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The Hobbit and Next James Bond Await MGM Picks to Run Studio

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 28, 2010 at 6:22AM

With MGM creditors calling the shots and debating the future of the studio with MGM management, the cold reality is that no one is going to buy MGM at the valuation the studio needs as it copes with its $3.7 billion debt load. Thus the next phase of MGM's reorganization will likely involve bringing in some entity to exchange some debt for equity and run the studio. Top of the list of possible partners are Spyglass, Summit and the guy who thought up this solution, Amir Malin of Qualia Capital, a private media and entertainment equity fund. He made an offer to infuse MGM with some $500 million to run a lean operation in hopes that the economy and Wall Street would eventually improve.
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Thompson on Hollywood

With MGM creditors calling the shots and debating the future of the studio with MGM management, the cold reality is that no one is going to buy MGM at the valuation the studio needs as it copes with its $3.7 billion debt load. Thus the next phase of MGM's reorganization will likely involve bringing in some entity to exchange some debt for equity and run the studio. Top of the list of possible partners are Spyglass, Summit and the guy who thought up this solution, Amir Malin of Qualia Capital, a private media and entertainment equity fund. He made an offer to infuse MGM with some $500 million to run a lean operation in hopes that the economy and Wall Street would eventually improve.

Thompson on Hollywood

Not only is the next James Bond project on hold until things are sorted out, but so is The Hobbit. HitFix grabbed some answers from Guillermo del Toro regarding The Hobbit's start date (and 3-D rumors, which del Toro insists is "not being planned"). Because MGM holds a hefty portion of the rights, production cannot be greenlighted until MGM's fate is clear. Del Toro says, "I have been on the project for nearly two years. We have designed all the creatures, the sets, the wardrobe, animatics and planned action sequences and we are very, very prepared for when it is finally triggered. We don't know anything until MGM is solved."


This article is related to: Franchises, Genres, Hollywood, Studios, Cash Crunch, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Sequel, MGM/UA


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.