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The Hobbit Close To Getting Official Green Light, Says LA Times

After years of ongoing delays, it looks like an announcement that the film will begin shooting in January is imminent

The Los Angeles Times claims, “Warner Bros, its subsidiary New Line Cinema and partner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer appear to be close to greenlighting… The Hobbit, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. Barring a last-minute glitch, production could begin in mid-January so that the first of the two movies would be ready for a holiday 2012 release. The second film is planned for a December 2013 opening. If production doesn't begin by the first quarter of next year, the people said, The Hobbit will miss its planned release dates and likely will have to once again be delayed.

“The one remaining hurdle is getting an official go-ahead from MGM, which for more than a year has been virtually out of cash and whose debt holders have been trying to decide upon a plan for reorganization. Under a long-standing agreement, MGM owns half the rights and controls international distribution. MGM is eager to co-finance the films, people close to the situation said, and could give Warner Bros. the official okay in the next few days.”

Considering The Hobbit films are a virtual guaranteed money makers, it would seem a sensible way for MGM to help get money back in the coffers.

So, how likely do you think it will be that The Hobbit will swing into production in January?