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New Line And Jackson - Irreconcilable Differences

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the [vader]noooooooo[/vader] dept.

Movies 298

Petersko writes to mention a CNN article about an escalation between Peter Jackson and New Line that likely means we'll never see a Jackson-helmed "Hobbit" film. From the article: "In an interview with the Sci Fi Channel news service Sci Fi Wire, [New Line co-chairman Bob] Shaye said Jackson will never make another movie for the studio and said the filmmaker just wants more money. 'I don't care about Peter Jackson anymore,' Shaye said. '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.'"

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298 comments

might be fair (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585184)

how much did THEY make from the films?

Re:might be fair (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585866)

Irrelevant. What's fair is that he gets paid what was in the contract. Doesn't matter whether that's 250 million, 10 bucks or a billion. If he thinks that dodgy accounting practices are responsible for reducing his cut, he has every right to challenge the accounting.

Cheers indeed (0)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585188)

I hope I speak for all fans of quality movies when I say "Don't let that talentless hack bastard near another set as long as he lives.". Terrible, terrible director.

Re:Cheers indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585216)

I think you speak for somewhat fewer than all fans of quality movies.

Re:Cheers indeed (4, Informative)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585310)

You don't. Most people think Jackson was pretty much spot on in his adaptation. If anything, a new director, handpicked by the studio clowns, will be much, much worse.

Who wants to bet we'll see "younger, edgier" hobbits and a "rockin'" soundtrack. Justin Timberlake is getting some good buzz for his new movie. I wonder what his version of "The Road Goes Ever On and On" would sound like . . .

Re:Cheers indeed (1)

adamlazz (975798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585386)

Seconded. If his adaptation was terrible, because he is a terrible director, then, the books must have been 'terrible'. Wasn't he supposed to direct a Halo film? :\

Re:Cheers indeed (2, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585998)

Seconded. If his adaptation was terrible, because he is a terrible director, then, the books must have been 'terrible'.

Uhn? A bad director took a book, made a complete fucking mess of adapting it to a screenplay and in addition directed the resulting crap-fest badly, and so you think the fault lies in the book? How strange.

Re:Cheers indeed (1)

wakejagr (781977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586214)

Woo-hoo! He's being a dumbass, and insulting wikipedia in his sig. I've got myself a new foe!

Re:Cheers indeed (5, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585820)

I think he's directed some good movies, the LotR trilogy included, but I don't think he was "spot on" in his adaptation. If anything, there were very significant plot elements for which he opted to "adapt" them as being completely opposite to what Tolkien wrote.

I'm not talking about things like amplifying Arwen's role throughout the trilogy or removing Tom Bombadil. Some things just don't play well on the screen, and it's understandable that changes were made (even if I'm not a big fan of those changes).

I'm talking about, among other things, completely reinterpreting a character such as Faramir, who was at his core good and uncorrupted by a desire for power, unlike his brother Boromir. Rewriting Faramir to attempt to deliver the ring to Gondor, instead of seeing it for what it truly was, demonstrated Jackson's (and Walsh's and Boyens's) ignorance of, or refusal to appreciate, Faramir's significance in the story. There was (supposed to be) no conflict in Faramir's mind between helping to save his homeland by destroying the ring and bringing home a prize to please his unappreciative father. He had long ago resigned himself to being considered weak by his father in comparison to Boromir, because his weakness in the eyes of his father - acting for the good of all rather than the glory of Gondor - was actually a strength worthy of his Numenorean lineage.

Jackson claimed that Faramir had to be tempted just as everyone else who encountered the ring faced temptation, but that doesn't hold water - yes, Gandalf was tempted by it, Galadriel was tempted by it, but they both resisted - why couldn't Faramir?

Faramir ring bearer? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586154)

"Jackson claimed that Faramir had to be tempted just as everyone else who encountered the ring faced temptation, but that doesn't hold water - yes, Gandalf was tempted by it, Galadriel was tempted by it, but they both resisted - why couldn't Faramir?"

Wow, I missed the part of the movie where Faramir took the ring of power from Frodo and slipped it on his finger.

  I don't entirely agree with the change in Faramir's story either, but the point of it wasn't that he couldn't resist the ring, the point was that he was tempted to use it to secure his father's respect but that in the end he resisted that temptation. Like it or not, it gave Faramir's story some arc that was missing in the books.

Re:Cheers indeed - Mod parent troll (0, Troll)

Xybot (707278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585370)

Just stay in Moms basement and keep quiet.

Re:Cheers indeed (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586006)

Jackson is a terrible director? I don't think so. What about his work on Meet the Feebles, Heavenly Creatures or even The frighteners? Also, he's a lot more than just a director. He's also a writer and knows a lot about cinematography and effects. Are you just basing your opinion on the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Sure, that's not his best work, but it's not his entire body of work by any means.

Re:Cheers indeed (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586078)

I admit that I've not seen Feebles, and the other two are better than his LotR; but they're still fairly bland. I get the impression from interviews that he does know a lot about cinematography, but he can't actually do it. I know a lot about art but I can't paint to save my life.

All the strong points of LotR (and there were many) were in technical areas like design. Anything Jackson himself touched turned to crap. Breakdancing wizards spring to mind. Dear GOD!

Re:Cheers indeed (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586152)

Don't forget Bad Taste [imdb.com] and Brain Dead [imdb.com] . No one can deny that they are works of cinematic genius.

well (4, Informative)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585206)

He thinks that we owe him something after we've paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars. ...Z

With that kinda cash he can finance his own movies.

Re:well (2, Insightful)

Xybot (707278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585432)

Mr Bob Shaye is a multi billionaire, I'm sure he wouldn't be shy in questioning dodgy accounting practises if he was on the recieving end

Re:well (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586144)

It's about the rights, dumbass.

Oops! Sorry, Red!

