MGM Plans "Terminator 4," "The Hobbit" In New Tentpole StrategyTerminator 4," a "Thomas Crown Affair" sequel, and "The Hobbit" -- with the hope that "Lord of the Rings" visionary Peter Jackson will direct.
According to Variety, MGM's plan is for several projects in the next few years, "some in the $150 million to $200 million-plus range." In addition to "T4," "Thomas Crown," and "The Hobbit," these include already-announced MGM projects like the "Pink Panther" sequel, 2008's "Bond 22," and the February release "Rocky Balboa."
MGM's making a "Terminator" sequel! Oh, and another "Pink Panther"...
And who can we thank for this revival of once-powerhouse MGM, which had morphed in recent decades into a distribution house of modestly budgeted pics? Credit new MGM chairman-CEO Harry Sloan, who?s bent on more than doubling the value of the studio, which was sold two years ago to Sony and Co. for $4.8 billion.
Some snippets from Variety:
"The goal is to release two or three tentpoles a year, all of which will be made with financial partners, including Wall Street money or other studios."
"The financial and distribution rights to the Bond movies will be split with Sony. (For the upcoming "Casino Royale," Sony has theatrical rights, MGM has TV rights.)"
"The Hobbit" will be produced in partnership with New Line, which Sloan says shares the rights to the property with MGM."
Will PJ come back for "The Hobbit?"
Co-producing "Hobbit" with New Line (which released "The Lord of the Rings" films) could make nabbing Jackson to direct the Tolkien prequel a bit easier. (Or might there be a hitch?) What's more, the Variety piece calls "Hobbit" a "one or two installment" project, which means "LOTR" fans could have multiple flicks to start salivating over.