Check Out Our New Look

Warner Bros Taking WW Distribution (And Paying For) ‘The Hobbit’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: I’ve learned that Warner Bros will, in fact, pay the entire cost of the two installments of The Hobbit, a price-tag that is expected to exceed $500 million. Now, the question will be which cast members from The Lord of the Rings come back for encores. I’ve heard talk of conversations with Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and possibly Elijah Wood. I’d heard Orlando Bloom was also in talks before the holidays. Returning actors will need to be locked in shortly.

BREAKING: MGM and Warner Bros have finalized a deal that gives Warner Bros worldwide theatrical distribution on  the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit. MGM will retain international television rights. This solves another problem on Jackson’s eagerly awaited followup to The Lord of the Rings, which has overcome an MGM freeze because of angry creditors, and the threat that the films would move away from New Zealand after local unions blacklisted the production.

Shooting begins next month, and Jackson is still in the process of locking in cast from the original movie, which is expected to include Ian McKellen’s Gandalf, Andy Serkis’ Gollum, and others. MGM, a half partner in The Hobbit, was expected to bow out of its international distribution role because the studio came out of prepackaged bankruptcy–headed by Spyglass partners Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber–with the intention of initially reviving the studio as a production company that contracts out distribution and marketing to others. Still trying to figure … Read More »

Comments 20

Orlando Bloom Close To Legolas Reprise In ‘The Hobbit?’

Mike Fleming

After New Line Cinema announced Cate Blanchett’s return to Middle Earth for ‘The Hobbit,’ I’m told that Orlando Bloom will likely be the next original cast member set for an encore. He’s near a deal to return as Elven archer Legolas. And it’s for more than a cameo, I’m told. I’d have expected them to first set Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (Gollum) or Hugo Weaving (Elrond), whose characters figured in the book. But those talks have been arduous and aren’t completed yet.

Comments 100