The Hobbit to Stay at MGM

Source: The Hollywood Reporter 

MGM has secured a deal to retain the rights to The Hobbit, the followup prequels to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, despite worries last week that they would have to file for bankruptcy. Part I of the film is due out in 2011 and will be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hell Boy) with Peter Jackson producing.

From The Hollywood Repoter:

Concern over MGM’s hold on “Hobbit” is at the heart of the activity. In a 50-50 rights partnership with Warner Bros.’ New Line unit, two “Hobbit” pics are being developed.

The first “Hobbit” aims for theatrical release in 2011, with Guillermo del Toro on board to direct that and a sequel. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and del Toro are writing scripts for both and are expected to deliver the first screenplay by the end of November.

Warners will lead production and distribute at least domestically. For now, the Burbank studio also is covering any immediate expenses.

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