Peter Jackson to produce THE HOBBIT for New Line and MGM

New Line Cinema announced today that they have reached a deal with Peter Jackson and MGM to make two films from  J. R. R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT.  
However, it must be regarded as a major disappointment that Jackson, who had earlier indicated his strong desire to direct THE HOBBIT, will not actually helm either of the planned movies.   Robert Shaye, the head of New Line Cinema, and Peter Jackson had been involved in a very public feud over the profits that were supposedly owed  Jackson from THE LORD OF THE RINGS  films, with Jackson suing New Line to get a look at their accounting of the profits. 
For his part, Robert Shaye bitterly denounced Jackson, noting he was paid millions of dollars, and saying he would never direct THE HOBBIT as long as he was in charge of New Line.  It now appears by offering Jackson the chance to executive produce the films, instead of directing them, Shaye will be keeping his word.  For his part, Jackson will get to exercise some degree of control over how THE HOBBIT is made, and be able to provide a steady stream of work for his WETA visual effects companies. 
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