Wednesday, 2 June 2010

MGM's problems are bad news for film fans.

Just months after the announcement that Bond 23 was to be indefinitely delayed while MGM looks to be sold off we've received the highly disappointing news that Guillermo del Toro has been forced to drop out of directing The Hobbit films due to delays and uncertainty over production. Anyone that had seen del Toro's extremely atmospheric fantasy work on The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth and to a lesser extent the Hellboy franchise will realise what a big loss this is. Bar Peter Jackson himself del Toro really did seem the most perfect fit for The Hobbit; creative, unique and completely devoted to the source material. However, with work on the film now likely to take 6 years rather than 3, it was a commitment del Toro simply could not make.

Whilst its a sad loss to the film it is completely understandable that del Toro would drop out. The man has many future projects that he has had to delay or pass on due to The Hobbit films and simply couldn't afford to be waiting around with the uncertainty surrounding MGM. The sad fact is that MGM's financial problems have stopped two very lucrative and exciting franchises in their tracks. Bond films are more popular than ever, particular as we have the best Bond for decades. But with the ongoing delays one begins to wonder if we will even see Daniel Craig don the tuxedo again. Its a massive shame because, with the announcement of Sam Mendes as director, there were big reasons to look forward to a new Bond.

MGM has a proud history and the image of that roaring lion has become an iconic part of film history. The potential for the studio to go bankrupt is completely unthinkable but uncertainty remains. There doesn't seem to be a buyer in sight and debts are still crippling. One would have to assume that the Bond and Hobbit franchises would survive even if MGM didn't but any true film fan would be hoping to see these films in the not too distant future with that lion still roaring before the opening credits.

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