Please don't kill me... (3, Insightful)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585214)

Does it really matter? If they find a competant guy, who cares for him. He just has a more famous name, that's all.

Re:Please don't kill me... (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586256)

More famous name? YOu must be joking. He was not very well known until AFTER he did LOTR. He's demontrated his ability to make very profitable films. Not many peopel can calim to have made 3 incredibly expencive films and have the first one pay for the entire cost of filming all 3. I seriously doubt they would have made anywhere near what they did had they gone with someone else. Give credit where credit is due.

this guy's full of it (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585220)

'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.

It would seem the disagreement comes over "creative accounting" practices over at New Line. It would also seem that Peter Jackson has already tried to "sit down and talk about it".

What's really sad is that Shaye is such typical Hollywood; he actually believes an ego-driven pissing contest is more important than creating good work, and paying artists what the contract specifies.

Re:this guy's full of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585258)

Uh, any references or anything to back up what you're saying?

Like, anything?

At all?

Thanks.

Re:this guy's full of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585326)

RTFA, dicknose

Re:this guy's full of it (5, Informative)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585430)

Here is Peters e-mail (posted here http://www.theonering.net/staticnews/1163993546.ht ml [theonering.net] ):

I think it says it all.

Dear One Ringers,

As you know, there's been a lot of speculation about The Hobbit. We are often asked about when or if this film will ever be made. We have always responded that we would be very interested in making the film - if it were offered to us to make.

You may also be aware that Wingnut Films has bought a lawsuit against New Line, which resulted from an audit we undertook on part of the income of The Fellowship of the Ring. Our attitude with the lawsuit has always been that since it's largely based on differences of opinion about certain accounting practices, we would like an independent body - whether it be a judge, a jury, or a mediator, to look at the issues and make an unbiased ruling. We are happy to accept whatever that ruling is. In our minds, it's not much more complex than that and that's exactly why film contracts include right-to-audit clauses.

However, we have always said that we do not want to discuss The Hobbit with New Line until the lawsuit over New Line's accounting practices is resolved. This is simple common sense - you cannot be in a relationship with a film studio, making a complex, expensive movie and dealing with all the pressures and responsibilities that come with the job, while an unresolved lawsuit exists.

We have also said that we do not want to tie settlement of the lawsuit to making a film of The Hobbit. In other words, we would have to agree to make The Hobbit as a condition of New Line settling our lawsuit. In our minds this is not the right reason to make a film and if a film of The Hobbit went ahead on this basis, it would be doomed. Deciding to make a movie should come from the heart - it's not a matter of business convenience. When you agree to make a film, you're taking on a massive commitment and you need to be driven by an absolute passion to want to get the story on screen. It's that passion, and passion alone, that gives the movie its imagination and heart. To us it is not a cold-blooded business decision.

A couple of months ago there was a flurry of Hobbit news in the media. MGM, who own a portion of the film rights in The Hobbit, publicly stated they wanted to make the film with us. It was a little weird at the time because nobody from New Line had ever spoken to us about making a film of The Hobbit and the media had some fun with that. Within a week or two of those stories, our Manager Ken Kamins got a call from the co-president of New Line Cinema, Michael Lynne, who in essence told Ken that the way to settle the lawsuit was to get a commitment from us to make the Hobbit, because "that's how these things are done". Michael Lynne said we would stand to make much more money if we tied the lawsuit and the movie deal together and this may well be true, but it's still the worst reason in the world to agree to make a film.

Several years ago, Mark Ordesky told us that New Line have rights to make not just The Hobbit but a second "LOTR prequel", covering the events leading up to those depicted in LOTR. Since then, we've always assumed that we would be asked to make The Hobbit and possibly this second film, back to back, as we did the original movies. We assumed that our lawsuit with the studio would come to a natural conclusion and we would then be free to discuss our ideas with the studio, get excited and jump on board. We've assumed that we would possibly get started on development and design next year, whilst filming The Lovely Bones. We even had a meeting planned with MGM executives to talk through our schedule.

However last week, Mark Ordesky called Ken and told him that New Line would no longer be requiring our services on the Hobbit and the LOTR 'prequel'. This was a courtesy call to let us know that the studio was now actively looking to hire another filmmaker for both projects.

Ordesky said that New Line has a limited time option on the film rights they have obtained from Saul Zaentz (this has never been conveyed to us before), and because we won't discuss making the movies until the lawsuit is resolved, the studio is going to have to hire another director.

Given that New Line are committed to this course of action, we felt at the very least, we owed you, the fans, a straightforward account of events as they have unfolded for us.

We have always had the greatest support from The Ringers and we are very sorry our involvement with The Hobbit has been ended in this way. Our journey into Tolkien's world started with a phone call from Ken Kamins to Harvey Weinstein in Nov 1995 and ended with a phone call from Mark Ordesky to Ken in Nov 2006. It has been a great 11 years.

This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness and rancor. We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go and move forward with other projects.

We send our very best wishes to whomever has the privilege of making The Hobbit and look forward to seeing the film on the big screen.

Warmest regards to you all, and thanks for your incredible support over the years.

We got to go there - but not back again ...

Re:this guy's full of it (2, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585706)

Within a week or two of those stories, our Manager Ken Kamins got a call from the co-president of New Line Cinema, Michael Lynne, who in essence told Ken that the way to settle the lawsuit was to get a commitment from us to make the Hobbit, because "that's how these things are done".

That almost sounds like blackmail.

Re:this guy's full of it (2, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585806)

Yeah, except for the "almost" part.

Re:this guy's full of it (3, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585812)

Yeah, its like "if you want the money we owe you, you're going to have to work for it... again"

Re:this guy's full of it (1)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585278)

It would seem the disagreement comes over "creative accounting" practices over at New Line.
That was my take on it as well.

