With MGM involved in financing “The Hobbit,” and Tom Cruise heading its United Artists division, its been a TORn staff hobby to joke about Tom Cruise playing Bilbo. Far fetched? Perhaps, but, he just flew to Wellington to meet with Peter Jackson. No joke.
The pair could be talking about anything. Jackson could be giving Cruise advice on New Zealand real estate, they could be talking about “Dam Busters,” or the speculated-on “District 10,” that would serve as a sequel for the Jackson-produced hit “District 9.” Maybe he wants the juicy role of The Necromancer. Nobody really knows the reason behind the meeting but we do know everybody will be talking about it. You can read the article right here or you can read on for some more story.
The article mentions the “Halo,” project that Jackson was producing with then first-time director Neill Blomkamp, but when the pair was doing press for “District 9,” they spoke openly about “Halo,” and it sounded unlikely they would embark on that journey again.
They said the two studios involved in financing the film developed a disagreement after Blomkamp, Weta and Jackson had invested considerable energy and time in the project. Weta managed to build a fully-functional warthog from the video game and they were allowed to make some shorts, but the rights are now owned solely by Microsoft (according to Jackson) and they felt as burned as Jackson and company. “It was horrible, just horrible,” Jackson said.
Blomkamp indicated that the experience was so devastating that he felt it was unlikely he would tackle the task again and Jackson agreed.
Cruise likely has nothing to do with “Halo,” but he wields enough influence in Hollywood that he might get Microsoft to budge on the project. Jackson has the rights to the “Temeraire” fantasy novels and is working on “TinTin” and “Dam Busters” and Cruise might be involved in any of them or a completely different project. Or, Tom Cruise could be Bilbo Baggins.
Do we think this is even a remote possibility? Not really. But the Interwebs are filled with stories that link Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) to the project only because his named showed up in an Online poll along with David Tennant’s name. From there they became sourceless rumors that lack even the credibility Cruise’s name carries and yet they are still being reported. Now even the denials to the non-sourced, non-rumors are being reported as news. Cruise has at least spoken to Jackson, has been to Wellington and hey, the guy has been nominated for three Oscars.