This no doubt is one big blow to the "Lord of the Rings" fans and those who puts high hopes for Peter Jackson to direct both "The Hobbit" and a supposed second LOTR-based film. The New Zealand-born filmmaker and Fran Walsh have made it clear that New Line Cinema has passed them up to bring up both projects to the surface and is searching for a new helmer to carry out the task.
The shocking statement, posted yesterday, November 19, on LOTR fansite TheOneRing, confirmed that Jackson and Walsh's manager Ken Kamins had been told by Mark Ordesky, current president of New Line's specialty film division Fine Line Features, that New Line would no longer be requiring their services on the two movies. Reason of this decision, as Jackson has hinted, is none other because of the lawsuit placed by his Wingnut Films against the studio concerning "certain accounting practices" on "The Fellowship of the Ring."
"Ordesky said that New Line has a limited time option on the film rights they have obtained from Saul Zaentz, and because we won't discuss making the movies until the lawsuit is resolved, the studio is going to have to hire another director," so he wrote.
"This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness and rancor," he continued. "We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go and move forward with other projects."