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Not long ago MGM announced that they're making J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel novel to Lord of the Rings into a movie, with or without Peter Jackson. At the time, the announced it as a certainty, they made it sound like they already had a release date. MGM had us all fooled.

The Hollywood Reporter says that MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands spoke at the ShowEast awards on Tuesday, discussing the studio's new plan for tentpole movies. While talking, he revealed that MGM is in talks with New Line to get the rights to make two prequel films out of The Hobbit. In other words, MGM doesn't have the right to make it. In other words, there is no Hobbit movie, there's just a bunch of lawyers sitting in a room arguing over who gets to make it.

If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, breathe a little sigh of relief. There's still a chance that New Line Cinema could end up making this movie, and New Line we know, has at least some clue as to how to make this kind of movie. There's also a better chance that Peter Jackson will direct it, since MGM's past comments didn't seem to affirm much of a commitment to getting him. What needs to happen here is that MGM needs to give it up, sell their part of the rights to New Line, and let New Line get on with the business of making both studios a helluva lot of money. Oh and making all of us very very happy.

During that same speech, Sands talked a little bit about MGM's plans for the Terminator franchise. Apparently he thinks "It's like the 'Batman' or 'Superman' franchise in that it lends itself to having different actors in the roles." MGM plans to find some buff young stud to take over Arnie's role as The Terminator. He also revealed it won't be called Terminator 4. He didn't say what it will be called, but I guess he hates numbers and prefers gimmicks.
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