'The Hobbit' Could Cost $500 Million; What Does That Mean For Bond 23?

News on The Hobbit is moving faster than a Ringwraith over Mordor. In the last week we've heard that a greenlight on Peter Jackson directed films is imminent, that they're going to be in 3D, and New Zealand actors have issues with the production. Add to that a new report which says the films will cost a whopping $500 million dollars. All of this and there still isn't a 100% confirmed report on what's going to happen with MGM or that Peter Jackson is actually directing. With all of this going on, things are bound to fall into place soon, and a sneak peak might be after the jump. Deadline put up a story Tuesday basically saying that while other outlets are now reporting that Peter Jackson is confirmed to be directing The Hobbit, they broke that news months ago. A news story about non-news. Still, buried in the piece are a few interesting tidbits to discuss. First, there's this:

I can confirm a New York Times report that they're locked into a 3D two-picture shoot that will cost around $500 million.

That's a big chunk of change for a movie backed by a bankrupt studio. The story continues, and here's where MGM's biggest franchise – James Bond – comes in:

Unless a third party steps in, Warner Bros most likely funds production because MGM can't. The movement on The Hobbit doesn't help James Bond, which is post-bankruptcy business. If Spyglass partners Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber close the deal and turn MGM into a stripped down production entity, they will have every studio chasing 007. While Warner Bros, Fox and especially Sony Pictures Entertainment will be players, I hear Paramount stands a good chance. Birnbaum and Barber have a great relationship there as co-financiers of Star Trek, and Paramount can certainly use the films as its distribution deal with Marvel winds to a conclusion.

So, according to this report, it's almost like a professional sports. The Hobbit goes to Warner Brothers, James Bond becomes a free agent and possibly goes to Paramount, who is desperate for a franchise player since Marvel is soon moving to Disney. Got all that? Don't forget the player to be named later and a 4th round draft pick to boot.

$500 for two 3D movies. That seems a bit excessive, no? And if James Bond does go to another studio, will you feel any different without the trademark roaring MGM lion in front?