The Hobbit Film - The way it was meant to be or not at all

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First off, let me state than I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and was immensely excited by the possibility of a movie adaptation of the prequel to the trilogy, namely "The Hobbit." Recently, MGM Studios has decided to rush a movie version of the book for their 2008 schedule in order to revitalize their film division. However, both MGM and New Line Cinema own a piece of the film rights, making both studios inclusion necessary in getting the film off the ground.

The clear and obvious choice of a director and special effects studio to handle an adaptation of the Hobbit is Peter Jackson and WETA. The involvement of the Oscar-winning director seemed assured until it was revealed that a lawsuit between Mr. Jackson and New Line over profits earned for Fellowship of the Ring was the single road block in getting the two sides to agree to make the film. New Line has decided to blackmail Jackson by forcing him to settle the lawsuit out of court as a prerequisite to making the movie.

Now, fans want a "Hobbit" movie. But not a cold-blooded, rushed "Hobbit" movie spawned by greed and an unwillingness to cooperate for the good of the fans. We need to STOP "The Hobbit" movie from being made under these circumstances for the following reasons:

1) A Hobbit movie without Peter Jackson and his crew of writers and the special effects wizards at WETA is NOT a Hobbit fans want or expect. The characters and scenery will all be new and unfamiliar and props, costumes, and the backdrop of New Zealand will all be lost. Most likely even the original actors will not sign on to do it...can you imagine someone other than Ian McKellan playing Gandalf the Grey?

2) A Hobbit movie made now will assuredly prevent future Lord of the Rings prequels by Peter Jackson and will tarnish a consistent vision of Middle Earth.

3) Rather than waiting until all three sides (MGM, New Line, and Peter Jackson) could agree on a timetable, the studios are inexplicably rushing production of "The Hobbit". Why you might ask? New Line claims that they have a "limited time option on the film rights they have obtained from Saul Zaentz". This seems a little suspicious to me and Peter Jackson has publicly stated that this had never been mentioned to him before.

Films are for fans, and this decision is not fair to the loyal LOTR fans around the world. Our opinions as fans should count for something as we dictate which films become successful. Let us convince the studios to AT LEAST sit down with Peter Jackson one last time to come to some sort of financial agreement and deliver a "Hobbit" movie the way it was meant to be made.

I apologize for the length of this petition, but the history of this potential film is long and complicated, and I feel that we all need to understand the sheer lunacy that has led to this decision by the studios. Please MGM and New Line, come to your senses and give us a "Hobbit" film you can be proud of--a film that is about more than just money. New Line has stated "that's how these things are done". I think we can change that.