May 30, 2010

Guillermo del Toro pulls out of 'The Hobbit'...

...according to The Hollywood Reporter:

After spending the last two years developing "The Hobbit" as his latest directing project, Guillermo del Toro has announced he is leaving the helm of the J. R. R. Tolkien adaptation.

“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 wrote in his announcement on "Lord of the Rings" fansite “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."

He said he would continue to co-write the screenplays with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens.

The walls started to crumble for del Toro in recent weeks as the uncertain future of MGM put the project, which was to have been two movies, in a limbo state. The producers had been hoping to be in production this summer but no greenlight was forthcoming.

That put pressure del Toro, who has a laundry list of development projects outlined for the next 10 years, in a position of cutting bait or staying on for more uncertainty. The director moved his wife and children to New Zealand for the shoot, and the first movie was aiming for a December 2012 release.

"The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project," said del Toro in his statement. "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 stated he understood del Toro's position: "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."

Jackson said development on "Hobbit" would continue apace, although his statement did not specifically address any possible postponement of the release date.

"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," he said.

-I wonder who they will get to replace him...thoughts?


  1. I wonder if Peter Jackson might end up doing it now...

  2. Sad news, especially since it would have been really interesting to see how he would have influenced the look and feel of the films. However, if Jackson were to step in, I'd be more than content...

  3. I've never really been a fan of Del Toro, so this isn't extremely upsetting news to me. If Jackson takes over as director I'll be in heaven.

  4. Robert- I'm not huge on Del Toro or Jackson, and I'm not particularly interested in this project, so this is just run of the mill news to me, no emotion involved...

  5. Forgive me if I become a little hysterical. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

    PS. Unless, of course, it makes Peter Jackson direct instead!

  6. The longer they wait, the bigger the risk of the movie flopping at the box office. I don't think The Hobbit has as wide appeal as LOTR, and the decision the make it into two movies might turn out to be a bad one. So I kinda understand Del Toro.

    I hope I'm wrong, because I enjoyed the book tremendously.

  7. That is definitely a danger, yes.

  8. I think I'm the only one happy with this news.

    I mean, don't want to sound like a Tolkien-hater, but Del Toro has such a great talent, and a personality that is so much he's own that the longer it takes to make this movie, the longer it would take to see a more personal project from him.

    I know that he wanted to do a H.P. Lovecraft adaption, and I actually think that suits him much better, so I'm happy that one fo the best working directors today is now free to pursue other projects instead of being tied to a troubled adaption.

  9. I'm neither happy nor sad...I'm probably closer to a "hater" than you (though I wouldn't define myself as such).