Guillermo del Toro, while taking part in a conference call supporting the film Splice, updated Tolkien fans on the current situation surrounding The Hobbit. It’s pretty much the same as what we’ve heard before. No green light can be given until MGM, who hold distribution rights to the films, sort out their financial situation.
MGM recently received a fifth extension on its $3.7 billion debt from its creditors earlier this month, which means it needs to find a buyer by July 14th (unless it is granted another extension).
“There cannot be any start date until the MGM situation gets resolved because they hold considerable portion of the rights,” del Toro says. “It’s impossible to take a unilateral decision to give the greenlight to proceed. We really believe that the date will be known after they fact of MGM’s fate. Whether they stay or get supported or get some of the rights.
“We have been caught in a very tangled negotiation,” del Toro. “Now I have been on the project for nearly two years. We have designed all the creatures, the sets, the wardrobe, animatics and planned action sequences and we are very, very prepared for when it is finally triggered. We don’t know anything until MGM is solved.”
The director also said that “3D has been discussed literally once” and that the budget and shooting length are being arranged now “without looking towards 3D”.
Is there a chance it will become 3D in the future? Maybe. Right now, it’s not being planned as such.”
Hopefully the MGM situation is resolved one way or another by July and The Hobbit can begin filming later this year.