Head of film studio New Line BOB SHAYE insists THE LORD OF THE RINGS Oscar winner Peter Jackson will never be allowed to direct The Hobbit while he is at the company.
Jackson and his production company Wingnut Films are currently embroiled in a legal dispute with New Line Cinema over royalties from The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. And the lawsuit has enraged the film studio so much they won't allow the Jackson a chance to the upcoming fantasy prequel.
He fumes, "He's got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right.
"And this guy... turns around without wanting to have a discussion with us and sues us and refuses to discuss it unless we just give in to his plan.
"I don't want to work with that guy any more. Why would I? So the answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working at the company."
Lord of the Ring stars SIR Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood have already expressed their disappointment at the news.