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The internet has been home to half-baked rumors and speculation for years now, so I'm not sure why Harry Knowles at AICN has now taken the opportunity to speak out against it. In a very long piece that calls out Mike Fleming and Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood and largely focuses on the Spider-Man casting process, Knowles decries the "incomplete stories" surrounding both that film and The Hobbit-- and drops some information from an "anonymous source" that could truly only be Peter Jackson.
Claiming that Jackson is definitely not confirmed to step in to direct The Hobbit, Knowles quotes a source he refers to as "Derek" but, well, read the quote and draw your own conclusions:
"No, nothing has really changed - I've always said that me directing was one option, and so that's not really news. The studio are working out what that deal would look like, because how else do they know if it's a viable option? But it's honestly one of several different options - many irons are in the fire right now. What's of great concern to everyone right now is trying to stay on schedule and not slip back another year, because we will start losing people - and that's increasingly difficult as each day passes. A lot of people - both film makers and studios are working very hard right now, trying to get a positive outcome here."
So basically Peter Jackson is sticking to his standard line about how nothing is set in stone and that MGM needs to get its shit together before he agrees to direct anything. And Harry Knowles has done a pitiful job of attributing that information to an anonymous source. And really, everything is exactly as you remember it-- totally up in the air, waiting for MGM to pull together the money and the organization to make this project possible. Sorry to pop your balloon from last Friday's news, but we probably should have seen this coming.