Even if Peter Jackson decides that he does want to direct the two Hobbit movies after all – And Neil Blomkamp is still in the running after all, apparently – there may be an additional problem in finally starting to shoot the damn thing: The question of who will pay for it.
Deadline Hollywood’s Mike Fleming is now reporting that the financial backers of beleaguered studio MGM – which is co-producing the movie with Warner Bros. – may not be willing to pay Jackson’s fee for the movie, meaning that the movies may either lapse back into limbo or else be funded by an outside third party. Meanwhile, Harry Knowles seems to have a quote from Jackson himself suggesting that any announcement of Jackson signing onto the project is slightly premature:
I’ve always said that me directing was one option, and so that’s not really news. The studio are working out what that deal would look like, because how else do they know if it’s a viable option? But it’s honestly one of several different options – many irons are in the fire right now. What’s of great concern to everyone right now is trying to stay on schedule and not slip back another year, because we will start losing people – and that’s increasingly difficult as each day passes. A lot of people – both film makers and studios are working very hard right now, trying to get a positive outcome here.
Clearly, someone just needs to buy MGM and agree to whatever Jackson is asking for as soon as possible. It’s the only way this mess will ever get cleared up. Anyone got a few billion lying around?
More On Techland: