Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro has stepped down from directing “The Hobbit.” In a joint statement released to “Lord of The Rings” fan site TheOneRing.net, Del Toro said it was “the hardest decision of my life.” Whilst Executive Producer Peter Jackson in the statement said it was a “complete joy” working with the “Pan’s Labyrinth” director, and they were “extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA.” According to the statement, Del Toro remains onboard the project in a screenwriting capacity and New Line and Warner Bros aim to sit down with Jackson and his team this week to “to ensure a smooth and uneventful transition, as we secure a new director for ‘The Hobbit.’”
“The Hobbit” is beginning to look very much like a troubled production. All the optimism at the cast and crew level sadly cannot hide the fact that MGM are still struggling to find a buyer — an ownership battle that has already claimed Bond 23 as a casualty. It does seem unfair that Del Toro had committed himself to this project to the degree of even buying two homes out in New Zealand from which to base his operations. However, his commitment to the two films and the amount of time he would have to spend out in New Zealand jumped from three years to six years.
Guillermo Del Toro was born to make this film, who could possibly take over the reigns now? Will Sam Raimi, who was after the gig initially, step into the breach. Personally, I feel to save this film, Peter Jackson will need to step up to the plate himself and direct the film. Hear that? That is the sound of fanboys all around the world fainting in sheer joy at the thought of the Return of The King.
UPDATE: After I began writing this article, Stuff.co.nz released an interview with Peter Jackson where the “Lord of The Rings” supremo stated that HE would direct “The Hobbit” if it was the only way the $150 million film was made after Del Toro’s shock exit. “”If that’s what I have to do to protect Warner Bros’ investment, then obviously that’s one angle which I’ll explore,” he said. But regarding his other commitments and already signed deals, he admitted “The other studios may not let me out of the contracts.”
Who would you love to see take up the director’s chair now? Is Jackson the perfect fit? Would Raimi or someone else bring a fresher or different angle to “The Hobbit”? Sound off in the Comments Box or visit our forum for further discussion.
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