Probably never before has fate went as much out of its way to stop a movie as it's done to The Hobbit. (Couldn't it have done this to Catwoman?) Amidst a cornucopia of bad circumstances, director Peter Jackson, not unlike the legions of anxious fans around the world, continues to play the waiting game. While various recent reports had the film's status as practically greenlit, such ideas seem to be news to Jackson. However, despite MGM's slow bankruptcy process and the creeping of Union politics, that is not to say that the situation hasn't improved. In fact, as it so happens, this all-time worst nightmare of a developmental phase may soon be coming to a conclusion. With the Prime Minister of New Zealand apparently wanting to mediate and hammer out those Union "grievances," the latest news has MGM ready to close its deal with Spyglass Entertainment. As Jackson himself says, "Things still seem to be inching closer to some sort of happy place."
On those scattered Internet reports, Jackson stated quite clearly that no greenlight has been given, adding:
"You can’t believe everything you read. There is only one thing you want to believe and that’s when the studio announces a greenlight. As far as I’m aware that’s not going to be today. I keep hearing positive things. Everyone’s working very hard. There’s a lot of people at Warner Bros. who are working around the clock trying to manoeuvre through the MGM complexities. MGM is a company that is about to go bankrupt and in a way they are about to take The Hobbit into bankruptcy hell with them when they go down. Warners are trying to extract The Hobbit out of the bankruptcy hell before it happens. It is just so complicated I can’t even put my head into it. It’s all to do with American copyright laws, bankruptcy laws. A lot of Warner Bros. lawyers are working round the clock at the moment trying to make it happen so let’s see."
The bankruptcy in question has left the legendary studio MGM $4 billion in debt. Amid rejected offers to buy the studio ranging from $1.5 to $2 billion, Spyglass Entertainment seamed a beacon of hope with a deal which would see them act one of its creditors in exchange for 4.7% stake in the company. (Which may not seem like much, but over the years would be quite an investment.) With reports indicating that this deal is imminent, the next step after the deal is finalized, will be for MGM to file a proper Chapter 11 bankruptcy status, which would take all other existing deals off the table in the month-long process. Once the 100 stakeholders in control of the debt agree (via an Oct. 22 vote) to the restructure of the studio, that debt would become equity, and post-Chapter 11, they would control the other 95.3% of the company.
What does all that business mumbo jumbo mean? Well, the only thing that matters, is that it creates a stable financial home for The Hobbit, James Bond, and the other countless franchises that reside in the MGM library. -- That's a good thing, btw.
So, folks, the day may come soon, when we can finally say: "The Hobbit is shooting right now." How will you plan to celebrate what I am now referring to as "VH Day?"