I think they can make a decent movie out of On Basilisk Station
. Beyond that, we'll see - if, in fact, any of this ever gets beyond the point of an option - lots of things are optioned in Hollywood; it's the very first step on a really long road. The producer still has to find financial backing to make a film.
No, Weber saying that the "producer is the same as the studio" in this case doesn't suggest that any of that is lined up - he's using "studio" in a pretty specific sense, as when he notes that the studio involved is a "cutting edge CGI/3D studio." He's still talking about the people who want to make the movie, not the entity that will fund and distribute it.
Weber seems somewhat realistic, anyway:
It's a given, inescapable, that there are going to be changes to the books to bring them to the movie screen and that some of those changes are going to tick off some of Honor's most devoted readers. It can't be any other way, if only because of the size of the books and the sprawling nature of the Honorverse.
I'm learning quite a bit already about the nuts and bolts and the decisions that have to be made when you start adapting a novel to film. It is unfortunately true that there have to be cost-benefit trade-offs when you start looking at which characters to keep, which ones might possibly be merged with other characters, what parts of the original plot can be preserved, etc. You only get about 120 pages of script to work with, and that requires some fairly ruthless pragmatism when you start deciding what goes on those pages.
Finally, his observation that "...these people...clearly don't see it as the opportunity to make one movie and then get out" is almost tautological with regard to the fact that they want to make an HH movie at all - no one in the commercial film business now wants to make a single popular film that requires a huge initial investment unless they see it as a potential franchise.