In London, MyMovies.net spoke to Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings, about his thoughts on New Line moving ahead with The Hobbit movie, without Peter Jackson:
"If [Peter] ultimately doesn't come back because of what New Line has done I think it would be a great tragedy. I think it's ultimately quite foolish for New Line to move forward assuming they can create an equally wonderful film without Peter...and I think for that for fans that's tragic," Elijah told us, adding "For a long time I never kind of imagined that these movies would ever be made, so if they do get made I think they should be made by Peter."
However the star doesn't think we've heard the last of this, saying "I don't think it's ultimately over though, I think the arguments still up in the air. There's talk that New Line will ultimately lose the rights to [The Hobbit] and that the rights will fall to the Saul Zaentz company, which is what Saul Zaentz is now saying, so who knows? I think it remains to be seen ultimately what will happen, but it makes me nervous."
Ian McKellen has issued a statement, expressing his disappointment that Peter Jackson won't be behind the camera for the live action movie of the The Hobbit. "I'm very sad as I should have relished revisiting Middle Earth with Peter again," the actor, who played Gandalf in the epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, wrote on his website. "It's hard to imagine any other director matching his achievement in Tolkien country," McKellen added.
According to Jackson the powers-that-be at New Line Cinema, the studio behind the movie, have apparently refused to consider him for the project, as the two are currently at loggerheads about supposed profit payments the director claims he is due.
The Hobbit is anticipated to be released in 2010.