MGM’s lenders have granted the studio a fifth extension on its debt payment, giving the studio until July 14th to sort out its financial issues. In a statement released yesterday, a day before the studio’s fourth extension (granted around March 31st) was due to expire, MGM released a statement saying:

“… its lenders agreed to extend the forbearance period and therefore will not seek remedies in connection with the nonpayment of interest and principal due on the company’s bank debt, including the revolving credit facility, until July 14, 2010. The lenders took this action in support of the company’s ongoing efforts to evaluate long-term strategic alternatives to maximize value for its stakeholders. MGM appreciates the continued support of its lender group for the process it is undertaking.”

What this means for the two Hobbit films stuck in pre-pre-production limbo in anticipation of the elusive greenlight is anyone’s guess. Head to our messageboards to follow and partake in the discussions about the possible outcomes of this waiting and watching situation.