The Times reports today on the détente between New Line and Peter Jackson that will allow Jackson to produce the long-awaited film of The Hobbit. That détente, it turns out, was hard-won; sources tell the Times that New Line had to pay Jackson about $40 million to settle his long-simmering lawsuit against the company over payments he said he was owed for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (That $40 million also, presumably, includes Jackson's producing fees for The Hobbit.)
The Times also sheds some light on this sequel that everyone keeps talking about: "The untitled sequel is described as bridging the 60-year gap between the end of J. R. R. Tolkien’s 'Hobbit' and the beginning of the 'Rings' trilogy." So, uh, great — the sequel is going to be some Silmarillion-inspired filler crap, like all those scenes of Aragorn and Arwen pitching woo at each other, except not written by Peter Jackson? Count us out.