Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Line Goes Away

So, today Time-Warner announced that New Line Cinema, makers of the Peter Jackson LORD OF THE RINGS films, is ceasing to exist as an autonomous entity. Both Michael Lynne and Rbt Shaye, the studio heads, are leaving the company, apparently effective immediately, while in upcoming days and weeks "hundreds" of New Line's six hundred employees will be let go, with the rest being re-assigned to positions within Warner Brothers. Basically, it sounds as if New Line is becoming an imprint within WB, rather than a semi-independent subsidiary with its own production line. What this means for THE HOBBIT movie, or lack thereof, will do doubt become clear sooner rather than later; I suspect that the deep pockets of Time-Warner will move to settle the lawsuits and get the film in production as soon as possible, but you never know.

There's a pretty good write-up regarding New Line's fate here:

The general consensus seems to be that they might have headed this off if THE GOLDEN COMPASS had been a big hit, but its performance below the (I think exaggerated) expectations they had for it pretty much doomed the company.

For more on Shaye's role in the Peter Jackson films ever getting made, see Kristin Thompson's THE FRODO FRANCHISE.

--John R.


Magister said...

Dear Dr. Rateliff,

is it possible to buy a copy of your PhD dissertation, and if so, where? I've been a big fan of Dunsany for years and have recently started to collect works about him too. Your dissertation sounds very interesting!

Martin Andersson (klarkash (at) spray (dot) se)

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Magister

Well, back in the day you simply looked up the relevant dissertation in DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS (which every college library stocks) and then sent off an order to University Microfilms (U.M.I.).

Unfortunately, when I tried searching online I find that they've been bought out by a company that doesn't seem to list older titles like mine, at least not through its website. An attempt to find out more than a university library reference desk proved a comedy of misunderstandings and, ultimately, futile. I'll look into it some more and post the results, if any.

For the record, I only know of three copies: one at Marquette (in the Special Collections, like all dissertations granted by that university), one I gave away as a gift, and one on my shelf. But I've been thinking of returning to this project at some point and seeing if it might make a good book, or the core of a full-scale book on Dunsany.



Magister said...

Thanks for looking into it! :-)

I was intrigued by your references to Dunsany's influence on Tolkien in THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT -- it felt as if this is an area that needs to be explored in depth. Sometime this spring, I'm giving a lecture on Dunsany for the local Tolkien Society, and it seemed that your dissertation would have made a nice work of reference.

I applaud your thoughts on turning it into a full book on Dunsany; there are too few of those around. (I also wish to see, someday, a better biography than the one published in '72.)