Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Round 2: New Line Cinema vs LOTR’s Peter Jackson
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[ # ] Round 2: New Line Cinema vs LOTR’s Peter Jackson
January 10th, 2007 under Lawsuits

In the latest comment in the controversy surrounding a proposed movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, New Line head Robert Shaye told SCI FI Wire in no uncertain terms that the studio won’t work with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on that film or any other film. Ever. At least not as long as Shaye is in charge. Shaye’s comments marked the first time a New Line executive has commented publicly on the fracas since Jackson announced that he has pulled out of the project and also appears to harden New Line’s position against Jackson. "I do not want to make a movie with somebody who is suing me," Shaye—New Line’s chief executive officer—said in an interview on Jan. 5 while promoting The Last Mimzy, a New Line family fantasy that marks his first time in a director’s chair since 1990’s Book of Love. "It will never happen during my watch." Jackson had told in November that he and partner Fran Walsh were bowing out after New Line, which produced the Rings films and has production rights to The Hobbit, told them the studio was moving ahead with the project without them. Jackson has said he won’t discuss The Hobbit until a lawsuit against New Line over Rings accounting practices was settled. As far as Shaye is concerned, Jackson is no longer welcome. "There’s a kind of arrogance," Shaye said. "Not that I don’t think Peter is a good filmmaker and that he hasn’t contributed significantly to filmography and made three very good movies. And I don’t even expect him to say ‘thank you’ for having me make it happen and having New Line make it happen. But to think that I, as a functionary in [a] company that has been around for a long time, but is now owned by a very big conglomerate, would care one bit about trying to cheat the guy, … he’s either had very poor counsel or is completely misinformed and myopic to think that I care whether I give him [anything]." Shaye, who was also an executive producer on the Rings films, added: "He got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right, and this guy, who already has received a quarter of a billion dollars, turns around without wanting to have a discussion with us and sues us and refuses to discuss it unless we just give in to his plan. I don’t want to work with that guy anymore. Why would I? So the answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I’m still working for the company." Shaye said that many of the Rings trilogy actors "suddenly, because, I’m guessing, of Peter’s complaint," have declined to participate in celebrating New Line’s 40th anniversary. "I’m incredibly offended," he said. "I don’t care about Peter Jackson anymore. He wants to have another $100 million or $50 million, whatever he’s suing us for. He doesn’t want to sit down and talk about it. He thinks that we owe him something after we’ve paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars. … Cheers, Peter." New Line’s hardened position against Jackson isn’t the end of the story, of course. MGM, which owns the distribution rights to The Hobbit, on Nov. 20 told Variety through a spokesman that "the matter of Peter Jackson directing the Hobbit films is far from closed." In his own online statement, Jackson said that New Line executive Mark Ordesky, who shepherded the Rings trilogy, argued that New Line is dumping Jackson because the studio has a "limited time option" on the film rights, obtained from Saul Zaentz.

Sci Fi Wire

I wonder how Peter Jackson feels to have something in common with Tom Cruise. It still amazes that me that he won an Oscar because I have seen his earier releases, but then again if Susan Saradon can do it any one can



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