Despite his public falling out with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, New Line chairman Robert Shaye still plans to release The Hobbit in 2009.
As we all now know, Jackson sued New Line regarding The Fellowship of the Ring payment inaccuracies. The King Kong director has refused to work with the company as long as the lawsuit and money is withstanding. Fanboys around the world have hoped that Shaye would somehow give-in, and allow Jackson to direct.
In an interview with The New York Times, Shaye revealed his plans to forge ahead on the JR Tolkien saga without Jackson:
But the ill will has held up plans to make “The Hobbit.” Without specifically saying he would not make the film with Mr. Jackson, Mr. Shaye made it plain that he had no interest in working with difficult filmmakers. “Some directors are impossible,” he said. “Are there a few people I wouldn’t work with? Yes, but I won’t name names.”
And he would not comment on reports in the news media that the “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi had been asked to direct “The Hobbit.” He said, however, that although there was no workable script yet for the film, he intended to release it in 2009.
We wish the whole deal between New Line and Jackson could be worked out, but that’s never going to happen. We can only hope that a director of Sam Raimi’s size will step up to take on this upcoming challenge. Because, after all, The Hobbit film adaptation could turn into the disaster that Tolkien always feared it could be if it were left in the wrong hands.