MGM has requested a sixth debt extension as it attempts to restructure its finances and find someone crazy/brilliant enough to take over. Due to this continued need for money with no salvation for the studio in sight, THR reports
“speculation continues about whether the studio will sell off its share of rights to ‘The Hobbit’ to co-production partner Warner Bros…MGM executives would like to hold onto its share of the ‘Hobbit’ rights as long as possible, but some lenders are lobbying for a sell-off to raise funds.”
If MGM loses the rights, it may finally kick-start the production as the movie would no longer be tied to the sinking studio. However, that January start date is highly tenable as Jackson, the frontrunner to direct the picture, still isn’t officially signed on.