Variety published an article this morning detailing their new "tenpole" strategy for the next few years, with plans to release some gigantic blockbuster sequels including The Hobbit which serves as the prequel to the The Lord Of The Rings movies, which were released by New Line Cinema. While New Line has been trying to obtain the rights to the prequel for quite some time, it seems now that MGM is reluctant to give up those rights to the film, in hopes that they will produce the film themselves, hopeing to anchor Peter Jackson to the project.

Over the next few years, MGM is planning to release half a dozen films, some in the $150 million to $200 million-plus range. The studio is ready to unveil one or two installments of The Hobbit, which MGM chairman-CEO Harry Sloan hopes will be directed by Peter Jackson.

The Hobbit will be produced in partnership with New Line, which Sloan says shares the rights to the property with MGM.