Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Cronos) was slated to direct two feature films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. He was already to go! And now, he's not.
Late last week, the director told website /Film that movie studio MGM was holding up the project: "We have been caught in a very tangled negotiation…Now I have been on the project for nearly two years. We have designed all the creatures, the sets, the wardrobe, animatics and planned action sequences and we are very, very prepared for when it is finally triggered. We don't know anything until the MGM situation is resolved."
Now, it seems the director has moved on from the project. He will still be writing the films, but he will not be behind the camera.
Del Toro called the decision "the hardest" of his life. "The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project," Del To. 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."
The project is being executive produced by Peter Jackson, who did The Lord of the Rings films and was previously attached to the big screen version of Halo.