Looks like the Hobbit movie is still on hold, awaiting the fate of the MGM studio being sold to clarify the rights situation. Director Guillermo del Toro himself lays out the status, via AICN:
Q: We’ve been following your production of THE HOBBIT, and every time the production gets delayed. Do you know when you’re actually going to start and get on set?
Guillermo del Toro: There cannot be any start dates really until the MGM situation is resolved, because they do hold a considerable portion of the rights, and it’s impossible to make a unilateral decision by New Line or Warners to give the greenlight to proceed. We really believe that things will be known after the fact of MGM’s fate. Whether they stay and get supported, or they get bought, or they transfer some of the rights: nobody knows. We’ve been caught in a very tangled negotiation.
Now I’ve been on the project for nearly two years. We have designed all the creatures; we have designed the sets and wardrobes; we have done animatics and planned very lengthy action sequences and scary sequences and funny sequences. We are very, very prepared for when it’s finally triggered, but we don’t know anything is sold.
Q: The story that was reported earlier today that THE HOBBIT has been greenlit and will be shot in 3D, that is false?
Del Toro: On both counts, there are no final answers. It is not greenlit. That is categorical. And 3D has been discussed literally once in the room. The budget and the schedule and everything that we are handling – the cost of the film, the number of days it would take to shoot – is being handled right now without looking towards 3D. Is there a chance it will become 3D in the future? Maybe. Right now, it’s not being planned as such.
Well, there’s still the World of Warcraft movie to look forward to.