The news that Peter Jackson is negotiating to direct the two halves of The Hobbit hit the internet Friday afternoon, not quite as a bomb, because many had expected it, but with resounding effect nonetheless. Still, it seemed a strange thing, given that the problems that forced Guillermo del Toro to leave the film — notably a very uncertain schedule thanks to MGM’s financial state — haven’t been resolved. And, indeed, a somewhat nebulous statement seems to indicate that Jackson isn’t as close to being set as the film’s director as many would like.
Over at AICN, Harry Knowles has a rambling, rather difficult to decipher piece that targets news reports about both Spider-Man and The Hobbit, in which he basically takes Mike Fleming and Deadline to task for running very speculative, unsourced and unconfirmed reports.
The bottom line is that Harry spoke to a source called ‘Derek,’ which actually seems to be Peter Jackson. I’ll give you the full paragraph from AICN and you can try to decipher who the various pronouns are meant to represent:
The only quote that I’ll attribute to my source, whom I’ll call “DEREK”, when I asked if he was directing, “No, nothing has really changed – I’ve always said that me directing was one option, and so that’s not really news. The studio are working out what that deal would look like, because how else do they know if it’s a viable option? But it’s honestly one of several different options – many irons are in the fire right now. What’s of great concern to everyone right now is trying to stay on schedule and not slip back another year, because we will start losing people – and that’s increasingly difficult as each day passes. A lot of people – both film makers and studios are working very hard right now, trying to get a positive outcome here.”