Date: 28th June 2010

Peter Jackson in talks to direct "Hobbit" movies

It seems Peter Jackson might direct the two "Hobbit" movies after all.

The "Lord of the Rings" maestro is in negotiations to shoot the long-awaited adaptations, which were left without a captain after Guillermo del Toro parted ways on May 30. Obstacles to a deal remain, including agreeing on a schedule that will allow Jackson to fast-track the films for release in 2012 and 2013, but insiders are cautiously optimistic that a pact can be worked out.

Talks, which have been going on for a week or two, heated up in recent days between Warner Bros./New Line and Jackson's team. Complications include the shaky financial situation of partner MGM, which owns the "Hobbit" rights and could hold up the production timetable. A significant delay would be a dealbreaker for Jackson.

Del Toro left the project over similar timing concerns. His move surprised observers because the filmmaker had devoted so much time to work with Jackson drawing up plans for the movies, and working on the script with Jackson and his fellow "Lord of the Rings" scribes Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens. He even moved his family to New Zealand, and casting was in the early stages.

Source: Press Release