Peter Jackson may yet direct 'The Hobbit'

Aug. 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Director Peter Jackson may yet collaborate with the Hollywood studio that released the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy to create a film version of "The Hobbit."

While Jackson previously has been dismissed as a potential director for the film adaptation of the classic novel, The Dominion Post said Friday he is back in the running after mending fences with New Line Cinema.

Jackson had been in a bitter legal battle with the studio regarding profits from the highly-successful film trilogy, prompting studio executives to distance him from the "LOTR" prequel.

The New Zealand newspaper said Jackson and his partner, Fran Walsh, responded to such maneuvers by issuing an Internet statement in which they said clashes with the studio prompted them to cease all "Hobbit" discussions.

Yet a spokesman for actor Sir Ian McKellen, who took on the role of Gandalf the wizard in the trilogy, Thursday clarified the film duo's interest regarding the film.

"Peter and Fran have always wanted to do 'The Hobbit' but whether that happens is yet to be decided," McKellen's spokesman said.

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