So it is with glorious adulation that I learned the movie adaption of "The Hobbit" has been greenlit. As The Telegraph reports:
The project had been delayed by financial problems at the beleaguered Hollywood studio MGM. No location has been named for filming amid an ongoing union threat to boycott the production if it takes place in New Zealand.
The films, with a budget estimated at up to $500 million (£315 million) will be shot in 3D. Peter Jackson, who was behind the award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, was confirmed as the director.
This is of course wonderful. Initial reports indicate that Andy Serkis, Sir Ian McCellan, and Hugo Weaving are all signed on to reprise their roles as Gollum, Gandalf, and Elrond respectively. While I kind of hope they don't go overboard with it, they could also have Aragorn, Arwen, and Legolas appear as cameos ... and John Rhys Davies could easily play Gimli, Gloin's father.
If he'd liked it, then he should have put a ring on it.
While it is both lame and irritating that the film(s - yes, there will still be two of them) has been delayed so much, I think in the long run this will be better for the franchise. The superhero genre is already waning (the Spiderman reboot, while it will probably be cool, indicates how quickly the meme is burning out, and the Avengers franchise will disappoint). Harry Potter will cast his last spell early next year. And this whole vampire crap has got to burn out eventually.
Note the spike in the Alexa score of theonering.net, the main fansite for Middle Earth:
So there will be a void for cool, nerd cinema. (Note: Star Trek 12 will come out it 2012 and will probably be as awesome as No. 11 -- take that prediction however you choose.) The two Hobbit movies will dominate the dojo, and all the teenagers who grew up watching the trilogy will be 20 somethings with cash to spend on nostalgia for the franchise.