Several sites are breaking the news simultaneously, but really, it’s something we’ve all just been waiting to hear now for a while anyway: Peter Jackson will direct “The Hobbit.”
It’s not official, no, but even when the news first broke about Guillermo Del Toro leaving the project so he could return to the States and get back to work on his own films, it was easy to think that Jackson would take over.
He came off of “Return of the King” one of the most powerful filmmakers in town. The perception was that he was invulnerable, the new King of the Geeks. He went directly into his dream project, “King Kong,” and while Kong is one of the few truly great digital characters ever created, and there is a lot of good in that film, it was messy. Messy enough that it started to dent his reputation. Then came “The Lovely Bones,” and there’s no denying that the film hurt him. Critically dented, commercially dented, the Peter Jackson of right this minute is not the Peter Jackson from Oscar night 2004, arms full of acclaim. At that point, moving on from Middle Earth seemed as natural a decision as he could possibly make.
Now? That trip back to Middle Earth might shore up Jackson’s commercial clout a bit, might remind the mainstream just how much they loved “Lord of the Rings,” and it would guarantee that no one ruins the legacy he established with the trilogy.
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