Guillermo Del Toro is no longer going to be directing The Hobbit. This after two years of pre-production in New Zealand with producer Peter Jackson and his WETA team. It was announced today by Jackson and Del Toro via the Lord of the Rings fansite The One Ring.
“In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming The Hobbit, I am faced with the hardest decision of my life”, Guillermo told the site. “After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director”
And here, the web has been back and forth on whether or not The Hobbit being delayed was (a) real or (b) newsworthy. Today, it is both. The delays – caused by the financial woes of MGM – have cost the project a top-notch director. Now the question becomes about the project itself – will The Hobbit happen at all? According to Peter Jackson, he and Del Toro (along with Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh) will finish up the scripts for the two Hobbit movies in the next few months, then move on to finding a new director. “New Line and Warner Bros will sit down with us this week, to ensure a smooth and uneventful transition, as we secure a new director for the Hobbit,” explained the producer. “We do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work.”
If you’re a LOTR/Hobbit fan who is notably upset by this news, you’re probably in the right. It will take mountains being moved to find another director as capable as Del Toro for The Hobbit.
Who else would you like to see direct The Hobbit?