Jackson Plans to Film 'Rings' Prequel 'The Hobbit'

Peter Jackson won't be returning to the Shire any time soon. The Oscar-winning director is planning to film "The Hobbit," (search) the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings," (search) trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (search), but two studios must first fight over legal rights to the film.

Jackson said New Line Cinema has the rights to make the movie, but MGM has the rights to distribute it.

"I guess MGM's lawyers and New Line's lawyers are going to have a huge amount of fun over the next few years trying to work it all out," he told reporters recently in Los Angeles, according to AP Radio. "I'm obviously busy for a couple of years on 'King Kong' so those lawyers can just go at it for a long time."

"The Hobbit" tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, who found the ring and eventually passes it on to his cousin, Frodo Baggins. Frodo's journey to Mount Doom to destroy the ring is the basis for the "Rings" books and films.

Jackson said if he were going to direct the movie, he'd want it to feel like the rest of the trilogy. On Sunday, Jackson won an Academy Award for best director shared the adapted-screenplay award with his two co-writers for the final "Rings" film, "The Return of the King."

"I'd want Ian McKellen to be back as Gandalf, I'd want it to feel like it was part of the same mythology that we've done with 'Lord of the Rings,'" Jackson said.

"The Return of the King" swept this year's Academy Awards, winning all 11 categories in which it was nominated.

Jackson is in the middle of remaking "King Kong," due out next year, starring Naomi Watts.