Titre US : The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Une chouette embrouille est en cours depuis un moment entre Peter Jackson et New Line.
C'est une véritable guerre qui se joue, et contrairement à l'usage dans ce genre d'affaires, ça ne se passe pas totalement en coulisses, puisqu'internet vient y jouer un important rôle stratégique.
Petit récapitulatif (pour les anglophones) :
http://www.theonering.net/staticnews/1163993546.html - 19/11/06
http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?id=39462 - 10/01/07Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh Talk THE HOBBIT
Xoanon @ 10:32 pm EST
Moments ago we received this email from Peter Jackson and his crew down in New Zealand, take a look...
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 ...
Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Peter-Ja ... -4260.html - 10/01/07Shaye: New Line Blacklists Jackson
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 TheOneRing.net 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 Hobbit without them. Jackson has said he won't discuss The Hobbit until a lawsuit against New Line over Rings accounting practices is 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.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/eonline/2007011 ... 681258dea9 - 11/01/07If you missed the story from earlier today, New Line Cinema head honcho Bob Shaye publicly blasted Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Shaye told SciFi.com he will not work with Jackson, who is currently suing New Line over an issue of accounting for Fellowship of the Rings (and presumably the other two LotR films as well). Shaye stated that Jackson will not be involved in any film for New Line as long as he is still working for the company, and thus crushed all fanboy hopes of a Jackson led Hobbit adaptation.
Well, Jackson and WingNut films have replied to Shaye’s public tirade. As usual, Jackson and company reply with a focused voice that attempts to state the facts rather than dive into personal remarks like banning someone from future company endeavors. Courtesy of Ain’t It Cool News, WingNut’s official response is:
"Our issue with New Line Cinema has only ever been about their refusal to account for financial anomalies that surfaced from a partial audit of The Fellowship of the Ring. Contrary to recent comments made by Bob Shaye, we attempted to discuss the issues raised by the Fellowship audit with New Line for over a year but the studio was and continues to be completely uncooperative. This has compelled us to file a lawsuit to pursue our contractual rights under the law. Nobody likes taking legal action, but the studio left us with no alternative.
For over two years, New Line has denied us the ability to audit The Two Towers and The Return of the King, despite repeated requests. Film auditing is a common and straightforward practice within the industry and we don't understand why New Line Cinema has taken this position.
In light of these circumstances, I didn't think it was appropriate for me to be involved in New Line Cinema's 40th Anniversary video. I have never discussed this video with any of the cast of The Lord of the Rings. The issues that Bob Shaye has with the cast pre-date this law suit by many years.
Fundamentally, our legal action is about holding New Line to its contractual obligations and promises. It is regrettable that Bob has chosen to make it personal. I have always had the highest respect and affection for Bob and other senior management at New Line and continue to do so."
Jackson’s remarks about the LotR cast members stems from Shaye’s remark that Jackson and the cast refused to work on a project celebrating New Line’s 40th anniversary. This shouldn’t come to anyone as too surprising who has been following this developing story. Several of the cast members have publicly gone on record with loyalty toward Jackson directing The Hobbit. The idea that they would side more with him than New Line makes perfect sense, regardless of whether Jackson told them to or not.
This story is certainly far from over. Eventually this lawsuit will be settled and New Line will almost certainly have to open the books for that to happen – which seems to be what Jackson really wants. Whether Shaye will still be standing when that ends and whether he’ll stick to his guns about the Jackson ban or not will be interesting to see.
Bon, voilà, je trouve l'affaire passionnante, et j'attends impatiemment la suite des feux de l'amour à Hollywood.New Line Cinema cohead Bob Shaye has lashed out at The Lord of the Rings ringmaster
Peter Jackson, calling the Oscar winner greedy for suing the studio over disputed profits from the first film in the trilogy. He also left little doubt that New Line considers the director persona non grata when it comes to future projects, including the highly anticipated big-screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
"I do not want to make a movie with somebody who is suing me," the studio chief told Sci Fi Wire while making the publicity rounds for his own directing effort, the family-friendly fantasy film The Last Mimzy. "It will never happen during my watch."
Shaye, who made the gutsy decision to greenlight simultaneous production on all three Lord of the Rings films, took particular offense at what he said was the New Zealander's "arrogance" and ungrateful attitude in the wake of his success.
"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," continued Shaye, who was an executive producer on the trilogy. "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."
The executive was also irked when many of the LOTR stars declined to participate in a video celebrating New Line's 40th anniversary—mainly, he believed, because of their affection for Jackson.
"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."
Such remarks would seem to put the kibosh on Frodo fanatics' dreams of Jackson returning to Middle Earth and helming The Hobbit and possibly another prequel.
Of course, it's possible both sides are simply engaged in high-stakes brinksmanship to get what they want.
In Shaye's case, by cutting Jackson out of the franchise that made his career and won him a trio of
Oscars, the executive might be able to leverage a settlement to his liking. On the other hand, he could simply be reacting to Jackson, who, in a preemptive move, tried to force New Line's hand in late November by sending an open letter to theonering.net, voicing his issues with New Line.
In it, Jackson informed Tolkien devotees that the studio planned to move forward on The Hobbit without him, because New Line wanted to get the prequel in production before resolving his lawsuit.
The news prompted peeved fans to launch a letter-writing campaign urging the studio not to cut ties with the 45-year-old filmmaker or else face a boycott. In one hopeful sign, MGM—which owns the distribution rights to The Hobbit—told E! Online the "game is not over" and Jackson was still a possibility to direct.
Meanwhile, in response to Shaye's remarks this week, Jackson's company fired back with a statement Thursday, calling his former boss' comments "regrettable" and restating his case.
"Fundamentally, our legal action is about holding New Line to its contractual obligations and promises," the filmmaker said. "It is regrettable that Bob has chosen to make it personal. I have always had the highest respect and affection for Bob and other senior management at New Line and continue to do so.
"But the studio was and continues to be completely uncooperative [regarding an open audit of the films' books]," Jackson continued. "This has compelled us to file a lawsuit to pursue our contractual rights under the law. Nobody likes legal action, but the studio left us with no alternative."
Jackson also balked at Shaye's assertion that LOTR actors dissed the studio because of the bad blood between the filmmaker and the suits.
"I have never discussed this video with any of the cast of the LOTR. The issues that Bob Shaye has with the cast predate this lawsuit by many years," Jackson said.
An unnamed person Jackson's camp was quoted in Variety saying Shaye's disparaging remarks were an attempt to put the focus on the millions of dollars Jackson made instead of any book-cooking on the studio's part. The trade paper also reported that both parties appear to far from a settlement in the lawsuit.
Until that happens, Jackson has plenty to keep him busy. His next directorial effort, Alice Sebold's ghost story The Lovely Bones, is due out later this year. He has also optioned Temeraire, a set of fantasy novels about dragons in the Napoleonic Wars, and is producing Dambusters, an effects-heavy remake of the World War II aerial battle drama.
One movie that's temporarily off the drawing board is the Jackson-produced Halo. The videogame adaptation project was indefinitely shelved after Universal and 20th Century Fox pulled their financing, citing rising production costs and Jackson's unwillingness to take a pay cut.