Way back in the days of Middle Earth, Peter Jackson announced he would produce a film version of ‘The Hobbit’ based on the prequel novel to JRR Tolkien’s mega-epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.
A long list of problems mean the films (it’s to be released in two parts) are yet to materialize, leaving peeps to ponder, is ‘The Hobbit’ cursed?
The dramas began when rights-owning studio MGM went bankrupt – not a great start. Jackson then spent months trying to secure enough money to make the films. But with pre-production costs already running at £50-odd million, and a potential overall budget of £500 million, that’s some serious wonga.
Original director Guillermo del Toro quit because things were taking too long to get going. Neil Blomkamp, David Yates and a whole load of others were all mentioned as new helmers – although it seems pretty much a given that PJ will just do it himself.
When it finally looked like the money problem was on the verge of a solution, wham! Jackson ended up in the middle of a dispute with actors’ unions in New Zealand. Now Canada, Ireland and Scotland are reportedly in the running as alternative shoot locations.
As if that weren’t enough, a miniatures warehouse that would have been home to parts of the set burned to the ground. Oh dear.
But despair not, Tolkien fans. Word is that everything is about to come together and the shoot will finally begin early next year, with Jackson serving as director as well as writer and producer. The first part even has a release date of 12/12/12, with the second to arrive a year later. Both will be released in 3D.
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