Bob Shaye’s response to this was to say that Peter Jackson would never work on The Hobbit or any other New Line film while he is still in charge of the company. The studio chief said “I don’t care about Peter Jackson anymore.” And continued, “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.” He added that, although the decision was made “in a moment of emotion,” he did not regret it but “regrets losing a friend.”

Peter Jackson responded by saying, “It is regrettable that Bob has chosen to make [the argument] personal. I have always had the highest respect and affection for Bob and other senior management at New Line and continue to do so.” He continued by addressing the suit, “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 legal action, but the studio left us with no alternative.” Jackson concluded his letter to by saying, “This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness and rancour. We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go and move forward with other projects.”

This unfortunate fall out is far from over, people close to the lawsuit say and time will be our only judge as to how this matter will be resolved. Whether you support Shaye or Jackson, we all hope that this difficulty will be resolved peacefully and without hard feelings. Best wishes to the director who gets the opportunity to make The Hobbit and possibly a Lord of the Rings prequel. We all look forward to seeing these films realised.


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