The second thing we do

… after killing all the lawyers is to kill all the idiot accountants:

Fans of the fantasy films were dismayed by an e-mail, detailing a dispute between Jackson and the New Line film studio, which the New Zealander sent to a website devoted to matters Tolkien.

It contained explosive news that the most lucrative franchise in Hollywood history after Star Wars will return with a Lord of the Rings prequel. A big-budget version of The Hobbit is also set for production.

But Jackson, a devoted Tolkien fan who battled to bring his vision of Rings to the screen, will not be involved. The director said that he had been removed from the project by New Line. “We have always assumed that we would be asked to make The Hobbit and possibly this second film, back to back, as we did the original movies,” Jackson’s e-mail to fansite read.

I hate this sort of thing. I loathe executives who attempt to shaft overperforming employees, partners and contractees, it’s so stupid and short-sighted. Why work hard and exceed your goals if you’re merely going to be cheated of your merited rewards?

New Line had better come to its senses, otherwise they’ll end up losing more money than they ever had to gain by monkeying around with Jackson’s payouts.