Peter Jackson is being reasonably civil about it in the public eye, while Shaye is acting like a shitcock.

Re:this guy's full of it (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585718)

What's really sad is that Shaye is such typical Hollywood; he actually believes an ego-driven pissing contest is more important than creating good work, and paying artists what the contract specifies.

When you're the guy with the money, instead of the guy creating the art... yeah, that is more important.

The first rule of Hollywood is simple: they're there to MAKE MONEY. Hollywood always has been about making money, not making great art. People who want to tell a great story on a shoestring budget write novels. People who want to make billion-dollar special effects blockbusters go to Hollywood, where they expect a return on their billion-dollar investment, because there, motion pictures are a billion-dollar business, not a billion-dollar creative grant.

Anyone who complains about Hollywood producers trying to make, and keep, all the money they can needs to wake up. Nobody is going to be completely honest and reasonable with anybody else when hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

Re:this guy's full of it (5, Insightful)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585818)

Anyone who complains about Hollywood producers trying to make, and keep, all the money they can needs to wake up.

So your logic is, if someone has a history of acting like a selfish jerk, you should just let them get away with it, because "that's what they do"?

I think it's perfectly reasonable for Jackson to make a Hollywood picture, in the knowledge that some people at Hollywood are dishonest sharks. If he then calls them on being dishonest sharks, more power to him.

Just because they always do it, doesn't mean it's right, or that they should continue to get away with it.

We are the fodder in this (-1, Troll)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585222)

Jackson wants to show New Line that the fans won't tolerate anyone else doing the Hobbit and this is just to get us riled up so we make a big to do about it online. Once we do this, Jackson can go to New Line and say "look, you can'd do this without me, now pay up."

Re:We are the fodder in this (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585396)

You actually care? I enjoyed the LoTR movies, but I couldn't care less if they make another Hobbit, or if it is any good. It isn't injurious to me if it is bad, the one in my head is actually pretty good.

Re:We are the fodder in this (1)

solitas (916005) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586276)

>> It isn't injurious to me if it is bad, the one in my head is actually pretty good.

Spot on! Movies can never replace "the theatre of the mind" amongst discerning readers. I watched all three movies - director's cuts, ALL the soundtracks - but it seemed like every-third-scene there was a "where the f*ck did THAT come from?"-type of plot-twitch.

I first read the trilogy 39 years ago and I revisit Middle Earth every couple of years and while I have my own preferred conceptions about the looks of the characters and the environment of Middle Earth - nothing to disparage WETA, they did a fantastically, heroically detailed job - but the plot and characters shifted all OVER the place at times which were enough to put me off.

Quite a bit in 'Fellowship'; progressively more in 'Towers' and even more in 'Return'. The dialogue markedly changes in the "director's soundtrack" across the DVDs too - it almost sounded like they _wanted_ to do a better job in 'Fellowship' but had to make concessions to the PTB, but by 'Return' the attitude seemed more like "screwyou - we know you bought the tickets, we know you bought the DVDs, we know we've got you hooked, and we'll do what we damn well please".

From my experiences with the three movies I wouldn't have wasted the time to watch a jackson/Hobbit movie for free, if one came out.

Re:We are the fodder in this (1)

Xybot (707278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585520)

Insightful? How? Back this up with some facts otherwise it's just another bunch of unsubstantiated bullshit. I really dislike trolls trying to build up their lousy self esteem by trying to pull others down. You're a troll. I can assure Mr Jackon could not give two hoots for Hollywood and all the associated bullshit, infighting and internal politics surrounding it and I'm also certain that New Line will live to regret it's bullshit accounting practises.

I'd say... (5, Insightful)

KoshClassic (325934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585224)

I don't know what the terms of the contract were, but if Jackson's contract calls for him to be paid more, then I'd say he's completely justified in thinking they owe him something after they've paid him a quarter of a billion dollars. That's why contracts are negotiated - otherwise he could have taken his business elsewhere. They can't retroactively say "We paid you $250 million and that's an awful lot of money, don't be greedy" if they agreed to $300 million.

Re:I'd say... (5, Interesting)

lawrenlives (991376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585280)

His whole claim is that they defrauded him on millions based on merchandising and other subsidiary rights. If a contract is based on a percentage, and they ferried all these deals off to various companies that are *part* of New Line's enterprise, they pocket a pile of cash and he gets screwed, right? Right. The claim is more or less valid, no matter how greedy he seemed. 250 million? Pocket change!

Re:I'd say... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585598)

From the NYT, 2005
Use or misuse of corporate synergy is at heart of Peter Jackson's lawsuit against New Line Cinema, which financed and distributed The Lord of the Rings, his film trilogy; suit charges that New Line committed fraud in handling revenues generated by 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring and in that way underpaid him by millions; faults New Line's use of pre-emptive bidding for subsidiary rights to such things as Lord of the Rings books, DVD's and merchandise, most of which went to other companies in New Line family or other units of Time Warner, New Line's parent; says that while Time Warner's bottom line was not hurt by these deals, overall gross revenues for film, on which Jackson's percentage is based, would have been greater if open bidding had been used; claim strikes at heart of modern vertically integrated media company, painting corporate synergy as 'self-dealing'; Stanton Stein, Jackson's lawyer, has specialized in vertical integration litigation in television and movie industries
and so on. Man, when did ./ become such a hotbed of communist propaganda. People want to make money. Lots and lots of money. Shock and horror.

Re:I'd say... (4, Funny)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585784)

Man, when did ./ become such a hotbed of communist propaganda

Since you changed to the wrong directory.

Re:I'd say... (3, Funny)

CharonX (522492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585928)

This is Soviet Russia.
Prepeare to be Dot-Slashed.





(Oh well, I had Karma to burn :p)

Re:I'd say... (2, Insightful)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585964)

Don't forget that George Lucas built his empire on the merchandising - a throw away right back then.

