Guillermo Del Toro Leaves The Hobbit

Citing “ongoing delays” in beginning production, Guillermo del Toro announced today he won’t be directing The Hobbit. He will, however, remain as a co-writer of the two screenplays.

“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,” del Toro wrote on TheOneRing.net, a 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.”

A draft of the second screenplay, by del Toro, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, reportedly was finished in April, but uncertainties surrounding the future of MGM have left The Hobbit in limbo. Although the first of the two movies is supposedly set for release in December 2012, the studio has yet to give the official greenlight.

Delays threatened to create a scheduling logjam for del Toro, whose development slate stretches into the next decade with such films as Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Drood and, possibly, a follow-up to Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

“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 wrote at TheOneRing.net. “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 ingrained into the scripts and designs of these two films, which are extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA.”

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Comments

  • Paul

    Good for him! He very easily could have wasted the most creative years of his career waiting for MGM to get its act together on the Hobbit pictures. Get out while the gettings good!

  • Hugo Sleestak

    It always perplexed me why Del Toro (a very deliberately lapsed Catholic) would want to have anything at all to do with the very Catholic, very proper world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Seems to me that this is the best solution, for a number of reasons.

  • http://www.markwilhelm.com/ Mark Wilhelm

    What the fuck does Catholicism have to do with making movies? Goddamn, be psuedointellectual somewhere else. Your ranting is pathetic.

    I also agree with you, GdT should feel free to move on by now. As long as he gets paid for the work he's done so far, no hard feelings when Jackson finishes the job.

  • Kevin

    Why does MGM have the film rights to The Hobbit when LOTR was with Warner?

  • demoncat

    at least he will still help Peter produce the film. too bad Mgm financial state has made it so the world will never get to see Del torro work his magic with the Hobbit as a director . as for how mgm had the movie rights to the hobbit they have the rights to make a hobbit film warners trhough new line has the distribution rights. that was made clear during Peter jacksons lawsuit over royalties he was owed for the lord of the rings film.

  • DaVeO

    Hopefully Peter can step back in? I don't know what is film schedule is obviously but I hope he can do it.

    MGM, get your frakkin act together. Do you NOT like to make $$$ ?

    ~DaVeO

  • http://twitter.com/bryesque Bry

    Not being super realistic with my suggestion here… but now that his schedule's freed up, I'd love to see Del Toro take on the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. His vision would be a great match for the series – he can bring the darker elements from the best of the Mirage comics, as well as the humour most audiences will be expecting. And you know the Turtle suits would look incredible.