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David Poland

By David Poland

Guillermo Exits The Hobbit

First and foremost… this is yet another reason to see Harry Sloan run out of town.
I never believed for a second that those managing the rotting carcass of MGM would shoot themselves in the foot by allowing The Hobbit and Bond to sit around gathering dust instead of generating hundreds of millions for a company that desperately needs it.. if only to pay back its debts. But here we are.
The Hobbit will survive. You can be sure that no one knows exactly what is going to happen, in terms of the eventual director of the film, but you can be 98.7% sure that it will still involve Team Jackson behind the scenes and they will not let it sink in quality.
Bond, however, is about one year from missing an entire movie from the cycle. The clock is ticking. And really, even if there isn’t a lost film, there will be years without revenue that could have had revenue.
I am sure that the twisted thinking inside MGM is that the package that is the studio is more valuable with these commodities as the highest order of bait than they are as working productions that start to be weighed down by reality.
But shouldn’t MGM, for the sake of its creditors, be doing everything possible to generate every dollar that they can as soon as they can? The fruit is already overripe.
Bottom line… if these two franchises move on before the next life of MGM is settled, no one needs the cowboys now rounding up the company.
As for Guillermo and Peter and Fran and Phillipa… this sucks. Really a shame. I’m sure Guillermo had a great time in NZ with everyone, but sitting around waiting to pull the trigger on sure thing is brutal. Just ask Joe Carnahan of Mission: Impossible 3.
In terms of the wider artistic picture, this exit and delay opens up some time on the WETA schedule. So expect someone to jump into Jim Cameron and Joe Letteri’s avatars at the last minute in a bit to do more than 3D. And of course, if that happens, it means that WETA will not be available for The Hobbit, when its ready to go, without at least a year’s warning. Or maybe WETA will sit on the schedule a little longer.
P.S. The story broke through, as is often PJ’s custom. Those who like to accuse others of stealing breaking news without crediting the originating source should probably be told-ja not to throw stones in glass houses.
PS ADD – 10a Monday – The story has been reflected to credit the source. Good.

2 Responses to “Guillermo Exits The Hobbit”

  1. IOv2 says:

    Will someone do something with MGM already? Please? Someone? Anyone? Come on those cricket noise responses are just not cool.

  2. TVJunkie says:

    Sincere question, because I obviously don’t know. If MGM and New Line are equal partners in The Hobbit, can the problems and delays be squarely blamed solely on MGM? As I understand it, NL/WB would have acted as the production lead; and as mentioned elsewhere, WB allegedly had the (sole?) authority to greenlight. (don’t know if that’s true) So, are all the delays about positioning MGM to appear to have more value, or is it just that the films aren’t ready to go to camera and are more costly than anyone involved is willing to risk?
    Having said that, Harry Sloan really did muck things up at MGM.

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