Re:I'd say... (5, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585322)

It's common for movie studios to come up with fees that they charge themselves to make the bottom line whatever they want it to be. If they owe somebody a percentage of the bottom line, they are very good at making that number be as low as possible. The thing is that when you charge yourself a fee, you still get all the money. It's a ridiculous scam, and it seems to me like people in Hollywood are either too worried about the glamour, or are busy suing each other over it.

I don't know the specifics of this dispute, but I'd bet money that it boils down to "my contract says I get x% of this pool of money, and you are lying about the size of that pool of money".

Re:I'd say... (3, Interesting)

R_Growler (84235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585624)

I have worked for [big] movie studios and you are unfortunately very right.
oh, how I wish you weren't!

(before you ask.. accounting software is my game...)

-RG.
     

Aroo? (5, Interesting)

inphinity (681284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585244)

I could be mistaken, but I was pretty sure that Peter Jackson is only suing to have an audit done, as his main allegation has always been that accounting practices on the previous LotR movies were a bit, er, shady.


Sure, he'll probably get some more money out of it (if he's right), but it sounds to me like New Line is attempting one hell of a mischaracterization...

Re:Aroo? (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585862)

I think you're spot on. From the e-mail that Jackson sent to TheOneRing.net:

"You may also be aware that Wingnut Films has bought a lawsuit against New Line, which resulted from an audit we undertook on part of the income of The Fellowship of the Ring. Our attitude with the lawsuit has always been that since it's largely based on differences of opinion about certain accounting practices, we would like an independent body - whether it be a judge, a jury, or a mediator, to look at the issues and make an unbiased ruling. We are happy to accept whatever that ruling is. In our minds, it's not much more complex than that and that's exactly why film contracts include right-to-audit clauses."

It sounds to me that Jackson is being quite reasonable and is simply trying to exercise his rights under his contract with New Line, and the studio is being a total ass about it.

Just give him the money (1, Troll)

Dice Fivefold (640696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585264)

Why don't they just give him whatever he wants. It's not like they are going to lose money on another of those films.

Re:Just give him the money (3, Insightful)

StrongAxe (713301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585978)

Why don't they just give him whatever he wants. It's not like they are going to lose money on another of those films.

Because what he actually WANTS is to have an independent third party to look at their books and decide what is fair (he probably believes they owe him money, but he said he would be happy with whatever the auditors decide).

It is common industry practice to shuffle expenses around from one department to another, so that on paper, even a multi-billion-dollar movie never makes any profit, so the studios get away without paying any royalties. If they gave him what he wanted, these practices would be exposed for all to see. This is much more than a few hundred million from one blockbuster movie - it is about similar practices from every blockbuster movie ever made. No studio in their right minds would dare to have this kind of thing become publicly known (or worse, proven so that all the people they have defrauded out of royalties be able to sue them over it).

Peter Jackson Unlikely To Butcher a Hobbit Film (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585270)

And Tolkien fans rejoiced.

Perhaps they can find someone who has actually read(and understood) the source material this time around?

I smell astroturf. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585420)

If you want to flame Peter Jackson you should at least do it under a handle with a reputation.

Anonymous Coward postings on the subject are likely to be dismissed as studio astroturfing, trying to head off fan pressure on the studio administrators through their product sales prospects and stockholder/board pressure.

Its amazing (0, Flamebait)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585282)

How does greed work?

I can not imagine ever thinking $250 million is not enough FOR MY OWN back account. It would be different if I owned a company but still that is more money than the GDP of some countries. Good god.

Add to the recent news of the golden parachute of $250 million for the former CEO of home depot when he was fired. He was fired right? I wonder why these people get compensated so much?

If i got fired I think I would get 0 cents and be shown the door like %99.9 of the slashdotters reading this.

Why do we allow our culture to pay people so much money while the minimum wage remains the same for 10 years despite a %400 increase in the cost of living?

I do not blame the studio's and would certainly not want to hire him back again. For 1/10th the cost I could find a top hollywood director which has better talent.

Re:Its amazing (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585470)

Can you shoot a commercial grade movie? He can. How much that skill is worth? Well... apparently, that's in dispute.

Re:Its amazing (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586254)

Can you shoot a commercial grade movie? He can.

      I dunno. After King Kong I am not too sure anymore.

Re:Its amazing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585514)

Please don't take out your anger on one issue against another.

The difference between Peter Jackson and the Home Depot CEO is that Peter Jackson made New Line money. Billions of dollars. [imdb.com]

Plus as others have pointed out, this is a matter of ensuring his contract is executed correctly. If New Line agreeded to give him a percentage cut, and they try change the books to make his cut smaller , he has every right to 'stick it to the man' trying to shaft him. And let's face it, it's not the first time a movie company has tried this. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Its amazing (5, Insightful)

morpheus343 (1032278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585526)

Nice way to ignore the move studio's greed.

Is it crazy to pay anyone millions of dollars for their work? Maybe, maybe not, but if a major company agrees to pay someone $X for their work and what they bring to a project it's utterly wrong to turn around and play the "you're being greedy wanting more money" card. If you agree to a deal with someone and they meet (and agruably exceed) your esxpectations then you should honor the deal, if you don't your a greedy slimeball who should be avoided at all costs.

New line agreed to pay Jackson according to some formula based on how well the movies did. Jackson is questioning their accounting practices and instead of turning around and saying "fine, look at the books, we paid you what we agreed to pay you", New Line has resorted to school yard tactics and they're basically calling him names. They have the information that could settle this case once and for all and the fact that they refuse to provide it makes it look like they do have something to hide.

You can lament that some people's salaries exist in a range that most of us can't even pretend to dream of, but think about what the big company is going to do to the average consumer if they'll turn on Jackson after he made them an amount of money that is many times greater than the what they paid him.

