Production on The Hobbit is a bit of a paradox right now. Everything that’s happening isn’t happening. Peter Jackson’s deal to helm the film is “close to done” according to Heat Vision and he is currently in Los Angeles meeting with actors to star in the film. Exciting, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter until there’s a resolution to the financial problems of MGM, who co-owns the rights to The Hobbit. This is why Guillermo del Toro left the project after two years of pre-production: because there was no start date in sight. Warner Bros. desperately wants to take full ownership of the property so it can get moving. While this would likely mean that Warner Bros. would have to fund the full project, it would at least pull The Hobbit (which is set to be split into two movies) out of limbo.
And then there are the issues of when this film would fit into Jackson’s schedule and getting particular actors from Lord of the Rings to reprise their roles. Hit the jump for more on why The Hobbit is happening and not happening.
Jackson is currently committed to direct the second part of the Adventures of Tintin movie. Heat Vision reports that “Jackson is privately telling the studios he would not commit to the [The Hobbit] unless the films could be fast-tracked and into theaters in 2012 and 2013.” And The Hobbit can’t even be put on a track until the MGM mess is sorted out!
Even Ian McKellen, who has always stated a desire to return as Gandalf the Grey, recently told TVNewZealand [via TheOneRing] that unless production begins soon, he may have to drop out due to other commitments. This would put MGM on the same level as a balrog when it comes to defeating wizards.