ARTS & LEISURE

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Peter Jackson in talks for The Hobbit


Almost one month after Guillermo del Toro dropped out of directing “The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson is in talks to helm the two films in the franchise. While we wait for the studios involved or Jackson’s manager to confirm, there are lots of questions that remain before “The Hobbit” can actually begin production, let alone reach the big screen. First, MGM, the debt-laden studio that owns 50 percent of the rights to the classic tale, is facing an uncertain future. The studio failed to attract bids high enough to satisfy its creditors during an auction earlier this year, and the latest plan may see Spyglass Entertainment running the studio in a pre-packaged bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Talks are continuing and no decision has yet been made, though some resolution is needed before the studio’s debt waiver expires in mid-July. Some Hollywood insiders question whether production could actually proceed if there’s a chance that those rights could wind up in bankruptcy court along with the rest of MGM’s assets (it’s the same reason why the “Bond” franchise is tied up since MGM owns half of those rights, too), but sources close to the “Hobbit” project insist that MGM’s financial woes aren’t a factor in this production.


Mel Gibson files restraining order against ex-girlfriend


Really putting a stamp on their split, Mel Gibson filed for a restraining order against Oksana Grigorieva, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his 7-month-old daughter, Lucia, Entertainment Weekly reports. The Oscar winner, 54, and the Russian musician-singer, 40, had been together about a year by the time they broke up in April 2010. While at the time of the split a friend of the couple told EW, “They’re still friends and they’ll both raise Lucia together,” since then their relationship has become less amicable. Though the legal documents, which were filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, are sealed, RadarOnline, which first broke the story, reports that the main issue involves Gibson’s access to the child.


Leonardo DiCaprio
to Play J. Edgar Hoover in biopic



Leonardo DiCaprio will be playing the role of J. Edgar Hoover in an upcoming biopic about the FBI’s first director. The screenplay, which will be directed by Clint Eastwood, is based on a script written by Dustin Lance Black, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the film “Milk.” DiCaprio will play the controversial director that led the FBI and its precursor agencies for over 48 years and is rumored to have been a cross-dresser and homosexual. The film, which will be released through Warner Bros., will mark the first time that Eastwood and DiCaprio have worked together. DiCaprio most recently appeared in Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and will be appearing in the sci-fi action thriller “Inception” in July.

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