Two Unrelated Things

First, Ken Jennings notes that yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Elvis Costello (and the Attractions, too, I suppose) being banned for more than a decade from SNL because they decided to play a kickass song instead of a just-okay song:

Second, the nerdier elements of the internet are buzzing with near-orgasmic glee at the news that Peter Jackson and the suits at New Line have settled their lawsuits and feuds and such. The ultimate gist of this news is that Peter Jackson's name will be attached to the forthcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit.

To which I say, settle down, my nerdy brethren, settle down.

I am pleased, I suppose, and I hope that the movie is good. But all the "O frabjuous day, calloo callay" shit is pointless. PJ is not going to be directing it. His name is going to be on it, as "Executive Producer." This means his creative involvement is likely to be essentially nil.

Now, the assumption that only PJ could possibly direct a great (or even merely good) Hobbit movie has always baffled me. The Star Wars movie that is pretty much universally regarded as the best of the bunch is one of the ones that George Lucas didn't direct, after all. I've never understood all the "If Jackson doesn't direct it, I won't see it" bullshit that a certain kind of nerd has been spewing all over the internet for the last couple of years. Sam Raimi or Guillermo del Toro, two names rumored to be possible directors for The Hobbit, could both potentially do a fine job. I'm not bothered by the idea that Jackson won't be directing. I'm just not going to get a huge nerdboner over the news that his name is going to be on the thing. It's sort of akin to the cash-in novels that were released shortly after Isaac Asimov's death that said, in great big letters on the cover, "ISAAC ASIMOV'S ROBOTS PLAYING POKER," and then in teeny-tiny letters down at the bottom, "by Bob Smith," or the line of comics that was released in the mid-'90s with big names attached, titled things like "Neil Gaiman's 'Mr. Hero'," even though Gaiman didn't actually write a single issue.

The only major upside to this news is that it means it's likelier that some of the talent who might have stayed away out of loyalty to PJ will return. I'd like to see Ian McKellan, Hugo Weaving and most especially Andy Serkis reprise their Rings roles.

Oh, and, since I'm sure the casting people are reading this (I mean, why wouldn't they?), I'd just like to mention that Brian Blessed is Thorin Oakenshield. Think about it.