MGM and Warner Bros. Pushing to Get Peter Jackson to Direct THE HOBBIT; Yates, David Dobkin, and Brett Ratner also Interested

     June 15, 2010

Warner Bros. and MGM are trying to convince Peter Jackson that the best man to replace Guillermo del Toro on The Hobbit is Peter Jackson.  On May 30th, del Toro dropped out of the project.  The following day, Jackson said in an interview that if they’re unable to find a suitable director to replace del Toro, he would consider stepping in “to protect Warner Bros.’ investment.”  Deadline now reports that the studios are pushing him to take the job and will do so until the Oscar-winning director gives a definitive no.

So if he gives that “definitive no”, who’s going to take the job.  Deadline confirms the earlier report that David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) has expressed interest in the job.  They also add two cringe-worthy names to the “expressed-interest” list: David Dobkin (Fred Claus) and…ugh…Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand).  Hit the jump for reasons why Jackson may turn down the project and why these guys are among the filmmakers Warner Bros/MGM might hire for the job.

The biggest obstacle in getting Jackson back for the two Hobbit movies is that he’s involved with Steven Spielberg in the Adventures of Tintin trilogy.  Spielberg directed the first of the 3D motion capture films, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (which is due out next Christmas), and Jackson is supposed to direct the second movie.  Also—and this is just speculation on my part—does Jackson really want to spend another four years of his life in Middle-Earth?  Additionally, protecting a studio’s financial investment isn’t exactly the loftiest of reasons to take on a major project like The Hobbit.

So if Jackson turns it down, why are Yates, Dobkin and….ugh…Ratner on the list?  Because at this point, the project can’t afford an A-list director.  But looking at our own Jake Lasker’s list of possible replacements, he has some good non-top-tier suggestions (and by non-top-tier, I mean price-tag wise): Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), Neill Blomkamp (District 9), and the aforementioned Yates—all choices I’d be happy with.  Dobkin or Ratner?  Not so much.

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