That was only because of smaller issues. New Line always had the rights to film The Hobbit but they won't be able to film The Silmarillion as long as Christopher Tolkien is alive.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but isn't Christopher Tolkien in his late 80s...?
Regardless, I REALLY don't see 'The Silmarillion
' as being a particularly viable candidate for a cinematic adaptation. It'd be like adapting the entirety of the Old Testament. Most of it's pretty dry and what little drama there is is really only sketched out. Reading that book requires a *lot* of imagination.
I've said this several times before (probably in this very thread at some point) but I maintain that (rights issues aside) the best way to adapt any significant portion of 'The Silmarillion
' would be in the form of an anthology of animated short in the vein of 'The Animatrix' or 'Gotham Knight' with different studios/art styles for the different tales.