Vulture buddy Nikki Finke reports this morning that New Line and Peter Jackson have settled their differences, and Jackson will produce The Hobbit for the company after all. We've confirmed that New Line employees received an e-mail from Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne a few minutes ago that reads:
Dear New Liner,
We are very pleased to tell you that New Line Cinema will be reuniting with Peter Jackson to produce "The Hobbit" and its sequel.
We know many of you have been waiting for news on "The Hobbit" and we are very glad to give you this positive result of our negotiations.
We will keep you informed of further developments. Happy holidays!
Bob and Michael
Principal photography is scheduled to begin in 2009, with a director yet to be determined. (Jackson and Fran Walsh "will make all creative decisions in concert with New Line," according to Finke, though there's no word yet on whether they will — as they did on Lord of the Rings — write the screenplay.)
One question though — while we're thrilled that Jackson is producing The Hobbit, what's the story with this "sequel"? We always thought the sequel to The Hobbit was … Lord of the Rings.
URGENT! Peter Jackson And Bob Shaye Settle; Jackson Will Exec Produce 'Hobbit' [Deadline Hollywood Daily]