Jackson Directing The Hobbit After All?

Thaw imminent between director and New Line?

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Just a little over six months ago, New Line's Bob Shaye publicly stated that the Lord of the Rings trilogy's director, Peter Jackson, was not only out of the running for the LotR prequel The Hobbit, but would "never make any movie with New Line Cinema again" as long as Shaye was with the studio. Few bridges are permanently burned in Hollywood, however -- particularly where billion-dollar franchises are at stake -- and IGN Movies reports that white flags might be on the horizon for Jackson and Shaye.

According to the article, conciliatory quotes are coming from all sides. Yep, even Shaye is getting in on the fence-mending:

The Los Angeles Times spoke with Shaye, who admitted that New Line insiders have been in talks with Jackson's reps to try and make amends. "Yes, that's a fair statement," said Shaye when quizzed about it. "Notwithstanding our personal quarrels, I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit."

The article goes on to include hopeful quotes from Ian McKellen and a spokesperson for Jackson, all of which would seem to indicate that if the right deal can be struck (and relevant lawsuits can be settled), Ring fans just might get the movie they've hoped for after all.

Source: IGN Movies