Good job at looking at just one side of the situation.

Re:Its amazing (1)

TheCodeFoundry (246594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585550)

for 10 years despite a %400 increase in the cost of living?


Instead of pulling numbers out of your arse, how about backing up that 400% increase in the cost of living?

$1US in 1996 is $1.29US in 2006. I'm not seeing the 400% increase. http://woodrow.mpls.frb.fed.us/research/data/us/ca lc// [frb.fed.us]

Feel free to actually use real statistical data to prove your point. Try here: http://www.newsengin.com/neFreeTools.nsf/CPIcalc?O penView&Start=1&Count=30&Expand=1#1/ [newsengin.com]

Repeating the same ol' dKos/DU/lib talking points about how bad the economy is, how bad minimum wage is, etc. will get you no where until you can put some data where your mouth is.

Instead of allowing the gov't to force you to pay someone a set price, how about letting the marketplace determine what the price should be? Seriously, how many people are married and have 4 kids and are working for minimum wage? Sounds like Darwin in action, if so.

Re:Its amazing (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585674)

Repeating the same ol' dKos/DU/lib talking points about how bad the economy is, how bad minimum wage is, etc. will get you no where until you can put some data where your mouth is.
I completely agree with you, but you'd be amazed how many people will ignore data. I frequently find myself giving detailed, well supported data in arguments, only to have it completely ignored by people who know (in their gut) that they're right.

Re:Its amazing (3, Insightful)

Xybot (707278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585580)

It works like this: Someone says "I'll give you $X to do this, You do the job and receive $Y. When they refuse to explain the difference you take them to court. The reason they get paid soo much, is supply and demand. If you make 3 movies like Lord of the Rings, you can ask for that much money. It's called capitalism.

Re:Its amazing (2, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585616)

I totally agree about Bob Nardelli - what I've read about his resignation from Home Depot seems to indicate it came from the stock losing ground vs. a competitor over a six-year period, and you're right that most of us would simply be shown the door without a golden handshake for doing a poor job.

That said, this has absolutely nothing to do with Peter Jackson vs. New Line.

Signing a contract with somebody saying you're going to pay them a certain amount of money, then covering your tracks so you don't have to pay them as much - if this is indeed what occurred - deserves to be pursued just on principle, regardless of the amount of money involved. I don't care if we're talking $250 million for making a trilogy that grosses $3 billion dollars as the box office, or $25 for fixing a friend of a friend's computer. There's still something to be said these days about giving your word to somebody and then following through with it.

Re:Its amazing (2, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585650)

I can not imagine ever thinking $250 million is not enough FOR MY OWN back account. It would be different if I owned a company but still that is more money than the GDP of some countries. Good god.

What if he wanted to start a company?

Or finance his own movie? Become the next Lucas. (Though hopefully without the decline into sucktitude.)

Or what if he's just concerned about the principle of the thing and is tired of seeing the studios screw the actual artists out of money through "questionable" accounting that produces values like Spiderman making no profit. (Stan Lee said he wasn't wasn't paid anything until he sued Marvel despite the movie grossing over $800m worldwide, having a production budget of under $140 million, and a contract that said he was to be paid 10% of profits.)

Re:Its amazing (2, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586218)

and a contract that said he was to be paid 10% of profits.

That was his mistake. If you're ever in a position to negotiate a deal with Hollywood, never, ever, go for a percentage of the profits (or net). Go for a percentage of gross. Sure, it'll be a smaller percentage, but the number itself would be non-zero. (Consider if Stan Lee had a contract that said he got, say 1/4 % of the gross. He'd be owed $2 millon.)

As others have pointed out, studios have all kinds of creative accounting practises that will reduce the net to zero, if not negative.

Re:Its amazing (5, Informative)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585672)

It's not Peter Jackson the person suing New Line to reveal whether or not it's cooked the books (and it certainly looks like it has), it's Wingnut Films. Peter Jackson founded the company and I'm sure he owns a big chunk of it, but it's a company nevertheless. A company with shareholders and employees, people who have bills and rent and mortgages.

It looks like the issue is something like this.

Wingnut does a deal with New Line, something like "You lend us X dollars, and we'll make three movies that make you a whole lot more than X. In return, when other companies distribute and license the movies, the characters, the music, and all that stuff, you give us a fair share -- let's call it Y% -- of the money that you make, because after all we made the movies and did all the hard work. Deal? Deal."

Time passes. The movies are huge. They are, in fact, the most profitable movies in history. Rather than just getting back "more than X", New Line is getting something around "more than thirteen times X". Seriously. For every dollar invested, New Line is getting thirteen back.

So, after the chaos of openings and Oscars and awards left and right has calmed down a bit, Wingnut's accountants notice that Y% is turning out to be a lot less money than they expected. So much less that getting Y% is starting to look like a bad deal, especially given that New Line is laughing all the way to the bank. So Wingnut has a preliminary audit done of the first movie's finances, and it turns out that New Line is actually GIVING AWAY THE MOVIES FOR FREE because the partners and licensees it has signed up all turn out to be, surprise surprise, NEW LINE SUBSIDIARIES. And guess what Y% of FREE is. (note: the subsidiaries didn't actually pay nothing, but it was so much less than market value, it's basically the same thing. Especially when Wingnut's deal was based on market value.)

So the accountants alert Wingnut's executives to the fact that Y% of something that is being given away for free isn't very much. Wingnut's executives then go "Holy shit, are you serious? OK, New Line, we've got to have proper audits down, including the second and third movies, to see what the story is".

New Line: "Um, no."
Wingnut: "Seriously guys, something's not right here, we have to go through the books."
New Line: "No."
Wingnut: "OK, well we'll have to get the lawyers involved, because this is starting to look really dodgy."
New Line to the media: "PETER JACKSON IS A GREEDY MOTHERFUCKER AND WE'RE NEVER WORKING WITH HIM AGAIN"
Peter Jackson: "WTF?"

