Originally posted on JRR Tolkien Examiner on 10/6/09.
Much of the editorial focus of JRR Tolkien Examiner will be on the upcoming, two-part film version of The Hobbit, to be released at Christmas 2011 and 2012. The Hobbit Report will bring you the latest developments as the production progresses.
Bilbo Baggins seems to have used his Halfling Improved Evasion feat to dodge another threat to his feature film return. Motion picture studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has, at least temporarily, staved off a bankruptcy that might have derailed plans for the two-part, Peter Jackson-produced adaptation of The Hobbit scheduled to begin production next year.
The studio has made an agreement with investment firm JP Morgan, which will allow MGM to defer interest payments on its debts through the end of the calendar year. The studio is looking for $40 million specifically to spend on The Hobbit, and the interest deferrals are worth at least $50 million.
The Hobbit films will be a co-production between MGM and Warner Bros’ New Line Cinema. For the moment, Warner is paying the bills for development and pre-production on the Lord of the Rings prequels.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, both MGM execs and lenders are concerned a bankruptcy would endanger the studio’s rights to certain valuable properties, including the James Bond books and the works of JRR Tolkien. The bankruptcy could also imperil future Pink Panther films, so it would not be all bad.
Kristin Thompson at the Frodo Franchise blog points out that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a script for the first Hobbit film will not be delivered to Warner Bros until the end of November. Lord of the Rings screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have been working with producer Peter Jackson and Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro on the screenplay, which is required before production begins in the Spring of 2010.