Saturday, January 8, 2011

Warner Bros. to Distribute and Fund 'The Hobbit'

Tolkienites rejoice! is reporting that production on The Hobbit can officially move forward unfettered, as Warner Bros. has agreed to distribute both films and cover their combined $500 million price tag.

To make a long and convoluted story short, cash-strapped MGM Studios owns the rights to the property but lack the funds to bring it to the movie-going masses. As a result of this new deal, MGM will retain worldwide television rights to the films, while Warner Bros. will reap the benefits of their global box-office take as well as home video sales.

The two-film Lord of the Rings prequel, helmed by returning franchise director Peter Jackson, begins shooting next month. Rumored to return to Middle-earth are Lord of the Rings alumni Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood.

For the full story, click here.

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