Jump to content

The Hobbit Trilogy


Recommended Posts

Ooh, I hadn't thought of Blomkamp. I love District 9, so I'd like to see his take on The Hobbit. I'm not too sure if it's his kind of film though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was mixed when I heard the rumour - he'd be an interesting choice for sure, but I'd much rather see what he could do with an original title. More over, if he takes the gig on and does both films, it'll tie him up until something like 2013.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really hope Neil Blomkamp doesn't do The Hobbit. He's a young, interesting filmmaker with a unique voice, the absolute last thing I want to see him do is some re-hashed version of a Peter Jackson film from ten years ago that everyone thought was great at the time, and in retrospect was a bit rubbish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goose: so?

K: what? How's it rubbish? I'd be amazed to see a better adaptation come to fruition in the next 50 years (licenses permitting, of course).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really hope Neil Blomkamp doesn't do The Hobbit. He's a young, interesting filmmaker with a unique voice...


...the absolute last thing I want to see him do is some re-hashed version of a Peter Jackson film from ten years ago that everyone thought was great at the time, and in retrospect was a bit rubbish.

And it was going so well... :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goose: so?

Well I think the guy is an interesting film maker, based on his short film work and District 9 and I'd rather see what he could do next than spend three, maybe four years, working on two films based on the Hobbit. I'd much rather get two different films out of him, maybe his R-Rated sci-fi flick and the District 9 sequel, or another original work.

But it's academic - From Cinematical -

Blomkamp made sense because of his close relationship with Peter Jackson, but what didn't make sense was the fact that Blomkamp was supposed to be working on a new sci-fi film that was announced earlier this year. Did that project suddenly disappear? Well no, it didn't -- according to Vulture (who spoke with Blomkamp's agency), he's still hard at work on the new sci-fi flick, titled Elysium, and he won't be directing The Hobbit. In fact, he was never offered the position, nor has anyone from MGM/United Artists or Warner Bros. contacted his agency regarding the project.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Briefly: Here you go, fans: be happy. THR is reporting that Peter Jackson is negotiating a deal to direct the two halves of The Hobbit himself.

He’s talking to Warner Bros., MGM and New Line right now, and Deadline says that he’s been busy extracting himself from other obligations. What does that do to Tintin? I expect a lot of you might not care. Deadline also says that Jackson directing has been a primary factor in getting MGM to schedule The Hobbit to shoot at the end of this year. I.e., without Jackson would the films not happen at all? That’s probably a moot question at this point. More on this as it filters out.

Read more: /Film | Blogging the Reel World http://www.slashfilm.com/#ixzz0rtD0d8vc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Freeman (not Gordon) is in, then out, then in again?

From Comingsoon.net

Martin Freeman may be at the very top of the list of potential Hobbit leads, according to a report at EW.

Freeman, best known for his performance as Tim on the original "The Office," would play Bilbo Baggins, a humorless Hobbit unwittingly thrust into the life of an adventurer. Ian Holm portrayed Bilbo in the "Lord of the Rings" films, set decades after the events of The Hobbit.

Freeman reportedly turned down the role due to a previous commitment to the BBC series "Sherlock." Now, EW claims that an offer has been made to Freeman that would work The Hobbit shooting into his schedule.

Though official details are still unannounced, progression on The Hobbit would seem to indicate that New Line/Warner Bros. and MGM are close to working out the financial issues that have been holding back production.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah right. Of course he turned it down in favour of doing Sherlock for the BBC.

As much bullshit as that line obviously is, I can't say I'm averse to him getting the part. I reckon he'd fit the character pretty well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

More headaches?

To sum up, Australia unions warned their members about working on The Hobbit. Jackson responds, summing up with 'if we can't make the Hobbit in NZ, we'll make it in Eastern Europe, but that'll ultimately damage film making in NZ".

Peter Jackson released the following statement in reaction to the seven unions that have told their members not to work for The Hobbit films in New Zealand. You can read what the unions sent to their members on Friday here.

Here is Peter Jackson's statement:

Statement regarding The Hobbit and claims by the Australian Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA):

The Australian Labour Union, the MEAA is using our production The Hobbit in an attempt to widen it's membership, and power within the New Zealand film industry. As a New Zealand filmmaker, who has nothing to hide or be ashamed about, I'm not going to see this threatening behaviour continue without some form of sensible discussion about the "facts" and "truth" behind their various allegations.

