Apparently Orcrist has been buried. Pater Jackson and New Line have agreed to work together on The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord Of The Rings, with Jackson assuming the role of executive producer. No director has been named yet. MGM will also be involved, splitting the production “50/50”, since they hold distribution rights. I’ll also note that the article says “prequel films“, with two planned films, and production scheduled to begin in 2009 with releases in 2010 and 2011. Update 12/20: Director Sam Raimi, who previously said he was in talks to direct The Hobbit (contingent on Jackson’s OK, who at the time was in a dispute with New Line), is expected to do so after his next project, Drag Me to Hell.