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Del Toro Won't Direct The Hobbit
Director exits Lord of the Rings prequel

31 May 2010  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  |  Source: The One Ring

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Sad news from Middle-Earth (or New Zealand, as they still insist on calling it): Guillermo del Toro will no longer direct The Hobbit.

The Mexican director, who has been in heavy development and prep for the Lord of the Rings prequel for the past couple of years, announced the news in a joint statement with producer Peter Jackson via TheOneRing.net just a short while ago.

“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”, says del Toro. “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 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”.

Jackson adds: We feel very sad to see Guillermo leave the Hobbit, but he has kept us fully in the loop and we understand how the protracted development time on these two films, due to reasons beyond anyone’s control – has compromised his commitment to other long term projects. The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn’t feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years. Guillermo is one of the most remarkable creative spirits I’ve ever encountered and it has been a complete joy working with him. Guillermo’s strong vision is engrained into the scripts and designs of these two films, which are extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA”.

The Hobbit seemed to be the big-budget blockbuster del Toro was born to make but, as filming of the two-movie saga kept being pushed back because of the MGM ownership battle (which has effectively placed The Hobbit and Bond 23 in limbo), it became clear that something would have to give on del Toro’s packed dance-card; a card that’s already bulging with movies post-Hobbit, the continuation of his novel series, The Strain, with Chuck Hogan, and the development of his own label, Disney Double Dare You.

And, while we're sure that it was a hard Hobbit to break, in the long run it may be the best move for him. He’ll still be involved with the movies – he’ll continue to co-write the screenplays with Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, while his design input will be vital – but this will allow him the time and opportunity to make movies that might be more personal.

So now the search for a new director begins. With, in theory, just a few months until filming begins on the first Hobbit film, will Jackson step into the breach? Will Sam Raimi, who was vying with del Toro for the gig in the first place, ditch the Warcraft movie to play with some real Orcs? Or will someone new come into the reckoning?

Whatever happens, we’re confident that The Hobbit will make it to the big screen, although we wouldn’t be surprised if the release dates got pushed back a bit. It’s just a shame that del Toro – the greatest purveyor of twisted fantasy working in movies today – won’t get a chance to work his dark magic on Middle-Earth.

Still, how about that At The Mountains Of Madness movie now, eh?

To read more of the statement, particularly from Jackson, click here.
 


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Your Comments

Maybe Im a little confused...
Although I firmly believe that Del Toro is one of the most talented directors to enter the circuit in a long while, I am strangely proud of his move away from the project (based on the reasons that Jackson stated). I do love Tolkien's epic masterpiece, but it seems a little overkill to split up the prequel into different parts. I mean, there is only one book; would it have been that difficult to squeeze it into one film? And six years??? Again, this is the prequel. It was a great story, of c More

Posted by chewynewyork at 18:58 on 07 June 2010 | Report This Post

depressing
How comes Hollywood can churn out rubbish after rubbish, remake after remake - filmsthat no one wants to see, yet here we have a story everyone wants to see committed to film, two film makers who really want to make it, and a guarantee of a major box office hit - that somehow can't find its way out of development hell.? More

Posted by jkemal at 15:54 on 07 June 2010 | Report This Post

we're sure it was a "hard hobbit to break"... brilliant stuff Chris, just brilliant!!! More

Posted by skyrodent at 12:16 on 07 June 2010 | Report This Post

Thank the lord (of the rings)!
Why is everyone so upset? Although Pan's Labyrinth is ace both Hellboys were massively overrated disappointments. C'mon Jackson - get off your slimmed down arse and direct the movies yourself. More

Posted by AndyKirk at 11:57 on 05 June 2010 | Report This Post

Talk about feeling deflated!
Well, when I originally heard that the Hobbit was going to be made I was pretty excited. What could be better than returning to the fantastical world of Middle Earth?. Then I hear Mr Del Toro was up for the position in the directors chair.....Wicked! He is definitely one of my favourite directors, with a truly original and dark style. Who the hell could possibly pick up the reins now? I've no idea? I reckon Mr Jackson and Co are pretty gutted, as they should be. I wait with baited breath More

