The Hobbit in Trouble Again As MGM ‘Teeters on Bankruptcy’

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Photo: Courtesy of MGM

With the recent resolution of that Lord of the Rings lawsuit, for a second it looked like production on Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit movies might actually get under way before next century. But not so fast! Nikki Finke reports that MGM held an hours-long conference call with bondholders yesterday during which management begged for money and implied that the studio is "teetering on bankruptcy." Apparently they need a fast $20 million just to cover basic overhead, plus an extra $150 million to fund projects through the end of this year, including The Hobbit.

Since ticked-off creditors are already on the hook for a hilarious $3.5 billion — they're being asked to waive interest payments on that debt through February — they reportedly told management where to stick it, saying they didn't mind if the studio went bankrupt. MGM isn't too keen on that, though, since it would likely mean the loss of the James Bond franchise and the swift death of the company. Finke's sources say they think bondholders will likely eventually realize that waiving interest payments is the preferable course of action here, but who knows. So, in summation: Man, what a mess!

EXCLUSIVE DETAILS: MGM Makes Phone Plea to Bondholders to Stay Alive [Deadline.com]