It's incredibly easy to wave the flag on behalf of workers and target the rich studios. It's not hard to generate an emotive response, nor is it hard to sway public opinion, since nobody seems to like the facts to get in the way of a good story in these situations.

Behind the claims of exploiting actors who are cast in the "non-Union" Hobbit production, and claims that various high-profile stars will refuse to take part in the films, there are clear agendas at work. As usual with these agendas, they are based on money and power.

I am not a lawyer, nor am I an expert in unions and how they operate - but I like to think I have a degree of common sense, and that's what I'm basing my observations on. Let me run over a few facts:

-- Personally speaking, I'm not anti-Union in the slightest. I'm a very proud and loyal member of three Hollywood Unions - the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild. I support the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). All these organisations (I must confess I'm not entirely sure what the difference is between a "Guild" and a "Union") do terrific work on behalf of their members.

-- Many Actors are members of SAG, but many are not -- especially younger actors and many Australian and New Zealand performers. MEAA claims we are "non-Union", but whenever we hire an actor who belongs to SAG, we always honour their working conditions, their minimum salary agreements and their residuals.

-- The SAG residuals is a small pot of money that comes from the movie's profits. The DGA and WGA have similar schemes. An agreed upon percentage of movie profits is placed in a pot, which is shared amongst the members of the guild who worked on the film in question. Despite MEAA claims that The Hobbit is "non-Union", our studio, Warner Brothers, is honouring these residuals, and making the profit sharing available to all the various Guild members - just as it did on The Lord of the Rings, and Universal did on King Kong.

-- These residuals can be worth tens of thousands of dollars to an individual if the film is successful - however the normal situation is that if an actor is not a member of SAG, they do not share in the profit pot.

-- This has always struck us as unfair, since most Kiwi actors are not lucky enough to be SAG members. For the Hobbit, Warner Brothers have agreed to create a separate pot of profit participation, which will be divided up amongst non-SAG actors who are cast in the film. This was not done because of any pressure from Guilds or Unions - it was actually Warners doing the decent thing, and New Zealand and Australian actors will be the principle beneficiaries. SAG members have their pot, and non-SAG members now have theirs. We have introduced the scheme to Kiwi agents and it's now part of all our Hobbit cast deals.

-- Whatever damage MEAA is attempting to do -- and it will do damage, since that's their principal objective in targeting The Hobbit - we will continue to treat our actors and crew with respect, as we always have.

-- As I said earlier, money and power lies behind this threatening behaviour from our Australian cousins, and to fully understand that, you simply have to step back and look at the greater picture in context.

-- It starts with "NZ Actors Equity". This is a tiny organisation that represents a small minority of New Zealand Actors. They are not a Union, and have none of the legal status of a Union. They are a ... well, a smallish group who have some New Zealand actors as members. How many actors are members of NZ Equity? They guard that information very closely, but various reports I've seen put their membership at 200, although somebody in the know swears it's nearer 100.

-- How many professional actors are there in New Zealand? Somewhere between 2000 and 4000, depending on just how you describe a "professional actor". Obviously most Kiwi actors have other employment too, but there's certainly over 2000 actors available to cast in a film production.

-- So taking the most generous numbers, NZ Actors Equity represents 200 out of 2000 Kiwi actors, or 10%. Perhaps I'm wrong, and if so, NZ Equity will no doubt reveal their real membership numbers.

- Now there's nothing wrong with NZ Actors Equity representing 10% of the actors in this country. It's great that they offer that service, and if an actor chooses, there's a supportive group they can join. Obviously the more actors that join NZ Equity, the better, since these organisations usually survive by taking a small percentage of their members acting fees. I'm guessing that Equity do something like that. Recently they have been part-funded by MEAA.

- Over the last 10 years our relationship with NZ Equity has been rocky -- whenever we cast an "overseas actor", we get a letter telling us why such and such Kiwi actor would be so much better in the role. In most cases we have already auditioned the actor in question, and formed our own opinions -- but what strikes me as unfair, is how this "helpful" service of suggesting better choices only includes the "Equity 200". If you happen to be a good actor who doesn't belong to NZ Equity (and many don't), you're automatically not good enough to be put forward.