Posted by willy d at 11:55 on 03 June 2010 | Report This Post

Del Toro leaves The Hobbit
Hellboy 3 anyone? More

Posted by Zaphod121 at 18:59 on 02 June 2010 | Report This Post

Fingers crossed....
....three letters....McG.....omg! More

Posted by rantbot66 at 17:48 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

RE: PETER JACKSON TO DIRECT THE HOBBIT
#000000]l do it"]nbsp;       &nbs p;    ahoma]   "Star Treck" Lukas June 1st 2010] More

Posted by shanek1980 at 13:50 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

PETER JACKSON TO DIRECT THE HOBBIT
Who else could do it justice? More

Posted by boredbluekoala at 12:12 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

Bummer!
This is a bit of bad news! Del Toro is one of a very select group of people that i think could do the Hobbit justice - the only others i could see doing it are Peter Jackson rse),imi, Alex Proyas or Steven Spielberg. I'd personally like to see what Proyas could do with it, but if, as i expect, Raimi get's the gig - that would be good too! More

Posted by lukeyboy at 11:39 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

Oh no!
With Jackson originally handing over the reigns to Del Toro I felt in safe hands. Now with him backing out there can be only once choise, the first choise. Come on Peter, make The Hobbit. Please. More

Posted by XVII at 09:55 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

In the style of Darth Vader;
Noooooooooo! That is all. More

Posted by Mr Grizzly at 09:22 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

In the style of Darth Vader;
Noooooooooo! That is all. More

Posted by Mr Grizzly at 09:22 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

Jackson's THE MAN
I am really sorry to hear that he has gone, there is an obvious need for the visionary director of The Lord Of The Rings to pick up the reins and complete what is one of the best literery treasures of our modern age. No-one else can ensure that the look and feel of the new movies will match seamlessly into the trilogy already committed to celluloid, because remember this is all part of one huge journey and it should have continuity. I understand theat Peter Jackson lived & breathed The Lord More

Posted by kittybinks at 07:55 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

love-in!
Wow! Never have I witnessed such a display of mutual masturbation.... More

Posted by nickuk at 07:33 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

Sad, sad news indeed. Although if Hellboy 3 can make an appearance now, I wouldn't complain. If Jackson is still not willing to do the right thing & direct himself then I think that Neill Blomkamp might be a good choice. District 9 was a triumph not only visually but as an original story & as a production overall. He already has Jackson's backing & has proved that he is a very creative director. By NO means should Sam Raimi even be considered for the job as I've not yet seen anythin More

Posted by Tenacious P at 00:54 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

New Director?
How about Chris Weitz! Maybe he could work the same magic that he did on the 'His Dark Materials' franchise? Ya think? More

Posted by Cynric at 00:39 on 01 June 2010 | Report This Post

Hellboy 3
this really coulda been a contender. nevermind; more Hellboy would go someway to making up for it. More

Posted by jamesjewell1983 at 23:30 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

What a weekend...
First Mr. Hopper throws his leg over his iron horse and hits the highway to heaven and now Del Toro jacks Hobbit... it doesn't get much worse than this, well apart from empires top 50 video game character list. Hopefully Mr. Jackson will step in as I think he is the only director capable of giving middle earth back its magic... More

Posted by Greagoir at 22:10 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

No more Del Toro!!!
I have to say i'm absolutely gutted that Del Toro is no longer directing, i think they guy is brilliant and i love all his movies, but aslong as someone like Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich doesn't replace him then i'm fairly confident that whoever does will do a great job. Del Toro and Jackson have already laid the foundation of the movie with creature designs and screenplay etc they just need to start filming and soon!!! Hopefully this might sway Jackson to take the helm and bring us back to More

Posted by eddc1990 at 20:44 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Del Toro Won't Direct The Hobbit
They could give it to Paul Verhoeven. More

Posted by Jasper_29 at 20:35 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Give the gig to Alf (no, not the furry cat eating alien)
Alfonso Curon for the job...he did a spanking good job with HP3 and Children of Men was a visual hoot as well. More

