Big fat breaking news this morning with Guillermo del Toro announcing that he’ll no longer be directing the Peter Jackson-produced “Hobbit” two-parter.
The film’s recent delay (or should I say ‘latest delay’?) spurred the “Hellboy” director’s decision.
Speaking to TheOneRing.net, del Toro said “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.”
Producer Peter Jackson said he fully understands and respects del Toro’s decision.
“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,” Jackson said in a statement on The One Ring.
“Guillermo is co-writing the Hobbit screenplays with Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and myself, and happily our writing partnership will continue for several more months, until the scripts are fine tuned and polished.
“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. We do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work.”
Production on “The Hobbit” had been held up due to MGM’s ongoing financial troubles.