WB and MGM are the studios making The Hobbit, and aside from not actually having greenlit it and recently losing the director, everything is going fine. Studio delays were mostly what cost them Guillermo Del Toro as a director, when the furry Mexican couldn’t commit to spending six years (instead of three) in New Zealand, the oozing, penis chancre of the world. Now Deadline reports that WB and MGM are trying to sell Peter Jackson (currently co-writer and producer) on directing the films himself. Jackson had previously said he’d be amenable to the idea, provided he could get out of contracts he’d signed to direct other films.
Warner Bros and MGM braintrust will keep pursuing him until Jackson gives a definitive no. Other filmmakers are interested in replacing del Toro. Sources tell me David Yates, David Dobkin, and the ubiquitous Brett Ratner are among them. One tricky part of the equation is the deal numbers. So much gross already has been committed on the picture that there isn’t much left to give to a top-level director. Sources tell me that gross participants include the JRR Tolkien estate, Jackson, Saul Zaentz, even Harvey Weinstein, who bargained for a 5% gross stake in the original trilogy. No matter who gets the gig, they’ll have to accept a creative deal or the financing studios will be hard pressed to make money.
Just do it, Pete. Let’s be honest, most of your non-Lord of the Rings films kind of blow anyway. I can see why Brett Ratner would be interested in a project about homoerotic midgets*, given his propensity to live-Tweet Jonas Brothers concerts, but I guarantee that interest will evaporate like so much Axe aftershave once he finds out how hard it is to get decent nachos down there. Tom Cruise: “As long as no gays are in there.” Brett Ratner: “As long as there are nachos there.”