Posted by MaxRenn at 20:07 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

director?
I'm worried about who will be up to the task - jackson no doubt could do it but im not sure he will - i don't think sam raimi could pull it off - he's good but ive nevr been a huge fan of the films hes directed - the hobbit needs someone really special! More

Posted by wenna_berry_23 at 18:59 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Hobbit films
Good for him for putting his foot down and sayin enough is enough. Maybe studios will realise these people will only take so much messing about. Gutted he's out, personally i'm hoping for Hellboy 3. More

Posted by TheSpleen at 18:47 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Hobbit films
There are a TON of very good directors out there and everyone seems to want a guy who has an "off-the-wall" style, like Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi. How about someone who's not really connected to the Middle Earth idea but has had some success as a director? Chris Columbus might be a good choice if he's given a degree of control; Jonathan Frakes is a Star Trek guy, but I feel hr might be a good fit; or a big name (and I mean BIG name) , like Steven Spielberg, only because he would be th More

Posted by darkjediknightmare at 17:41 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

AFTER A FAIRLY SHITTY SESSION AT THE BOOKIES......
this depressing news caps off a fairly shitty bank holiday full stop. The administrative mess that is MGM would appear to have far reaching consequences. Jackson must plunge back into middle earth and save this thing now. How could he not? More

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:35 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Somebody is going to regret this...
I wonder if they would consider Juan Antonio Bayona, dierctor of The Orphanage, as a potential replacement? I could be beneficial to use someone Del Toro has a working relationship with. The same could equally be said for the Jackson/Neil Blomkamp connection gn] More

Posted by Fit Kisto at 16:56 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Somebody is going to regret this...
The only director more perfect for The Hobbit than Peter Jackson, was Del Toro. Somewhere down the line we'll be left wondering about this film that never was. When they get lumbered with some second-rate director. More

Posted by Jenzy at 15:28 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Well al we have to do is wait until 2043 and then the books will become public domain. More

Posted by billythehick at 15:08 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

MCGGGGGGG
Someone detain him, frame him for murder or something, just don't let him anywhere near this More

Posted by emperorglenuff at 13:38 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
L: BOHEMIANBOB L: plum bob give it back to jackson!! end of! ed. Stop hiding behind the "producer" mask and step up to the plate... agree, with this sad turn of events it's the only way to go. It's tragic though, as Del Toro was the man for the job hands down.  He really got the idea that The Hobbit has to look different yet feel like the same world, I loved how he talked about everything looking sort of golden.  I think his two parter would have been quite More

Posted by The Todge at 13:09 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: oh well....
Peter Jackson is the only Director i want now . These 2 movies will make tons of money , surely you have to speculate to acumulate even in the movie biz ...... i think some guys at MGM are spineless from what i've read . More

Posted by Beno at 12:43 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: MGM
L: Rgirvan44 I would rather he didn't do Hellboy 3. I love the first two films, but I would rather see GTD go off and do something new. Personally At The Mountains Of Madness should happen - with all the adaptations of pulp sci-fi and fantasy from the early 20th century being made (Conan, John Carter from Mars etc) it is time for Lovecraft to get his due. Also - interesting that James McAvoy joined the cast of X Men late last week. Wasn't he rumored to be up for the role of Bi More

Posted by Pigeon Army at 12:41 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

oh well....
Del Toro is extremely talented and had about 385 projects planned at one point! It'll be inetesrting to see what he goes after next. More

Posted by Snake-Eyes at 11:55 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Del Toro quits Hobbit
This is pretty disappointing, I would have loved to see what he could have done with the film, Still with everything he was doing I guess something had to give, and the Hobbit wasn't getting anywhere fast. Good luck to him with whatever he does next Maybe Jackson should pick up the reins, like others I really couldn't care less about Tintin  The cinematic Middle Earth is very much his world, he should be the one to carry it forward More

