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Peter Jackson being heavily courted to take over “The Hobbit”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: From the “no duh” department of breaking news comes our latest bit of information regarding the gestating, two-part “Hobbit” series.

Guess who Warner and MGM really, really, pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top want to direct the films now that Guillermo del Toro has walked away from the project?

If you guessed Peter Jackson, give yourself a bell!

Sources apparently are revealing to Deadline that the “Lord of the Rings” director is being heavily courted to take the reigns of the series. Jackson has said he’d be willing to do so if it were the only way to rescue the franchise from ruin, but he pointed out that he had several interesting film opportunities on his plate, and might not be able to get out of contracts with other studios.

So what might drive Jackson to take over “The Hobbit” no matter the cost? Try the list of potential candidates the studio floated past the Web site. David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers,” “Fred Claus”), David Yates (of the “Harry Potter” franchise” and go-to hack Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour”) have been floated as potential options. *Shudder*

Check that. Yates might work. The other two are ludicroous, and probably only being considered as a “scared straight” option to force Jackson back into the director’s chair. Will it work? Stay tuned!

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