Re:Its amazing (1)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585696)

Those of you who remember the Browser Wars of last century might recognise the Spyglass/Microsoft/Internet Explorer story in a different guise.

It's not a personal paycheck (1)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585748)

Why do we allow our culture to pay people so much money while the minimum wage remains the same for 10 years despite a %400 increase in the cost of living? I do not blame the studio's and would certainly not want to hire him back again. For 1/10th the cost I could find a top hollywood director which has better talent.

Would you care so much if it was a $250 million dispute between Microsoft and IBM? I doubt that Peter Jackson is personally being paid $250 million, and it's not going into his personal bank account. I also doubt that he negotiated the original deal with his personal fortune in mind. I wouldn't be surprised for a minute, however, to hear that he always had plans to use the money for building his film-making businesses into something really impressive. And that's effectively what he's been doing. This guy's about as down-to-Earth as you'd get, except that he has an interest in making expensive movies. I doubt he really cares about how much money he has with the exception of wanting to be treated fairly so he can continue to make the types of movies he wants to.

From everything I've read so far, it sounds to me as if the studios are acting like retarded morons to try and avoid fronting up. Jackson's main complaint is that a partial audit of the first movie showed a lot of ambiguity about where the money had gone. Now Newline is preventing the rest of that movie, or the other two movies from being audited, and they're simply spinning the media to avoid the bad publicity of talking about the real issue, which is probably that they've cooked the books to avoid giving him money. It sounds completely reasonable to me to want a fuller audit.

Running these types of businesses isn't exactly cheap. The amount of money involved could make a big difference to the ability of Jackson's companies to compete with others in the industry. It's a misconception to believe that this is nothing more than a personal paycheck, when it's really useful income for companies like Weta Workshop or Three Foot Six, and sorting this out will affect everyone who has an interest in those organisations.

Re:Its amazing (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585766)

your a fucking idiot. new line is trying to screw him out of money with creative accounting. peter brought them BILLIONS he only made a small % of what LOTR will bring in over it's life time.

Re:Its amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585788)

Sounds like the fix to this is to simply place a 100% tax on all earnings above say 100,000 per year and then we can give that money to poor people in the form of a check from the government.

Re:Its amazing (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586192)

place a 100% tax on all earnings above say 100,000 per year and then we can give that money to poor people

      And guess what, wiseguy? Poor people will STILL be poor.

Re:Its amazing (2, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585910)

Okay...
Let's say that you agreed to work for 30% of the take.
They make $1 "Billion" dollars.

They give you $250 "Million" dollars.

Are you being greedy to ask for your other bloody 50 MILLION dollars?

Re:Its amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17586148)

Why do we allow our culture to pay people so much money while the minimum wage remains the same for 10 years despite a %400 increase in the cost of living?

You care to back this up with some real figures? If the cost of living increase over the last 10 years was 400% we'd be praising God to "only" be paying 2.35 for a gallon of gas.

Not to mention that the increase of minimum wage is the most likely thing to (ta-fucking-da!) increase the cost of living! It's a token gesture. The only real effect it has is chiseling away what's left of the middle class.

Thank you Democrats! Thanks for fucking over the last of what use to be the backbone of the American economy. Now we can all bow to MaoMart or do without.

We're being sold down river a la Kunta Kinte.

So go fuck yourself.

Re:Its amazing (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586150)

I can not imagine ever thinking $250 million is not enough FOR MY OWN back account. It would be different if I owned a company but still that is more money than the GDP of some countries. Good god.

So, it would be perefectly OK to you, if you created a work that was worth $500 million - and then some shitbag Hollywood executive who had little to do with making your work then took the extra $250 million you were owed, and used the money to buy Ferraris and child prostitutes, while arguing "Hey - isn't $250 million enough for you?

Why do we allow our culture to pay people so much money while the minimum wage remains the same for 10 years despite a %400 increase in the cost of living?

Peter Jackson is famous for giving people a break. He has lifted many people out of near minimum wage work and given them creative and technical careers. That money is muchy better in Peter Jackson's hands than some Hollywood shitbag's. He will do much more good with it. It's not like the movie companies are going to donate that money to charity. But Peter Jackson will do good with it (and probably donate to charity as well.)

I mean, damn, he gave the whole nation of New Zealand a great break - and it's not exactly the richest or widely acknowledged country in the world.

hmm (3, Informative)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585314)

Dont newline cinema have a finite period of time in which they can do the hobbit before they lose the rights to it?

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17586220)

Yes and that time is running out. The Tolkien family is quite keen to see PJ do The Hobbit, so it may happen in a few years.

More to the story.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585336)

MGM apparenly owns rights to the Hobbit movie also. Though Jackson may never make another movie for New Line, MGM may not be out of the question?. Another side of the story here. http://www.theonering.net/staticnews/1163993546.ht ml [theonering.net]

Re:More to the story.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585466)

http://slashdot.org/articles/06/09/11/1218208.shtm l [slashdot.org]
  MGM owning the rights is old article.

Give it a week (2, Insightful)

sammyo (166904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585362)

Who says Shaye will be there next week? Things could change in
an hour. An active lawsuit certainly affects business partners
but the studios board just needs to make the tiny conceptual
leap that another couple billion dollars is better than Shaye.

Sheesh, anyone believe ANYTHING said in H'wood? Give me a break.

Bob Shaye is a fool... (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585384)

and if I was Chairman of his board he would be fired.

Nevermind how much Peter Jackson was paid - how much did he make for them ? Yes, I am sure he can be replaced - after all, movies of the quality and popularity of LOTR are so common.

Re:Bob Shaye is a fool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585716)

You're conflating the quality of the films being uncommonly good with the director being uncommonly good.