-- What really does strike me as wrong, and this is my personal opinion, is the why that the MEAA is using NZ Actors Equity as a vehicle to represent the voices and opinions of New Zealand actors. A couple of years ago, the members of NZ Actors Equity voted to join some kind of alliance with the Australian MEAA group. At the time, there were voices of alarm at how this relationship could damage the interest of Kiwi Actors, but the merger went ahead - and now we're about to find out just how damaging it's going to be.

-- As far as I know, the membership of NZ Actors Equity was allowed into the MEAA, meaning that the Australian MEAA organisation represents 200 out of 2000 Kiwi actors. I don't believe it represents non-Equity NZ actors. It speaks on behalf of a tiny minority of our actors.

-- The management of NZ Equity are clearly happy to be used as a political football by the Australians -- but my sympathy goes to the 1800 New Zealand Actors who are not part of the "Equity 200", but who are going to suffer the fallout if this Hobbit thing goes nuclear.

-- I also feel a growing anger at the way this tiny minority is endangering a project that hundreds of people have worked on over the last two years, and the thousands about to be employed for the next 4 years. The hundreds of millions of Warner Brothers dollars that is about to be spent in our economy.

-- Why is this endangered? Because the "demands" of MEAA cannot be agreed to, or even considered - by law - and therefore the only options that remain involve closing the Hobbit down, or more likely shifting the production to Europe. It could so easily happen. I've been told that Disney are no longer bring movies to Australia because of their frustration with the MEAA.

-- The MEAA is demanding that the Hobbit production company (Warners owned, 3foot7 Ltd) enter into negotiations for a Union negotiated agreement covering all performers on the film.

-- I personally have a problem with any organisation who represent a small minority, but attempt to take control of everyone - but that's not the real issue. The complex web of NZ labour laws are the reason why this demand will never be agreed to.

-- NZ law prohibits engaging in collective bargaining with any labour organisation representing performers who are independent contractors, as film actors clearly are. The NZ Commerce Act claims it would be unlawful to engage with an Australian Union on these matters.

In closing:

My personal opinion is that this is a grab for power. It does not represent a problem that needs a solution. There will always be differing opinions when it comes down to work and conditions, but I have always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect. We have created a very favourable profit sharing pool for the non-Union actors on The Hobbit -- and now the Union is targeting us, despite the fact that we have always respected SAG conditions and residuals.

I can't see beyond the ugly spectre of an Australian bully-boy, using what he perceives as his weak Kiwi cousins to gain a foothold in this country's film industry. They want greater membership, since they get to increase their bank balance.

The conspiracy theories are numerous, so take your pick: We have done better in recent years, with attracting overseas movies -- and the Australians would like a greater slice of the pie, which begins with them using The Hobbit to gain control of our film industry. There is a twisted logic to seeing NZ humiliated on the world stage, by losing the Hobbit to Eastern Europe. Warners would take a financial hit that would cause other studios to steer clear of New Zealand.

-- Seriously, if the Hobbit goes east (Eastern Europe in fact) -- look forward to a long dry big budget movie drought in this country.

-- Others gain from that too. SAG would much rather have it's members hired on movies -- as opposed to non-SAG actors. The easiest way to control that, is to stem what are called "runaway productions", which are American funded films made outside of America. The Hobbit is one of them, as was King Kong and LOTR. SAG, which is naturally supporting MEAA, would see it's own benefit in studios having a miserable experience in Australia/New Zealand. That may well be pushing the conspiracy theories one step too far, and it's perfectly natural that one Union would support another - but the point is that in the complex web of Hollywood intrigue, you never really know who's doing what to whom and why.

But it sure feels like we are being attacked simply because we are a big fat juicy target - not for any wrong doing. We haven't even been greenlit yet! It feels as if we have a large Aussie cousin kicking sand in our eyes ... or to put it another way, opportunists exploiting our film for their own political gain.

Peter Jackson

(NB: This represents Peter Jackson's opinion as a Kiwi filmmaker, and not that of Warner Bros or New Line Cinema, who were not consulted about this statement.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


A few comments from Jackson...

