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Peter Jackson to lord over 'Rings' prequels
More than one way to skin a Hobbit
Lord of the Rings helmsman Peter Jackson will produce a two-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit - but he will not write or direct.
Plans to bring the Tolkien prequel to the big screen had stalled as Jackson and New Line Cinema fought a battle royale over royalties from the "Rings" trilogy, which grossed over $3bn worldwide. But as The Hollywood Reporter reports, Jackson and New Line have now resolved their spat, and Jackson will serve as executive producer for the two "Hobbit" features, to be co-financed and co-distributed by New Line and MGM.
Jackson will not write or direct the films - as he did with all three "Rings" flicks - because his plate already holds two other projects: The Lovely Bones and Tintin. If he were to write and direct the Tolkien prequels, Jackson says, they wouldn't be finished until around 2015.
As it stands, the first Hobbit film is slated to hit theatres around 2010, with the next set for arrive the following year. The films will be shot simultaneously. Preproduction begins in January, and principal photography is scheduled for 2009. The financial terms of the settlement between Jackson and New Line were not disclosed. ®