Posted by Scruffybobby at 11:52 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: MGM
I would rather he didn't do Hellboy 3. I love the first two films, but I would rather see GTD go off and do something new. Personally At The Mountains Of Madness should happen - with all the adaptations of pulp sci-fi and fantasy from the early 20th century being made (Conan, John Carter from Mars etc) it is time for Lovecraft to get his due. Also - interesting that James McAvoy joined the cast of X Men late last week. Wasn't he rumored to be up for the role of Bilbo? As for ne More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 11:51 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: MGM
Hows about we get a Hellboy 3 now? More

Posted by darth silas at 11:25 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

del Toro is my favourite director working today and as much as I love The Lord of the Rings and would be interested to see del Toro's take on this universe I'm quite glad that he has decided to leave the project. He has an abundance of original stories in hiswonderful mind and I think the sort of commitment required to direct the 2 Hobbit films would stifle his creativity somewhat. More

Posted by Biggus at 11:09 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: MGM
L: jimoakley666 1- I'm chuffed. Not a fan of all that goblin shit. Never got the love for the Rings. But I am a big fan of Del Toro. This means we get more of his original stuff like Pan's and Devil's, that's great news. Can't wait to see his take on Frankenstein. bsolutely agree. More

Posted by UTB at 11:01 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

It's a heavy disappointment for sure, though anything that potentially accelerates a Lovecraftian project is a definite silver lining. More

Posted by herbertwest1701 at 10:30 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Del Crapo
Personally I'm quite glad he has left the project. He could possible have made a really good film, but we'll never know. Jackson should just stop with all the bollocks and get behind the camera, as he truly is the only person who can make a great Hobbit film. Just how exactly were they going to get Del Toro's style to fit in with what Jackson had done with the l trilogy? Too quirky for my tastes (and if I'm honest, not all that good). Again, I find frustration with Jackson's stance on why More

Posted by Alistair at 10:13 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

COME NOW MR JACKSON, AS HARD AS THE RINGS TRILOGY MUST HAVE BEEN TO DIRECT FOR SUCH A LONG TIME , ONLY YOU COULD DO THIS FILM JUSTICE, HELP US PETER JACKSON YOUR OUR ONLY HOPE. More

Posted by theonering at 10:12 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Delighted, fucking delighted. The Devil's Backbone is good but every single movie he's made since then has been poor. Yes I'd include Pan's Labyrinth in that. Jesus Christ the fantasy was intrusive. Now lets hope common sense prevails and PJ gets behind the fucking camera. More

Posted by sephiroth7 at 09:45 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Sad news but you can hardly blame him
Del Toro has so many projects stacked up that as a filmmaker he just cannot wait for MGM to sort themselves out anymore. I was really looking forward to The Hobbit under his direction but I guess this was a matter of time kind of situation. I think Jackson will end up directing this himself; he's been developing it alongside Del Toro and considering all the pre-production work and script is done at this stage hiring another director would mean either someone who would work with all the existing More

Posted by Marwood at 09:45 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

This film is cursed. More

Posted by efc91 at 09:37 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

I'll bet...
McG gets it! More

Posted by bradthunder at 09:32 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Least surprising news ever...
And as much as I love GDT's work his english language endeavors have always felt vastly inferior to his other works to me. This could be a blessing in the long run. Come on Jackson, time to step up to the plate no? More

Posted by pete_traynor at 09:24 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

F$%# MGM! Someone sort these arses out for the sake of this film and Bond! Hope Jackson takes the directors chair. More

Posted by steveg66 at 09:07 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Excellent news!
It's been a hard slog for Del Toro, but at least this sets him free to make other films- there were so many tantaslising options he had set up before this came along. Most of them are probably unavailable now, but Frankenstein, Tarzan, Mountains of Madness... maybe a smaller film like Cronos or Pan's Labyrinth... that'd be good. Anyway, this is exciting because Del Toro is free of the ring! More

Posted by sweetladybrick at 09:02 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE:
L: plum bob give it back to jackson!! end of! ed. Stop hiding behind the "producer" mask and step up to the plate... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 08:51 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

give it back to jackson!! end of! More

Posted by plum bob at 08:37 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

