A settlement between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema was announced yesterday. The settlement will allow the filming of "The Hobbit" and an newly written prequel to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
Though Sam Raimi has stated his interest, it is unclear who will direct the two Hobbit movies, but Mr. Jackson will not. Mr. Jackson and his producing and writing partners, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, are committed to making “The Lovely Bones” through 2008 and then he is directing “Tintin,” based on the Belgian comic strip, for Steven Spielberg.
But Mr. Jackson and his wife, Ms. Walsh, will be executive producers of the Hobbit films, and they will share with New Line the right to approve all creative elements: director, screenwriter, script, cast, filming location, even the visual-effects company used (as if there were any doubt that his Weta Digital would be chosen). “They can assure that the films will be made with the same level of quality as if they were writing and directing,” Mr. Jackson’s manager, Ken Kamins, said.
It's disappointing that Jackson won't be directing, and I'm not convinced Sam Raimi should be the man in the director's chair. Although, if Raimi were to direct, at least it would keep him away from the Spider-Man franchise, which he squandered with this year's pathetic second sequel.