MGM troubles delay Bond indefinitely, no greenlight for The Hobbit

Senior Editor
04.20.10 19 Comments

MGM is out of money, and while it’s tempting to laugh in their face while you buy expensive clothes and light cigars with Washingtons like I do with the schizophrenic losers sleeping in front of my building, not all the consequences are so fun.  First, in an interview with Moviefone, Peter Jackson says that the script for The Hobbit is finished, but it still doesn’t have a greenlight.

It’s not really been delayed, because we’ve never announced the date. I mean it’s sort of interesting because the studio [MGM] has never greenlit ‘The Hobbit,’ so therefore ‘The Hobbit’ has never been officially announced as a “go” project, nor have we ever announced a date.  …We’re now in the process of budgeting the films, and then hopefully we’ll get to a budget the studio [people] are happy with, and they’ll greenlight the movies and we’ll announce the shooting dates. I’d be pretty optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year.

I have mixed feelings, because Jackson’s LotR movies got progressively more boring as the series went along, but so did the books, and The Hobbit was the one I legitimately enjoyed.  Meanwhile, the producers of the next James Bond film have announced that Bond 23 has been “delayed indefinitely.”  But according to Deadline, this could be a ploy by the production company working on Bond to get MGM to stop dragging their feet and either let the project go or get financially solvent enough to make it happen — in other words, to “sh*t or get off the pot,” as my father used to say when I’d try to sh*t in his pots.

Given that MGM is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and at the mercy of its creditors, EON [the production company behind all the Bond films] may have the right to take Bond elsewhere. So it stands to reason that the producers wouldn’t want to do anything now that further complicates ownership of Bond #23 or binds them to MGM during this precarious period during which the once storied studio may now be in its standalone swan song.

Peter Piper pecked a sexy swiffer sweeping super snarf, Deadline later added alliteratively.

“It feels like EON is sending a message to MGM,” one source tells us. “If they try to continue as a stand-alone studio, don’t expect to be making any Bond films.” Broccoli and Wilson very deliberately have made certain they don’t do anything on Bond #23 which ties the movie further to MGM. (That’s why Mendes was hired as a consultant, not the director. Because once EON hires a director on their Bond films, it triggers a first payment from MGM.) [Deadline]

The Mendes in question is American Beauty director Sam, which makes the project a little more interesting than it would be, say, as just a follow up to Quantum of Solace.  Which, as Roger Ebert said, “Can suck deez nutz and tongue my greasy cornhole.”

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