A Hobbit Movie Buyout?
MGM recently filed for their sixth loan extension for the $1.4 billion of outstanding debt that their creditors have been chasing the past year. MGM is desperately trying to find a lender to float them the funds long enough to get some of their newly hyped films off the ground (The Hobbit & James Bond). However, finding money these days is no easy task, especially when it is in the hundreds of billions range.
Warner Brothers, who shares rights to The Hobbit, has a standing offer to sell its rights to the film, which would probably be a blessing for Jackson & company. However, MGM understands the financial potential of the films and is doing everything they possibly can to keep skin in the game. If WB was able to strike a deal, I assume Jackson would be signed on immediately with the budget he needs to get things going. As of now, he is still “negotiating” and waiting to see how the cards fall.
Besides studio debt turmoil, the film looks to be going forward. Casting continues as does set production and other pre-production jobs. As we have said in previous posts, we would be incredibly surprised if Jackson himself was not the one directing the films, especially at this point in the game. We expect the announcement to come as soon as next week, once the MGM problems get sorted out. At any rate, the movie seems to be moving forward, despite problems at the studio.