Jackson Hospitalized; Hobbit Delayed Again
Production of The Hobbit , the two-part prequel to the Lord of the Rings saga, which has been delayed numerous times by a dispute over distribution rights, wrangling over union representation, and most of all by the financial health of MGM, has been delayed yet again -- this time by the physical health of producer-director Peter Jackson. Jackson was rushed to a hospital in Wellington, New Zealand on Wednesday, where he underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer. A spokeswoman for Jackson said that he is expected to make a full recovery and that the surgery will not affect his "commitment to the Hobbit beyond a slight delay to the start of filming." Production had been expected to begin in about two weeks. Asked by a reporter for the French news agency Agence France-Presse how long Jackson could be sidelined, the spokeswoman responded cryptically, "How long is a piece of string?"