Don’t mark your calendars just yet, but it looks like The Hobbit and the next James Bond film may be getting back on their feet. As we previously reported, MGM’s financial difficulties had put both their flagship franchises into limbo. However, in last month we learned that Spyglass Entertainment was in the process of making a deal to erase MGM’s debt and take ownership of the troubled studio.
Regarding The Hobbit, Ian McKellen told The Bolton News [via /Film] that he was set to reprise his role as Gandalf in January. This is coupled with the news that MGM and New Line are actively in the process of trying to sign Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins. Hit the jump for the good word regarding 007.
In their story about Gary Ross being in talks to direct The Hunger Games, Deadline mentions that Sam Mendes dropped out of the running “because the MGM picture is clearing up and it looks like production on 007 could begin by late summer or early fall, 2011 with Mendes at the helm and Daniel Craig back in the Aston Martin.” If MGM is indeed going again, then this is all great news and these 2011 start dates could put The Hobbit and Bond 23 both on track for a 2012 release.