MGM Updates: The Hobbit, Robocop and a Remake of FX

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The sell-off situation with MGM right now seems to be the eye of a film news storm, all sorts of other business swirling around it, crashing and smashing and, sometimes, just whizzing by perfectly intact like that darn cow from Twister. Just last night we found out that Bond 23 is being fast-tracked, despite earlier indication that he was being put on ice and today we get updates on Bilbo Baggins, Robocop and Rollie Tyler, FX supremo.

The latest on The Hobbit, via Production Weekly, is that production is set to start in June and continue for 14 months. That of course means a healthy overlap between post production of the first film and production of the second as Del Toro and co. power on to a late 2011 release. Maybe they’re so well prepared with animatics that assembling the basic edit will be a piece of cake, but there’s definitely going to be some hardcore multi-tasking in Guillermo’s future.

As for Robocop, the prognosis is not so good…

The Robocop Archive passed the following along to Moviehole (though don’t seem to have published the update on their own site, curiously):

I’ve spoken with Phoenix Pictures [and] asked them about the status of Robocop… they told me that the project is on hold. The problem is that Mary Parent, Chairperson of MGM, wants a 3D movie for the new Robocop.

And why would that be a problem? Apparently attached director Darren Aronofsky isn’t even keen on using CG effects let alone a “gimmick” like 3D. Really? I’m disappointed in that, I have to say. I want to see more filmmakers of Aronofsky’s calibre to start using stereography and expanding the audience’s awareness of how it works and why it’s good for a film.

Whether or not this hold will be broken, and whether or not that will be through compromise on the part of Parent or Aranofksy, or if it will be through the appointment of a new director waits to be seen.

Moviehole are also suggesting that a jam in the potential remake of FX, the “one’s a cop, the other’s a special effects wizard, together they fight crime” movie. The project appears to have already gotten bogged down while MGM were full steam ahead so I’m not quite sure what the news is beyond an insider quote that says the studio is “still trying” to get a script they’re happy with.

Should an FX do-over go ahead, I’m sure somebody will have the bright idea of approaching Hugh Jackman for the Rollie Tyler role quite quickly. Almost as certain is that they’ll ask Bryan Brown to cameo as his dad.

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