I'm sure all of you who enjoyed the film adapataion of "Lord of the Rings" hope that "The Hobbit" will see the same treatment from Peter Jackson. Well, here's the story so far. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM RIGHTS WRANGLE MAY KILL OFF THE HOBBIT By KATIE NICHOLL and MATT NIXON in London 05jan04 A WRANGLE over the film rights to The Hobbit could wreck plans for a prequel to the blockbusting Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson is desperate to complete his masterpiece with one final film based on J.R.R. Tolkien's first book. But the legalities over the film and distribution rights are threatening to derail the project – worth millions of dollars at the box office – and disappoint fans. New Line Cinema, the company that made the Lord Of The Rings trilogy with Jackson at the helm, owns the movie rights to The Hobbit. But the distribution rights governing the release of the film belong to United Artists, although New Line has first refusal on producing the movie. Sir Ian McKellen, who plays wizard Gandalf in the trilogy, has revealed Jackson is trying to obtain the film rights. "Peter wants to do it, and if he doesn't ask me I'll be very upset," McKellen said. The New Zealand-born director had been undecided about making a film of The Hobbit, but has confirmed plans to do so. "I'd be interested in doing it as it would give continuity to the overall chapter," he said. The author's great-grandson, Royd Tolkien, 34, said yesterday: "I would love to see Peter Jackson make a film of The Hobbit. "That would be the perfect ending." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let's hope they get everything worked out and get this project going!