It’s Official! The Hobbit Will Be Going There And Back Again
Not rumours. Not speculation. Not internet BS. Warner Bros has issued the all-important press release
The Hobbit will begin filming next February, as two films being shot back-to-back, under the direction of Peter Jackson. The only thing that’s really news about that sentence is that this time it’s not speculation; this time it’s fact. Yes New Line and Warner Bros have issued an official announcement, which you can read below (try not to drown in the gushing). But intriguingly, there is no mention of where the film is going to be shot, which may be pertinent considering the problems the project is having with actors unions in New Zealand as the moment…
“The two films based on The Hobbit are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
“‘Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience,’ Jackson says. ‘It’s an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We’re looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo – and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM.’
“‘Peter is a filmmaker of incomparable ability; having him return to Middle-earth to produce and direct is a dream come true. A true original, Peter is a gifted story-teller, visionary director and pioneer in film technology,’ said Emmerich. ‘Reuniting with Peter, Fran and Philippa truly makes it feel like we are going “there and back again.”’
“‘There is no human being on the planet as qualified as Peter Jackson to direct these films,’ said Horn. ‘Peter is incredibly talented and has the creative vision and experience to bring this beloved property to life in a way that no other filmmaker could. And the team of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens has proven through their work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy that no one is more skilled at transforming Tolkien’s written words into a vibrant, living language that makes the audience believe they are not merely visiting Middle-earth, but actually living in it. We couldn’t be more thrilled and look forward to seeing The Hobbit take shape under Peter’s stewardship and the team he is putting together.’
“‘MGM is excited to move forward and add to the successful Lord of the Rings franchise,’ said Cooper. ‘Under Peter’s direction, the films will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the original LOTR trilogy and also bring the stories to a new generation of fans.’
“Jackson, who directed all three Lord of the Rings films, will helm the two films back-to-back, telling the story of The Hobbit in two parts. Jackson will utilise groundbreaking visual effects and his incomparable story-telling to bring JRR Tolkiens novel to the big screen. Both Hobbit movies will be filmed in Digital 3-D, using the latest camera and stereo technology to create a high quality, comfortable viewing experience. Jackson also co-wrote the screenplays with Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.
“The Hobbit is being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with Phillipa Boyens as co-producer and Ken Kamins as executive producer.”