Wow, this one really sucks and you hardcore LOTR fans will not be happy at all. Heck, I'm not the biggest LOTR junkie, but even I feel as if some gigantic ape creature just kicked me in the nuts ... repeatedly. The One Ring.net has just received an email from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh that basically says he will not be directing The Hobbit nor this supposed second LOTR-based film. Why? Well, because he'd rather make a prequel to King Kong. (Kidding, but something tells me I'd prefer that move over the one that's going down as we speak.)
Okay, the real reason has to do with a lawsuit Jackson and company have pending against New Line that has to do with "certain accounting pratices" that took place following The Fellowship of the Ring. Recently, there was word that MGM was trying to obtain the rights to LOTR from New Line in order to make two films, one being an adaptation of The Hobbit. MGM claimed they were in talks with Peter Jackson. However, Jackson was not present for these talks, only MGM's vivid imagination was. According to Jackson, New Line will be going ahead with the films, but since Jackson refuses to make them until the lawsuit is discussed, New Line has told him they "would no longer be requiring our services on The Hobbit and the LOTR prequel." And if that doesn't jam the nail straight into the coffin inside our hearts, these final words from Jackson certainly will: "This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness and rancor. We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go and move forward with other projects."
New Line is currently looking for another filmmaker to bring The Hobbit and that LOTR prequel to the big screen. That's the good news. The bad news? Both films will probably suck.