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Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro Hire Each Other to Write ‘The Hobbit’

Photo-illustration: Getty Images; New Line

They Wants it!: Director Guillermo del Toro and producer Peter Jackson have ended their eight-month writer search on The Hobbit by deciding no one could write it better than the writing team of, uh, Del Toro and Jackson. (And Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, natch.) Even though they had initially pooh-poohed the idea, their schedules suddenly opened up and they realized how “much affection they had for the material.” “You’re perfect,” said Del Toro to Jackson. “No, you’re perfect!” said Jackson to Del Toro. Then they laughed merrily and danced a jig. [HR]

Fassbender, You Crazy Bastard!: Michael Fassbender is in final negotiations to join Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards as Lieutenant Archie Hicox, the part Simon Pegg had to dump owing to “insurmountable scheduling difficulties.” Fassbender’s been getting buzz since Cannes because of his turn as Bobby Sands in Hunger, where he basically starved himself for the role. We hope for this role he knows not to kill any real Germans. [Variety]

Tragedy Strikes McAvoy and Blunt: James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are in negotiations to play starcross’d CGI garden gnome lovers in Miramax’s Gnomeo and Juliet. Producer Elton John initially brought the animated feature to Disney, but John Lasseter, no dummy he, immediately axed the project when he came over with Pixar. But like any good demon spawn from hell, this idea just won’t stay dead. Timmy the orphan asks, “Vulture? If God loves us, why would He let this movie get made?” We don’t know, Timmy. We. Just. Don’t. Know. [HR]

Two Get Possessed: MGM is fighting the good fight in The War on Original Ideas, as they’ve tapped Stiles White and Juliet Snowden (Boogeyman) to write the Poltergeist remake. Producers are still looking for a director that Steven Spielberg can secretly replace during the shoot. [Variety]

Proyas vs. Heinlein, Round 2 1: Phoenix Pictures has tapped Alex Proyas (I, Robot) to write and direct an adaptation of a Robert Heinlein novella about a man who blacks out during the day, then hires detectives to figure out what he did during the lost time. It’s called The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, and yeah, “a title change is likely.” [HR]

The Mamet Shuffle: David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow won’t be opening at the Belasco Theater, and instead finds shelter at the Barrymore, now available because of the Godspell postponement. This frees up the Belasco for Mamet’s American Buffalo revival starring John “Luigi” Leguizamo and Cedric the “not affiliated with the Super Mario Brothers movie” Entertainer. [Playbill]

Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro Hire Each Other to Write ‘The Hobbit’