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There was never much doubt, but now it’s finally official: The Wrap and The New York Times report that Warner Bros. and MGM have finalized a deal to finance the troubled adaptation of The Hobbit. Peter Jackson is, of course, directing the pair of films, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s famed fantasy novel.
Now all that stands between Bilbo Baggins and Smaug’s treasure is … a union dispute that could push production out of New Zealand and force the studio to redraw the estimated $400-million budget. According to The Wrap, $30 million has already been spent on the project, which has a planned February start date. The first film is set to open on Dec. 19, 2012.