I cannot overemphasize that much of what the studio and filmmakers have said so far about dates is tentative. Until the two scripts are finished, the budget planned, and the greenlight given, no really firm dates can be devised. In the meantime, all announced dates are presumably targets, and they will change as the decision-makers gain more information.
So whether the principal photography begins in April or July or whenever, there is no real delay. It’s a delay only in relation to estimates, not a firm schedule. These procedures are normal in Hollywood. There is no need to imagine a crisis based on the Tolkien Trust lawsuit, MGM’s financial crisis, or some sort of creative disagreement between the scriptwriters and the studio.
Second, on the release dates of the finished films, the interviewer asks, “So you believe in December 2011 the first part is going to be in theaters. Peter replies, “At this stage, that is certainly the plan.”
Again, that’s tentative. Studios frequently change the release dates of films, especially if the release date was estimated very early on, before the scripting/greenlighting process was even begun. A delay would be disappointing, but it wouldn’t be indicative of some behind-the-scenes calamity.
Pay heed everyone - Kristin is a smart cookie.