Finally, peace comes to Middle Earth: Putting years of cranky litigation behind them and assuaging the deepest fears of fanboys everywhere, New Line and Peter Jackson have come to an agreement regarding the much talked-about Lord Of The Rings prequel, The Hobbit. In a joint statement released to the press today, Jackson and LOTR screenwriter Fran Walsh say they have agreed to executive produce two Hobbit films which MGM and New Line will co-distribute. (MGM CEO Harry Sloan added, "Now that we are all in agreement on The Hobbit, we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film," so it would appear that Jackson's participation will be limited to more of an "overseer" role.) The Hobbit and its sequel will be shot simultaneously, with principal photography scheduled for as early as 2009, and web comments saying how much it's going to suck to begin immediately.

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