By the beard of Gandalf, the battle between New Line and Peter Jackson has taken a dramatic turn

Whether this is good news or bad news for those hoping to see Jackson direct The Hobbit, it’s hard to say.

But it probably does mean that the movie is not going to happen anytime soon. And the more years that pass, the less likely it is that we’ll see Ian Holm in the title role. (Since we’re told that Bilbo did not age — visibly, at least — during the years of his possession of the One Ring, it doesn’t make sense to cast a youngster to play Bilbo in The Hobbit. But how would you cast another older fellow besides Holm without causing a riot? He’s just so perfect for the role!)

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