Anyway...

This is a petty argument on both sides and an unimportant dispute, even within the film world.

"Oh noes, I only made $250 million for a few good movies compared with many directors who've made as many good films and not made a tenth as much."

"Oh noes, he's trying to take more from the billions we made."

Cry me a fuckin' river for both sides. They're both just greedy entities who should be rejoicing to God, Alla, Buddha, or whomever the fuck that they got to do what they wanted and made hundreds of millions of dollars as a result. They hit the fucking lottery and now they're both being petty.

(Since I think Jackson is more prone to being thought of as innocent - yes, there's some slop in the accounting but show me a project that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make and many millions more to promote and yet has no questionable expenses by any contractor, subcontractor or other involved party. I've gotten basic jobs like installing a furnace or new electrical service panel to have bids for the exact same product and job vary by as much as 25%. Jackson just wants to squeeze everything out of New Line that he can. Do you think if the result of an audit was that he was overpaid $50M, he'd happily and immediately return the money?)

Re:Bob Shaye is a fool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17586034)

I've gotten basic jobs like installing a furnace or new electrical service panel to have bids for the exact same product and job vary by as much as 25%.

Big difference between a fucking bid and an agreed-upon percentage that is actually owed for services already rendered, moron. I'll bet you'd be hauling your ass to a courtroom if one of your customers decided they were just going to pay you half or less of what you had agreed on, especially if it was a job big enough to affect your future business.

Re:Bob Shaye is a fool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17586274)

Jackson isn't arguing that he wasn't given the right percentage, he's arguing against the point that you're defending - he's saying, after the fact, that charges for services rendered in the course of making or distributing the film are higher than he wants and should be lowered so he can make more money. If he was so concerned with it, he should have been on top of the costs during the production and not allowed the services to be rendered until the contracts were in line. Like numerous directors, though, he apparently doesn't care much about budgets until they affect his income. He's basically spelunking for dollars.

Next time you call someone a moron, you better have your argument straight. Arguing against your own point isn't exactly a sign of intelligence.

More to come (5, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585394)

Ok, the story as I understand it now, or at least as far as it is reported in the various press releases.

NewLine has limited time left to produce the Hobbit, before the movie rights return back to another company. Peter Jackson is suing New Line because their own audit of Fellowship of the Ring came up with figures that didn't match what NewLine paid to them. Their contract has regulations for this , and since NewLine refuses give more insight into their accounting, they are left with a courtcase.

NewLine then tried to get Peter Jackson to drop the lawsuit by telling him "drop the lawsuit, and you can make the hobbit". This was refused by PJ in a public letter, who stated that he wouldn't want to invest time and efford into a new project while the courtcase is still unresolved.

NewLine can now make a Hobbit without PJ, or do nothing and see the rights to a valuable movie franchise revert to its previous owners within the not too far future.

Meanwhile, MGM holds the distribution rights for the Hobbit, and has already said on record that they would want Peter Jackson to direct the film.

(and as for whom owns what, Google the details)

Re:More to come (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585786)

Your final "whom" was an example of hypercorrection. "Whom" is used as an object, and "who" as a subject. In the phrase "who owns what", "who" is the subject, and "what" is the object. You would use "whom" when saying "who owns whom".

Re:More to come (2, Insightful)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585830)

Meanwhile, MGM holds the distribution rights for the Hobbit, and has already said on record that they would want Peter Jackson to direct the film.

In a movie trilogy such as LOTR with such a large cast, the director kinda becomes the Superstar. MGM knows this, and would have no problem raking in a few hundred million by getting Peter Jackson to do it when they get the rights back. For many fans and even normal people, Peter Jackson is LOTR, and New Line is foolish if they think that the majority wouldn't just dismiss it outright, even if a comparable director was at hand and they could convince those few of the cast to reprise their roles.

I wouldn't watch it, and most of the people in my family that are just the "average moviegoer" wouldn't watch it. It has transcended the geek world and reached the status of cultural icon. Unlike something such as DRM, which maintains a visibility only to our sphere, nearly everyone knows about the LOTR movies. "Don't go see it, Peter Jackson didn't direct it." would be a common phrase if New Line did it. At least that's what I'd tell everyone that would listen.

Re:More to come (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585974)

I'd probably wait for the reviews.

I'm betting without PJ it would suck badly but if they got the director of the first 3 Harry Potters or some of the other recent fantasy movies that didn't butcher the source material it might not come out too badly.

PJ is a great director and respects the material.
There are 5 billion plus people and many directors on the planet.
PJ is not the ONLY great director who respects source material.

But there are many who do not.

And hollywood always wonders why people won't see the latest hack job where they keep the name and butcher the material.

Bombadil (1)

jstrain (648252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585400)

Yeah, but would it have had Tom Bombadil in it?

I for one... (1)

liquidMONKEY (749280) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585436)

Welcome our new New Line overlords. .... Wait.

New line probably does own Jackson more... (2, Interesting)

origin2k (302035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585440)

The LOTR movies are in the lists of top grossing films. Adding up the numbers from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-gross ing_films [wikipedia.org] seem to indicate that ~3 Billion has been made. Assuming Jacking is getting a percentage of gross (if he was smart) would mean that 300 million would be ~10 % which sounds reasonable. Of course this doesn't include rentals and DVD purchases etc. which could easily be another billion. $0.02

Is this slashdot or is it Fox news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585494)

Ok, I know this is slashdot and all that, but please. That article says it is not likely that Peter Jackson will make another movie with the film studio. It says nothing about him not doing a hobbit film for other studio, as is apparently favoured by some of the tolkien family.

So enough with the cheap selling news, ok?

Jackson's right (5, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585576)

Movie studios do this kind of thing all the time. Frequently they give actors and directors "points on the back" which is supposed to mean a portion of "profit".

