That sound you hear is 50 million adolescent boys weeping tears of gratitude. I'd put on a little siren if I had one:

ACADEMY AWARD-WINNER PETER JACKSON AND

NEW LINE CINEMA JOIN WITH MGM

TO PRODUCE “THE HOBBIT”...

PETER JACKSON AND FRAN WALSH TO EXECUTIVE PRODUCE TWO FILMS BASED ON “THE HOBBIT”


Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:
*       MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.”  New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally. 
*       Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.”  New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

*       Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy. ...

The two “Hobbit” films – “The Hobbit” and its sequel – are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible.  Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.... For more information about “The Hobbit” films, please visit www.TheHobbitBlog.com.

--Christopher Orr