Hobbit Director Abandons Ship

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This is certainly a heavy blow to Middle Earth dwellers. Guillermo del Toro has officially quit as director of the two-part The Hobbit movie due to production delays and MGM’s ongoing financial woes.

“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. 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.

Del Toro will, however, stay on to co-write the screenplays. The director of both Hellboy films has said that all creatures, sets, and wardrobe have been designed for a film that has yet to be given the thumbs up from MGM.

Speaking to fansite TheOneRing.net, Peter Jackson had this to say about del Toro’s departure as director.

“We feel very sad to see Guillermo leave The Hobbit, but he has kept us fully in the loop and 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. Guillermo is one of the most remarkable creative spirits I’ve ever encountered and it has been a complete joy working with him.”

Jackson says he will go over possible replacements this week with MGM.

[via AP]