Peter Jackson expected to direct “The Hobbit”

Well, it took longer than necessary, but MGM and New Line appear to have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that Peter Jackson needs to direct “The Hobbit” if this film is ever going to happen.

TheWrap reports the project is close to a greenlight (despite members of the production team being less than optimistic), so needless to say, it needs a director. Recall that Guillermo Del Toro left the oft-delayed project back in May and  a couple names were tossed around (such as Harry Potter director David Yates), but for the last three months at least, it’s been assumed Jackson would return.

Reports are that the film will get its greenlight and it will be filmed in 3D. The latter, at this point, appears to be the most likely factual of those statements. Apparently, the cast is in a holding pattern (though we know Martin Freeman will star as Bilbo Baggins) and the sets have already been built in New Zealand. TheWrap says Warner Bros. has spent $30 million on the film to this point.

“The Hobbit,” schedule to be released in two parts with the first hitting theaters December 19, 2012 so that we have something to look forward to and enjoy two days before the Mayan apocalypse, has without question been one of the most troubled films ever, especially if you look at the ratio of trouble to magnitude of the project. MGM’s financial issues and union disputes in New Zealand have nearly derailed the film completely, but we should get back to the world of J.R.R. Tolkein at some point. With Peter Jackson and Del Toro having collaborated on the production and Jackson back as director, there’s no doubt the film will supplement the Lord of the Rings trilogy nicely if not outdo it in terms of visual quality.


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