Given that he was plucked from mainstream obscurity (aside from his shorts and SFX work) by Peter Jackson, groomed to direct the HALO adaptation and then supported in the making of District 9 when the video game-based pic fell apart, it’s not surprising that Neill Blomkamp’s name is endlessly linked with The Hobbit.
He’s been the subject of speculation even before Guillermo del Toro got the job, mentioned in the same breath as Sam Raimi and Jackson himself. And now, with del Toro out of the big chair thanks to the seemingly endless delays due to MGM’s problems, it’s hardly a shock to see the District 9 director’s name cropping up again.
While Blomkamp has technically committed to his next film, another lower budget sci-fi pic, the lure of The Hobbit is likely strong. It'll all depend where the contracts sit, even if he is interested in sending Bilbo on his quest.
Make no mistake, however: as the team at TheOneRing is quick to point out, nothing has been made official in any capacity yet. But the website, which has its ear to the ground on any Middle-earth developments and has close ties to Jackson and co, are reporting that various sources claim he’s at least close to getting the job.
Backers MGM and Warner Bros. are apparently still hoping that leaving desperate messages on Peter Jackson’s voicemail and sending pleading emails will get him to relent and take on the films himself, something which he is staunchly against, since he’d prefer to simply oversee the production. Which was rather why he picked an experienced old hand to direct the movie in the first place.
Blomkamp has shown that he’s got the chops with D9 (which nabbed more than one Oscar nomination), though he’s never tackled something as big as The Hobbit. But he’d have Jackson’s full support and we know the two like and trust each other. Meanwhile, casting is apparently plodding along, all with the understanding that nothing has been set in stone yet, given the pesky financial details still being hammered out in Hollywood.
When will we hear? As the site posits, Comic-Con is the likely choice, since it’s now only a month away and if Warner Bros. and MGM have their dwarves in a row, that would be the prime place to grab maximum exposure for a new director’s coronation, whoever it is that has the task.
Thanks to Cinematical for the spot.