What the studios do is claim the film hasn't made any profit, and cite an enormous number of line items which cost the producers money.

What the studios have actually done is just shuffled money around: Spending in one place, and earning back somewhere else. Its an effort to avoid paying for those points.

There's a famous story of Forrest Gump which was smash hit, but supposedly never made any money because of creative financing. The studio got rich, and those with backend points never got a dime.

The audit Jackson wants to do would very likely trace those lost profits right back to the producers.

Re:Jackson's right (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585896)

Movie studios do this kind of thing all the time. Frequently they give actors and directors "points on the back" which is supposed to mean a portion of "profit".

What the studios do is claim the film hasn't made any profit, and cite an enormous number of line items which cost the producers money.

What the studios have actually done is just shuffled money around: Spending in one place, and earning back somewhere else. Its an effort to avoid paying for those points.
Philip Henslowe: But I have to pay the actors and the author.
Hugh Fennyman: Share of the profits.
Philip Henslowe: There's never any.
Hugh Fennyman: Of course not.
Philip Henslowe: Oh, oh, Mr. Fennyman. I think you might have hit upon something.

--"Shakespeare in Love"

Peter Jackson doesn't belong in New Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585606)

.....And neither does Al Gore!

waa waaa (3, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585626)

waa waa we already paid so much we shouldn't have to follow the law and pay what we agreed to. following the law is for other people not us.

so why sell the LOTR movies? (1, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585678)

'Why would they want to have another $100 million or $50 million, whatever they are suing you tube, et al for. They don't want to sit down and talk about it. TWX thinks that the fans owe them something after we've paid them over FIVE billion dollars, helping TWX achieve a gross profit of 17 billion dollars. Cheers'

p.s. if then need a new director, try Robert Rodriguez. As wonderful as the panoramic were, the funky way the actors were shot, not to mention the random acting, was pitiful.

Good, give someone else a try (4, Insightful)

schwaang (667808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585684)

Slashdot karma be damned, but IMHO LOTR almost completely failed to capture that Tolkienesque feel that I get from reading the books.

As a Tolkien fan, it could have been far far worse, and it was still an epic movie-making acheivement. I enjoyed the films for what they were. Seeing a cave troll was neat and all, but that over-the-top style, blaring music, and constant cgi-on-steroids action missed the finer points of Tolkien's sense of history and especially language. For god's sake man, let's hear a riddle or two!

So I say let someone with a lighter touch try to capture the spirit of Tolkien on film for The Hobbit.

Yeah, me too. (3, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586052)

At the risk of making a "me too" post - me too.

First off, we all know how corrupt the movie industry is, and I hope PJ nails those guys to the wall and gets his due. But that being said, I'd like to see someone else make The Hobbit. PJ made too many arbitrary changes to the story for me to truly enjoy his work. He's a brilliant director and makes lovely visuals, but shouldn't be doing the screenplays.

Re:Good, give someone else a try (5, Insightful)

cranos (592602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586160)

Fine, you go and make the twenty-six three hour movies it would take to truly bring to life the Tolkien vision then ;)

People are making the mistake of comparing the books and films in a literal sense. The movies were never going to be able to do full justice to the vision, however I believe they are the only ones so far that have come within a mile of doing that.

Good. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17585744)

I hate what he did to the LotR, so I'm glad he's not going to fuck up the Hobbit as well.

Gollum (4, Funny)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585790)

"They wants the precious for themselves, the stinking dirty thieving little Newline'ssss!"

Saul Zaentz has already said Peter will direct (2, Interesting)

CandideEC (953336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585800)

Saul Zaentz, the producer that the Hobbit rights return to very soon, has already publicly announced that he could give a crap what New Line does, (he sued them for dough back in 2004...around the same time the cast sued them for dough) Peter Jackson will be directing the Hobbit when the rights return to him whether New Line tries to make a version on their own or not. Obviously this can't be guaranteed, but I don't think it would surprise anyone.

Peter Jackson only made $250 million from LOTR ? (1)

nadanumber (992974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17585878)

If you ask me, New Line got a deal..

"quarter of a billion dollars" ha ha.. come on...

Fuck New Line (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586074)

I've said it before, and will repeat it, despite being one of the biggest Tolkien fans out there, I will not go to see a Hobbit movie not done by Peter Jackson. Period.

MGM can fix this (3, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586084)

New Line may have the production rights to The Hobbit, but MGM has the distribution rights. IT was MGM who approached New Line about doing the Hobbit movie(s), and MGM wants Jackson to direct. So does Saul Zaents.

IIRC, production rights revert back to Saul Zaents some time this year if New Line has not legitimately begun production.

Since MGM and New Line are partnering up to do the Hobbit (neither can do it alone, since the rights are split up), MGM could simply stall the process until New Line loses the production rights. Then MGM relicenses production from Zaents, asks Jackson to direct, and everyone is happy.

Except the fans (who may have to wait a while longer for a "proper" Hobbit film to get done), and Bob Shaye, who will miss out on the preciousss profitses from the Hobbit. He simply needs to STFU and allow the audits of the LOTR films to happen.

If Peter Jackson isn't making it..... (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586128)

then please do not make this film. Enough said.

I think it's so funny... (2, Informative)

localman (111171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17586136)

He thinks that we owe him something after we've paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars

I like how the studio thinks the percentage that they agreed to pay him turned out to be "a lot" that they can reneg. And they keep throwing out this line about how much money he's made to kill people's sympathy for him. But, er, well, why should they get to keep the money? The fact is (at least from what I've read) is that they agreed to pay him on certain terms in the contract, and now they're whining because it was more successful than they expected. Which means they got more than they planned too. But the suits just don't like the idea of the grubby artist personally making so much.

Screw you NewLine. Go Peter.

And heck, I didn't even like the films that much.

Cheers :)
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