Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Hobbit In Two Parts

The Hobbit Is On Tap For 2010 Release. Tap Dancing Time Folks.
By Lon S. Cohen

Looks like Peter Jackson will be doing the Hobbit after all and not in one movie but two. Drawing on the prolific works of J.R.R. Tolkien's notes that have been published posthumously Jackson will expand on the original book's events.

The Hobbit tracks the adventure of young Bilbo Baggins as he goes out into the big wide world of Middle Earth seeking adventure. It is, in a sense, a prequel to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy but in fact it was written first and LOTR was the follow up sequel. Billed as a children's book by many, The Hobbit movies are sure to be enhanced by the additional material and probably made a little darker by Jackson.

The kernel of the story is when Bilbo finds the One Ring of power in Gollum's cavernous home. There is also a battle with a dragon named Smaug, dealings with elves and trolls, and of course, Gandalf plays a major role. No word is available yet as to whether some of the original cast will return to reprise their roles.

The films are set to start production immediately and will be released in 2010 and 2011. This resolves a long-standing and infamous feud between the studio, New Line, and Jackson over the fate of The Hobbit. With the job he had done with LOTR, it would have been heresy to do this film without him. While Fran Walsh will executive produce along with Jackson, no director has been slated to take the reins but rumors abound.

Howard Shore, the composer who did such a brilliant job with the LOTR trilogy had been rumored on Ain't It Cool News to be toying with thematic ideas for the Hobbit music.

Sam Raimi, the Spiderman director is also pegged to be one of the possible directors. Personally, after the mess that was Spiderman 3, I'm not sure Raimi is the best man for the job of such a large epic story with many characters to keep track of. His specialty seems smaller, personal stories set on an epic backdrop, but perhaps that's the direction of this film. Who knows?

According to the official release, Peter Jackson said that he is "very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

MGM and New Line will finance and distribute the films together with New Line distributing in North America and MGM internationally.

“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,’” said Sloan, MGM’s Chairman and CEO. “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.”

Bob Shaye, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO comments, “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."

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 eleven 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.

After this, Jackson can finish off by tackling The Silmarillion.

Lon S. Cohen is a copywriter and columnist. His company, AHA!, helps business communicate effectively on the web and beyond. Call him at (631) 371-9044 or email at

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, AHA! Put some AHA! into your business.

No comments: