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What is this about MGM wanting to make THE HOBBIT with Peter Jackson?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Variety ran a piece today in which MGM's CEO, Harry Sloan, announced his tentpole flicks, one of them being THE HOBBIT with Peter Jackson, Sloan hopes. He also mentioned making a TERMINATOR 4, PINK PANTHER sequel (yech) and a THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR sequel.

As luck would have it, I interviewed Peter Jackson this afternoon. We talked about everything he's involved in and in the next week you'll see the interview go up in pieces, including one about THE HOBBIT. But he did say that he woke up this morning to see that MGM says he's making THE HOBBIT with them, which was strange. He said that as unbelievable as it may be, he's never once talked to any studio, be it New Line or MGM, about doing THE HOBBIT. So, as of today Jackson has not talked to anybody about doing the movie, but he did say he'd like to do it, even though his schedule gets more crowded every passing week. So, if MGM wants to do this thing it might be a good idea to see if Jackson is up for it, no?

As some might know, the rights to THE HOBBIT are kind of jumbled. If I have it right, MGM owns the distribution rights, yet somehow New Line owns the rights to make the film. Meaning New Line could make the movie, but couldn't release it. I'm thinking MGM is trying to partner with New Line in order to do this thing, which would be really cool if I don't say so myself. I'd love to see Smaug realized in the Peter Jackson LOTR universe.

I'm going to be busting my ass transcribing over the next couple of days, so stay tuned for more on the Peter Jackson front, including his exact words and further comments on THE HOBBIT

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