Guillermo del Toro announced yesterday that he’s stepping down from directing the 2 movies based on JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This is all due mounting delays in filming because of the financial troubles at MGM – The Hobbit still isn’t even officially greenlit by MGM, despite the massive amount of pre-production work already done on it. Del Toro said it was ‘the hardest decision of my life’ to leave the project after spending 2yrs living, breathing and designing Tolkien’s Middle Earth, but ‘the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project.’ He went on to say ‘I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director’.
This is real shame. Guillermo del Toro has such a beautiful visual style, and was just the perfect person to take the reins after Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. He isn’t totally walking away from the project just yet however, as he is still co-writing The Hobbit screenplays with Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and PJ for the next few months.
So, that does leave the question, who is going to pick up the project? Well, the obvious answer is Peter Jackson himself. He has basically said there is no way he’s letting The Hobbit movie die, so if it comes to it, and it’s what needs to happen to get The Hobbit back on his hairy little feet, that’s what he’ll do.
Theonering.net has a number of other suggestions. Neil Blomkamp did an extraordinary job with the Jackson produced District 9. Jackson may think he could manage The Hobbit too, it’d just depend if the studio agrees. Other suggestions are Sam Raimi (don’t really see it, not after emo spidey), Alfonso Cuaron (not sure he’d want to get involved in another big fantasy franchise after Potter), Andrew Adamson (Narnia movies weren’t the smashes they were supposed to be, so i can’t see the studio trusting him with The Hobbit), or Steven Spielberg and James Cameron (Spielberg could be interesting, but i fear Cameron would just want to CGI everything…)
Out of them all, Jackson does seem like the most obvious choice to me.
Anyone else you’d like to see take over on The Hobbit?
Let’s have your suggestions!