The headlines are about Hillary’s wrinkles and John Edward’s love child, but in another part of Middle Earth, the Ringers are Rejoicing:

Peter Jackson has won the Battle of Middle Earth, and will produce the Hobbit.

For those of you who like Hobbits pay little attention to the news from the outside world, Peter Jackson was the director of the Academy Award winning trilogy of Lord of the Rings.

After that hit, it was unthinkable to give the movie of the prequel book, the Hobbit, to another director.

But Jackson was in a lawsuit with New Line and MGM, whose creative Hollywood style Bookkeeping made profits disappear as easily as Frodo did when he put on the Ring.

For awhile, it appeared that the nod would go to Sam Rami of Spiderman fame, a good second choice, but not what the fans wanted. It wasn’t only that the Jackson/Walsh team had remained faithful to the characters and theme of the Tolkien saga, but that the landscape of New Zealand and the special effects by his WETA team were now such a part of the Middle Earth mindset that outsourcing it to California was unthinkable.

Fandom is an ongoing hazard for Hollywood, but unlike other directors, Jackson has kept in touch with his base, not only with TheOneRingNet but with sites like Ain’tItCool News, a site that has gossip and reviews of fantasy/slasher/Science Fiction type movies (Jackson got his start with humorous horror films).

How much influence fandom has on Hollywood is uncertain (Instapundit wonders if their change of heart was from the lack of success of the Golden Compass). Yet the lack of success of the Golden Compass, which essentially was an adult film marketed to children, points to the importance of pre release marketing.

In contrast, the fans have already started a Hobbit fansite.

And the fans are already debating: Will the Hobbit be in 3-D? Right now the winning vote says:

  • The format doesn’t matter, the story-telling is everything (26%, 778 Votes)
Which is why the Ringers are planning a party. Even if someone else does the actual directing, the Jackson/Walsh team will direct the Hobbit movie, so fans know that the Hobbit will have the touch of Jackson’s Middle Earth to keep the fans satisfied (not to mention the economy of New Zealand solvent for another couple of years).
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 
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