“We are nowhere different to any other reports or conversations,” Jackson told us last night. “We haven’t got a greenlight yet. We’re still waiting. Things still seem to be inching closer to some sort of happy place. I keep hearing that so many times now I’ve stopped tuning into it.”


“We’ve seen these reports before, reports saying there was going to be a greenlight in a couple of days — well, a week’s gone by and there isn’t one," adds Jackson. "You can’t believe everything you read. There is only one thing you want to believe and that’s when the studio announces a greenlight. As far as I’m aware that’s not going to be today. I keep hearing positive things. Everyone’s working very hard. There’s a lot of people at Warner Bros. who are working around the clock trying to manoeuvre through the MGM complexities. MGM is a company that is about to go bankrupt and in a way they are about to take The Hobbit into bankruptcy hell with them when they go down. Warners are trying to extract The Hobbit out of the bankruptcy hell before it happens. It is just so complicated I can’t even put my head into it. It’s all to do with American copyright laws, bankruptcy laws. A lot of Warner Bros. lawyers are working round the clock at the moment trying to make it happen so let’s see."

Empire also ask what we're all thinking: whether all these delays and tedious financial technicalities have dented his enthusiasm for being involved with Tolkien film adaptations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like it's ON!

The fate of a Peter Jackson-directed adaptation of 'The Hobbit' has been on shaky ground for a while now. After the 'Lord of the Rings' director said he would be happy to make the film, casting rumors began to swirl (as they do with any high profile production) and it was generally assumed that everything was on the up and up. Until a few weeks ago, of course, as it seemed 'The Hobbit' was struck with problem after problem (a fire even destroyed their miniatures workshop) culminating with Jackson saying that he had no contract to actually direct the film (or films).

According to the NY Times, all of the papers have finally come together. New Line Cinema and MGM have agreed upon precisely how much financing each studio is going to stand behind, and Peter Jackson's contract has been been sorted as well. Now there's only one real obstacle standing between them and the newly announced February start date:


As is widely well known, Peter Jackson would like to film 'The Hobbit' in New Zealand using the same production studios, crews, and locations that came to define the look and feel of the 'Lord of the Rings' series. Trouble is an ongoing dispute between the filmmakers and the Actors Equity (sort of the New Zealand equivalent of the Screen Actor's Guild) has yet to come to an agreement. As of a few days ago, the NZ Herald was even reporting that Warner Brothers was evaluating how much it would cost to take the production to other countries instead.

Currently Jackson is facing allegations that New Zealand actors are being treated unfairly, which is why their union is fighting to establish new, industry-wide standards. It would be a shame if both sides can't come to amicable agreement, as no one wants to see Peter Jackson film 'The Hobbit' in Bulgaria, so we'll keep you updated as soon as there is a decision as to where production will actually take place.

NY Time Article

LOS ANGELES—Apparently, only an ongoing union dispute in New Zealand now stands between “The Hobbit” and a start date in February. Warner Brothers’ New Line Cinema unit and MGM have worked out their deal to finance the pair of films to be based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, and Peter Jackson’s deal to direct is now finalized, according to a person who was briefed on the movie’s intricacies this week. But continuing uncertainty over attempts to have the filmmakers bargain collectively with their actors in New Zealand still stands between the production and its planned February start date (already delayed from an anticipated January date). New Zealand officials have said the production can’t legally enter a collective bargaining arrangement with its actor-contractors, but unions there have insisted that a deal could be struck. If the studios move the film out of New Zealand, the budget, which already runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars, would have to be redrawn, and at least some further delay would be inevitable.

A spokeswoman for New Line declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the Screen Actors Guild, which has lent support to the New Zealand actors. A spokeswoman for MGM did not immediately comment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's official! The Hobbit films have received the green light. Check out the official press release below:

The two films based on "The Hobbit" are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

"Exploring Tolkien's Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience" Jackson says, "It's an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We're looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo - and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM".

"Peter is a filmmaker of incomparable ability; having him return to Middle-earth to produce and direct is a dream come true. A true original, Peter is a gifted story-teller, visionary director and pioneer in film technology," said Emmerich. "Reuniting with Peter, Fran and Philippa truly makes it feel like we are going 'there and back again.'"

