2010: A Hobbit Odyssey

Long Live Smaug!

Peter Jackson, Oscar-winning director of the Lord of the Rings movies, has signed a deal to produce two films based on JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

The filmmaker had been in dispute with New Line Cinema over income generated by the first film in the Rings trilogy.

“I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us,” said Jackson. “We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth.”

A director for the films – prequels to the Rings movies – has yet to be named.

The two Hobbit films will be filmed simultaneously, with their release planned for 2010 and 2011.

Ian McKellen is also keen to reprise his role as Gandalf. Principal photography begins in 2009. OH MY FRAKKIN GOD!!!!!

There’ already an official forum and blog up. I cant believe this. I mean. I was excited about LOTR and that blew me away, far beyond ANY of my expectations. And that was in spite of cramming the entire epic into a three-movie format. This, though – the entire tale of The Hobbit gets two entire films!

OK, I would still prefer that Jackson be directing, but Jackson only directed about 1/4th of LOTR too (since they had multiple units filming around the clock). In some ways the producer has more power, though of course who knows what the dynamic will be in reality until the names are assembled. It’s clear that New Line and MGM want to tap into the pre-existing fandom to guarantee success, so I am not too worried about “creative interference”.