You might have noticed earlier this week that a great many sites ran articles proclaiming that Peter Jackson had been confirmed as director of The Hobbit at long last. But there was one problem: all those articles were based on a Deadline report that was essentially a chest-puffing piece complaining that a few other articles (such as one in the LA Times) were repeating info that Deadline broke months ago. What wasn’t in the Deadline report was any new info or confirmation that Mr. Jackson would direct. Which is why we didn’t throw our own headline into the mix — there was nothing new. (Germain did report on budget speculations for the film.)

And there still isn’t news, but in the interest of rumor control on a slow news day before a three-day weekend, here are the latest quotes direct from Peter Jackson about the fact that The Hobbit is not yet greenlit and he is not yet officially directing.

Speaking to Empire, the filmmaker said of his role on the film:

I’m certainly happy to be involved. At the moment, I’m a writer and a producer on it. We’ll see.

He elaborated on the state of the film, none of which should come as real news after paying attention to the deal which sees Spyglass Entertainment taking control of MGM. Based on that deal, it sounds like it’ll be the end of October before we hear anything about the film moving forward, because creditors have until October 22 to vote on the current proposal to move forward with a restructuring of MGM. Unless, as Peter Jackson discusses below, the lawyers at Warner Bros. can make some magic happen before that deadline:

We’ve seen these reports before, reports saying there was going to be a greenlight in a couple of days — well, a week’s gone by and there isn’t one… There is only one thing you want to believe and that’s when the studio announces a greenlight. As far as I’m aware that’s not going to be today. I keep hearing positive things. Everyone’s working very hard. There’s a lot of people at Warner Bros. who are working around the clock trying to manoeuvre through the MGM complexities. MGM is a company that is about to go bankrupt and in a way they are about to take The Hobbit into bankruptcy hell with them when they go down. Warners are trying to extract The Hobbit out of the bankruptcy hell before it happens. It is just so complicated I can’t even put my head into it. It’s all to do with American copyright laws, bankruptcy laws. A lot of Warner Bros. lawyers are working round the clock at the moment trying to make it happen so let’s see.

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