"There is no human being on the planet as qualified as Peter Jackson to direct these films," said Horn. "Peter is incredibly talented and has the creative vision and experience to bring this beloved property to life in a way that no other filmmaker could. And the team of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens has proven through their work on the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy that no one is more skilled at transforming Tolkien's written words into a vibrant, living language that makes the audience believe they are not merely visiting Middle-earth, but actually living in it. We couldn't be more thrilled and look forward to seeing 'The Hobbit' take shape under Peter's stewardship and the team he is putting together."

"MGM is excited to move forward and add to the successful 'Lord of the Rings' franchise," said Cooper. "Under Peter's direction, the films will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the original 'LOTR' trilogy and also bring the stories to a new generation of fans."

Jackson, who directed all three "Lord of the Rings" films, will helm the two films back-to-back, telling the story of "The Hobbit" in two parts. Jackson will utilize groundbreaking visual effects and his incomparable story-telling to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's novel to the big screen. Both Hobbit movies will be filmed in Digital 3-D, using the latest camera and stereo technology to create a high quality, comfortable viewing experience. Jackson also co-wrote the screenplays with Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.

"The Hobbit" is being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with Phillipa Boyens as co-producer and Ken Kamins as executive producer.

The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed LOTR trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, "Return of the King" swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy's production was also unprecedented at the time.

Read more: The Hobbit Has Officially Been Greenlit! - ComingSoon.net http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=70790#ixzz12VI0cjCG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 3D won't affect the directing style.

When shooting for S3D, you do have to compose your shots to take advantage of it and shaky cam/quick cuts don't work well with it, but I don't remember too much of that sort of stuff in the LoTR trilogy anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I for one cannot wait to watch this in 2D and sigh at all the sequences of dragons blowing fire at the camera and people pointing spears at the screen etc.

I don't really mind if they shoot for 3D though, i.e. removing the quick cut fight scenes etc. I didn't think the direction of the LOTR movies was especially notable, it was more workmanlike and assured.

Jackson's real talent was coordinating such an incredibly, utterly ridiculously ambitious production schedule and making it a roaring success.

Looking forward to this, for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Farewell New Zealand...?

From /film

This is a surprising turn of events for The Hobbit. When a small coalition of actors’ unions in New Zealand and Australia pushed actors’ guilds across the world to boycott work on the films, citing an unfair residuals arrangement, Peter Jackson responded by threatening to move the production to Eastern Europe.

But that would never happen, right? The organizations wouldn’t push away a huge chunk of work like the two Hobbit films by holding firm to a set of demands for which the production and backers at Warner Bros. have sought appropriate solutions — that would be crazy.

And yet Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are now saying that Warner Bros. will move the films out of New Zealand to a yet to be disclosed new shooting location. So is this a done deal, or just an escalated threat by the studio?

The Press of New Zealand has a collective quote from Jackson and Walsh, who say “The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done,” and resolution of the union issue now “does nothing to help the film stay in New Zealand.”

The pair says that Warner Bros.’ faith in the New Zealand industry has been undermined, and that the studio is concerned about spending $500m there. “Next week Warners are coming down to New Zealand to make arrangements to move the production offshore. It appears we cannot make films in our own country even when substantial financing is available.”

The sad thing is that the instigating group, the New Zealand Actors’ Equity, is controlled by an Australian organization, and this is being seen by many as a play by the Australian group to take a controlling interest in the NZ film industry. And the NZAE represents only a small percentage of actors in the country to begin with — 10 – 20% — so this isn’t seen as representative of an industry-wide push.

Over a thousand film workers, led by WETA’s Richard Taylor, turned out yesterday to picket a planned meeting of the actors’ organziations, at which negotiation priorities were to be discussed. But the meeting was canceled thanks to the throngs of crewmembers, with Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly saying the atmosphere was “too dangerous” because the crowd was “in a lynch-mob mood thanks to Richard Taylor, who has obviously wound them up like springs.” Funny how over a thousand people worried about losing a couple years of work — and more if the industry really takes a hit thanks to this action — might be wound up.

So, the question: will Warner Bros. go through with the move, or is this a last strong-arm attempt to get the unions to accept the measures the studio already has in place? The organizations are in a hard place now, as backing down would undermine their already tenuous position, but letting the movies go to another country would be a huge loss for the industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.