Troubling news out of Middle Earth. “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson has announced he won’t direct the film version of “The Hobbit” because of a lawsuit against New Line Cinemas over profits for one of the LOTR movies. It looks like such suits are commonplace in Hollywood, but New Line has tied Jackson’s participation as director to settling the suit. Jackson says he won’t mix business with the artistic aspect of filmmaking.
This is not the final word, however. MGM shares the movie rights to “The Hobbit” with New Line (although it did not have rights for LOTR) and they obviously want Jackson to helm the movie. After all, they want the man who created one of the most profitable movie series of all time to continue the magic.
One interesting fact jumped out from Jackson’s letter. He revealed that “New Line have rights to make not just The Hobbit but a second ‘LOTR prequel’, covering the events leading up to those depicted in LOTR.” A second prequel?! What would it cover? What happens between “The Hobbit” and “LOTR” that would be worth making a movie? Perhaps the expulsion of Sauron from Dol Guldur? Something about Aragorn? Boggles the mind.
Of course, without Peter Jackson you’d need to find another world-class director, perhaps someone who has experience making prequels of blockbuster film franchises. Someone like ... George Lucas?
It’s understandable he’d need to make some changes to fit his artistic vision. He’d probably want to replace the raspy voice of Gollum with, say, a street-smart Jamaican accent. Gandalf would no longer be a tall, grey-bearded wizened old man and would become a short, green-skinned wizened old ... something. Bilbo would no longer be a middle-aged hobbit comfortable without adventures and would instead become a rebellious teenager filled with angst over the loss of his parents at an early age. Hmm, what other changes might Lucas make…
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