuit and says Jackson will NEVER make "The Hobbit" or any movie at New Line as long as Shaye is around. (LOTR fans immediately begin buying voodoo dolls and trying to get steal a lock of hair from Shaye.) Shaye told the SciFi Channel per the BBC:
"He's got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right.

"And this guy... turns around without wanting to have a discussion with us and sues us and refused to discuss it unless we just give in to his plan.

"I don't want to work with that guy any more. Why would I? So the answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working at the company."
Ironically, it's the fact the Jackson and everyone has made so much money that makes me assume he must feel really cheated to bother with a lawsuit. And naturally, since every film studio since the beginning of time has cooked the books and tried to hold back profits, my sympathies were with Jackson. But this is terrible news. The next question is whether Ian McKellen and the others would sign on WITHOUT Jackson aboard. There's nothing yet on McKellen's website.

UPDATE: Here is Jackson's measured, professional response, per Hollywood Reporter:
In response, Jackson issued a statement Tuesday that did not attack Shaye but aimed at clarifying his issue with New Line. Jackson said the lawsuit stems from the studio's refusal to account for financial anomalies that surfaced from a partial audit of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and that is has denied his repeated requests to audit "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King."

"Fundamentally, our legal action is about holding New Line to its contractual obligations and promises," Jackson said. "It is regrettable that Bob has chosen to make it personal. I have always had the highest respect and affection for Bob and other senior management at New Line and continue to do so."
Now I'm definitely on Jackson's side.

No comments: