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MGM bankruptcy plan may clear way for ‘Hobbit’ production

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Peter Jackson (AP)
Peter Jackson (AP)

Things may be looking up for the long-beleagured film adaptation of The Hobbit.

MGM Studios now reportedly has a new management team lined up and a plan for bankruptcy protection that will let it exchange more than $4 billion in debt for equity in a new company that would have the rights to the James Bond franchise and the upcoming two-part Lord of the Rings prequel. The privately held Spyglass production company, which helped bankroll such films as the new Star Trek and G.I. Joe movies, will pitch in and own a slice of the pie.

Producer, writer and likely director Peter Jackson cautions that there is no green light yet, but “things still seem to be inching closer to some sort of happy place”:

“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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