And the "Hobbit" arguments continue! Last we heard, Peter Jackson was divorcing himself from the project because of a legal battle with New Line. So the studio said fine, we’ll get someone else to direct it. And the fans were angry. But now comes MGM to the rescue?
From Moviehole: "Yesterday, the "Lord of the Rings" director told TheOneRing.net that New Line have removed him from the project. The filmmaker’s statement also reiterated in detail his stance on "The Hobbit" — that he is not willing to have a serious conversation about directing the film until his ongoing lawsuit with New Line over what he considers improper accounting practices over "LOTR" profits is settled.
New Line’s given reason for proceeding sans Jackson is that the studio’s rights to the pic are about to expire, and seeing as the lawsuit with Jackson isn’t moving ahead, well, the message was that New Line is.
An MGM spokesperson tells Variety today that they’re going to fight for Jackson. The spokesperson states, "The matter of Peter Jackson directing ‘The Hobbit’ films is far from closed."
Woohoo! Flex that copyright muscle, MGM! (For the record, New Line has the production rights for "The Hobbit" and a second LOTR prequel, yet for some convoluted reason from years back, MGM owns the distribution rights for a Hobbit flick. Fingers crossed!)