Director James Cameron, hard at work on his sci-fi extravaganza Avatar, is the latest person to comment on the increasingly nasty legal battle between Peter Jackson and New Line over profits from The Lord of The Rings. Jackson, for those who haven't been keeping up with current events, accused New Line of deceptive accounting practices and demanded that the company submit to an audit. The resulting lawsuit managed to nix any chance of Jackson directingThe Hobbit for New Line under their current management and time is running out for the film to be put into production before the rights switch hands again. Already there are rumors that Sam Raimi will be taking over the project before the contract expires in 2009. Premiere Magazine spoke with Cameron about the controversy because Cameron is planning to use Jackson's Wellington studio to shoot parts of Avatar.
Cameron compared the situation to his relationship with 20th Century Fox, saying that Fox "has always been very transparent financially. It's almost automatic that you do an audit." Premiere also claims in their article that Cameron "intimates that the easiest explanation for New Line's behavior is that it has something to hide", but there was no direct quote from the director on the subject. You can't blame Cameron for not going on the record; this lawsuit has already seemingly gotten one director blacklisted at a studio, so why tempt fate?