The Hobbit Delayed Til Late 2012?

Warner Bros. Pictures head honcho Alan Horn tells Variety that the first of the two “The Hobbit” films may not hit theaters until late 2012, a full year after they originally planned.

Part of the reason for the delay is the issues with MGM’s re-structuring. That studio shares financing rights on the films with Warners label New Line and could potentially sell off those rights as part of MGM’s restructuring

New Line chief Toby Emmerich says “It’s a big bet for us. But it’s one we think will pay off given the success of ‘Lord of the Rings’. This is one of the few movies it feels like people are waiting for”

The script for the second film has yet to be delivered, but once it’s in New Line will work up a budget for both films and start casting.