After a lot of hee’ing and haw’ing, it looks like Peter Jackson will step down from his producer-only chair to direct the two “Hobbit” films after all. According to Deadline, Jackson is currently in negotiations with the three studios in the mix, Warner Bros., New Line and MGM to hatch out a new deal that would allow him to produce and also helm both big-budget films, with the idea of shooting them back-to-back, similar to his approach on the first “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
The sudden departure of Guillermo Del Toro had left the two franchise films without a director, and for a while the studios were trying to get Jackson to direct, but he kept insisting he couldn’t, or wouldn’t. Names like David Yates and Neill Blomkamp were tossed out there as potential directors, but at the end of the day, it was always Peter Jackson’s job to give away.
So rejoice, Tolkien movie fans, the man who made hobbits and orcs and Middle Earth common household names will be returning to the land of Tolkien for two more films. This is really the ideal outcome for everyone, from the studios to the fans. But perhaps not for Jackson, who really seemed adamant about not spending another 3-4 years of his life living and breathing hobbits, before finally acquiescing. One hopes that initial reluctance won’t show itself in the finished product.