It appears that MI6 and Hobbiton's long national nightmare may soon be over. Amid the widely-reported financial difficulties of MGM Studios, which upheld the rights to beloved franchises in limbo, its most martyred victims have been the indefinitely-delayed James Bond series and of course, our potential return to Middle Earth in The Hobbit. It now seems that Spyglass Entertainment have overcome an important hurdle with the financially-hemorrhaging MGM which many other potential buyers, such as Lionsgate could not. After numerous failed attempts to free-up rights held by the fallen studio, with individual sales yielding no progress, this latest breakthrough would see MGM continue with Spyglass as a buttressing partner.
According to the report:
"The latest scuttlebutt, courtesy of WSJ.com, suggests that a deal would value MGM at $1.9 billion and give Spyglass principals a 4% stake in the joint operation."
The matter now, after crunching some major league numbers to determine how each of the respective companies would be valued, is now to actually get that money on the table. (The aforementioned $1.9 BILLION.) The deal now depends on investment firm Cerberus Capital, who control Spyglass and its hedge fund, to match the equity of MGM. Thus far in the negotiations, they have not been willing.
Normally, a story filled with a plethora of behind-the-scenes Hollywood exec mumbo jumbo is about as interesting as a hyrbid activity of watching paint dry, grass grow, and the entire third season of Heroes on an endless loop. However, when the Wall Street Journal recently released this report, depicting Spyglass heads Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum making significant progress on a possible acquisition of notoriously bankrupt MGM, your average fanboys such as myself don't see a bunch of rich old guys shaking hands in board room. Rather, we see visions of Smaug the Dragon laying a fiery waste to the town of Dale as Bard the Bowman prepares to make his fateful shot. We also see James Bond artfully chugging a Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred, as he firmly secures his Walther PPK before bedding some hot, but twig-thin supermodel with a hopelessly bad pun for a name.
It's undoubtedly a good idea to approach this news with a healthy amount of skepticism. This ordeal has been ongoing for years, and we've been let down before on the possible liberation of The Hobbit and the Bond franchise from the sunken ship that is MGM. However, if we are to believe that the latest breakthrough between Spyglass and MGM has bypassed the biggest obstacle in this process, then there just may be a glimmer of hope that Daniel Craig will get to don his tux once again and that The Hobbit will indeed shoot at a time when Ian McKellen is still physically able to play Gandalf. (And for that matter, is still alive.)