After a massive hit with the Lord of the Rings franchise, New Line Cinema quickly squandered their success with a series of box office flops like The Golden Compass, and a string of legal battles. The independent studio was folded into Warner Bros after a 40-year run and proceeded with a slate of romantic comedies to get back in the game.
In a piece done by Variety, the studio is looking to return to tentpole territory with The Hobbit, a two-parter adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien prequels set 60 years before the LotR trilogy and under the direction of Guillermo del Toro. Peter Jackson is producing and contributed to the completed script.
Unfortunately, financial woes at MGM and creative delays in the scripting phase have possibly impacted the New Zealand production that is intended to last 14 months in June. It’s now looking like the Christmas 2011 release for The Hobbit: Part 1 will be pushed back a full year to 2012. Well, if the world doesn’t end.
“Horn won’t predict when the first of the two “Hobbit” films will be out, but says the most probable scenario would be a release in the fourth quarter of 2012.”
Of course this means fans will have to wait even longer to dust off their hairy feet hobbit costumes and chick magnet wizard robes. It also means del Toro and Jackson may be tied up a bit longer, slowing movement on each of their long lists of intriguing pet projects. On a positive note, The Hobbit won’t feel rushed, I guess.
The possible setback is likely the reason we haven’t been hearing casting details lately. Rumors have swirled over the lead actor for Bilbo Baggins, including the names David Tennant and Tobey Maguire, but nothing has been officially announced. Del Toro and Jackson continue to deny Internet speculation.
Other notable mentions from the article are a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D (yay, more Brendan Fraser) and a Valentine’s Day spin-off titled New Year’s Eve.