On last week’s Slice of SciFi, we told you that delays in the production of “The Hobbit” could lead to actor Ian McKellan leaving the project.
Now comes news that producer Peter Jackson has been quietly meeting with stars of the upcoming film and that this could indicate the film is slowly moving forward.
Jackson is in Los Angeles this week quietly meeting with actors. The casting trip, which also included stops in New York and the U.K., underscores the progress being made on a complex series of deals to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel to the big screen.
Sources say Jackson’s pact with Warner Bros. to direct the two-part “Hobbit” adaptation is close to done, but the sticking point continues to be the dire financial situation at MGM, which holds half the rights to the property.
Warners, which is acting as the lead studio on the co-production, is furiously negotiating with MGM, which is being steered by a committee of creditors and financial stakeholders. Even if Warners wanted to fund the
films itself, that would require a sign-off from the somewhat rudderless MGM.
Jackson, who has been in L.A. since Saturday, is working with casting director Victoria Burrows on assembling what will likely be a large, international cast for the project.