Lord of the Rings fans have been waiting for The Hobbit to be made for what feels like forever now. Since last year, MGM's financial woes have negatively affected the production, eventually leading to the departure of director Guillermo del Toro. In recent weeks, however, things have been looking much better. MGM has an interested buyer in Spyglass Entertainment and they have been pursuing Martin Freeman for the lead role. All they really need to get the thing rolling is a greenlight and a director, two things that the Los Angeles Times says are coming in the next couple of days.

Citing the ever popular unnamed source close to the production, it is being reported that Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and MGM are set to officially start pre-production on the film, and will have Peter Jackson serving as not only co-writer and producer, but director as well. The project is set to be two films based on the first book by J.R.R. Tolkien and the budget for both is expected to be in the $500 million range.

Should the story be authentic, this is tremendous news. It's been a rough year not knowing if this project will ever happen and it's great to hear that it will be. Even del Toro dropping out has worked for the best, as Jackson will now return to the director's chair where he belongs and del Toro can direct At The Mountains of Madness. Everyone is a winner. Now all we need is a new Bond and we can truly start the celebration.
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