A Noble Sacrifice
Definitely a good personal decision on Del Toro's part, but heartbreaking nonetheless. Del Toro has been one of my favourite filmmakers since the late 90s, and it's been wonderful to see his star rising over the past decade - so when he got The Hobbit gig, I was very very excited. That said, I always had a few reservations - thus far, Del Toro's English-language films have suffered in comparison to his Spanish-language projects (although I do love the Hellboy films, even as a 'fundamentalist' f More

Posted by marlowe9 at 08:33 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

great news.... maybe the mountains of madness or Hellboy 3 will come sooner this way. i beginning to get tired of all the bureauocratical BS tied to this film and bond 23, so probably a good personal move for him. still, good to hear of his continued involvement, whatever the capacity. More

Posted by Nalfeshnee at 06:42 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Lets still remember
At the mountains of madness and his other projects will come sooner this way But watching The Lord of the Rings the other day I was starting to get really excited about this More

Posted by monkeyhumour at 06:31 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

sad day... More

Posted by angier21 at 06:19 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

THE HOBBIT
only Del Torro can direct The Hobbit if it's to be the best movie it can be. More

Posted by IRISHKNIGHT110 at 03:33 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Jackson or Raimi
Pete should just roll his sleeves up and direct this one himself; with Del Toro doing a big chunk of the workload in pre-production, surely that will have given Jackson enough of a break? Failing that, Sam Raimi - a big influence on Bad Taste-era Jackson - should be given a chance. The perfect consolation prize for being screwed over by Sony and Marvel. More

Posted by Garth_Marenghi at 03:18 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Doomed I Say!
If they hire either Sam Raimi or Neill Blomkamp, the thing may still be salvageable. Otherwise, this is pretty much doomed More

Posted by lona_no_friends at 03:12 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Perhaps it's time for MGM to fall on its sword and sell the movie rights to the Hobbit... More

Posted by Kmadden2004 at 01:46 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

MGM
1- I'm chuffed. Not a fan of all that goblin shit. Never got the love for the Rings. But I am a big fan of Del Toro. This means we get more of his original stuff like Pan's and Devil's, that's great news. Can't wait to see his take on Frankenstein. 2- MGM get your fucking arses into gear. If Daniel Craig pisses off from Bond due to these pricks I will be very VERY sore. What the hell are they doing, for god's sake? More

Posted by jimoakley666 at 01:01 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Neill Blomkamp
This is very disappointing news.... Whilst I liked the Tolken books (Rings & the Hobbit), it was the prospect of Del Toro creating his vision for middle earth that had me salivating. So to hear that he has departed the project is a massive blow to the future films and I for one won't be anticipating them anywhere near as much now this has transpired. More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 00:51 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Neill Blomkamp
As new director. You know it makes sense. More

Posted by Martin1876 at 00:50 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

RE: sadness
L: Walt Flanagan what a waste of talent.... It is awful when big business gets in the way of art... ouldn't agree more. After watching Pan's Labyrinth and even Hellboy II, I was so stoked for seeing this under Del Toro's creative direction. Now that will cease to be :( More

Posted by Noelg25 at 00:46 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Well after all this time, I'm kinda stunned he stuck it out this long as with the guy being at the peak of his life creatively, to not know just when he would be able to film must have killed him for a long time. The Hobbit will be fine with Jackson co-producing, the screenplays are done and now Del Toro can do what he loves: actually MAKE movies. More

Posted by badassmofo at 00:44 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Bit of a disaster for Jackson and co...
Understandable why GDT left, but it's a big blow to the project. More

Posted by Dirty Hartigan at 00:37 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

Well after all this time, I'm kinda stunned he stuck it out this long as with the guy being at the peak of his life creatively, to not know just when he would be able to film must have killed him for a long time. The Hobbit will be fine with Jackson co-producing, the screenplays are done and now Del Toro can do what he loves: actually MAKE movies. More

Posted by badassmofo at 00:36 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

sadness
what a waste of talent.... It is awful when big business gets in the way of art... More

Posted by Walt Flanagan at 00:35 on 31 May 2010 | Report This Post

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