MUMBAI: Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly entered into the following series of agreements:
– MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in
– Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.
– Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.
Sloan stated, “Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life and we full heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making ‘The Hobbit. Now that we are all in agreement on ‘The Hobbit,’ we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film.”
Shaye added, “We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with ‘The Hobbit’ movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.”
“Peter is a visionary filmmaker, and he broke new ground with ‘The Lord of the Rings. We’re delighted he’s back for ‘The Hobbit’ films and that the Tolkien saga will continue with his imprint. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Harry Sloan, who has been instrumental in helping us reach our new accord,” said Lynne.
The two “Hobbit” films — “The Hobbit” and its sequel — are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.
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.