In not so shocking news, MGM has a bit of cash crunch, thus the idea of them distributing or even somehow paying for "The Hobbit" was kind of hilarious.
So in an inevitable bit of news, it was been announced today that Warner Bros. will handle both domestic and international distribution for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit," which should make shareholders very, very happy. As for MGM, they will cling to the international television licensing rights to the film. In addition, according to Deadline, they will be taking on the full financing of the picture as well. However, the real piece of juicy, potentially exciting news is mentioned in a bit of a throwaway line.
Updating his original report, Mike Fleming reports that as the production gears up to shoot next month, a few notable names are still needed to be officially nailed down, including Ian McKellen (who confirmed he was coming back) and Orlando Bloom (reports of his potential involvement surfaced last month). In addition, he adds that he's "heard talk of conversations" with Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis. We'll pause as the Internet loses its mind.
Now, bear in mind, this is pretty speculative at this point. However, when Deadline makes this kind of mention, it's certainly worth listening to. Gollum is introduced in "The Hobbit" and factors into the story but Frodo is nowhere to be found; if we had to guess Serkis reprises his role as Gollum (hardly shocking) and Wood cameos at the end of part two as Frodo to help bridge into "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy.
So far Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Rob Kazinsky, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Sylester McCoy, Adam Brown, Mikael Persbrandt, Ryan Gage, Jed Brophy and William Kircher are all confirmed and we figure more announcements are imminent. The film will shoot in 3D with Peter Jackson at the helm, with the first picture landing in theaters in December 2012.