Remember when all that speculation was going around about who will play Bilbo Baggins? Well, now the question is: Who will direct The Hobbit? With all the delays conerning of The Hobbit, Guilmero Del Toro announces that he will not be directing the film. According to Deadline Hollywood, Del Toro announces that he is not directing the highly anticipated prequel:
“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. 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 cowriter and as a director, I wish 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.”
I know that after the shock is gone your first thought would be for Peter Jackson to take over, right? Sorry, but apparently that won’t be possible. According to Jackson’s manager, Ken Kamins, he will be unable to direct as well:
“Peter has and has had obligations and commitments to other films that would make it impossible for him to direct The Hobbit at this time, even if it was offered, which it hasn’t been,” Kamins told me. “I’ve been quietly working on setting up a film for him to direct while Guillermo would have been directing The Hobbit. What you saw in their respective statements must be taken at face value. All of that said, Peter and Fran’s commitment to The Hobbit is total and they will do everything necessary to protect the franchise and the investment made by New Line, Warners and MGM.”
Jackson has stated that he may “have to” direct if a suitable director can’t be found. Currently Jackson is contracted to direct the 3-D sequel to Speilberg’s Tintin, as well as other projects. Many names have been thrown in as potentials, including Jackson’s protege, Neil Blomkamp. However, Blomkamp has stated before that he will not make big budget films, so that’s out of the question. The best news to come of this is that Jackson will be heavily involved in who is chosen to replace Del Toro as director.