>>91412579>THREE years ago
2007, actually. Well, that's when he was first attached to the project.
But it's never had a director and never had money to do any real development, probably because it's a New Line, not a Warner Bros. project. For you see...
Back in the early 2000s New Line was a studio in its own right. They'd had some hits - like the Mask - and they'd had some flops, but their founders had overall done very well for themselves and Time Warner had eventually acquired it from Turner Broadcasting System in the mid-90s. As it came with the already-produced and very successful Mask that year, this was a happy arrangement. Rather than roll it up into Warner Bros, Time Warner kept New Line separate, doing its own thing, which is far from unusual (look at FOX, for example - where there are actually multiple studios working under the FOX brand).
Then New Line struck it BIG. The Lord of the Rings movies were produced by New Line; every one, in today's money, a billion-dollar gross. Vast amounts of licensed merch (different to other LotR merch which already existed and continues to) was sold; there were plans for a Hobbit adaptation. The movies continued releasing, having been mostly shot back to back, for three solid years. It was incredible. Everybody wanted it to continue.
But New Line said it wasn't profitable, and withheld payments from Peter Jackson and dozens of others who were owed money from their work and from the use of the likeness in merchandise. New Line still wouldn't budge even when the lawsuits began, and it rumbled on for years - killing off goodwill from the cast and crew while the hype for the series quietly died off over time.