Sunday, May 30, 2010

Del Toro Leaving The Hobbit Films

Via, Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson have officially announced that Del Toro is no longer going to direct the two The Hobbit films that are currently in limbo for unknown amount of time due to MGM's inability to find a buyer. He will continue to help polish the scripts and bring a new director up to date but after that move on to his other directing, writing and producing obligations that the delays were going to interfere with.
“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”, says Guillermo. “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. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh 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”.

“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”, says Executive Producer Peter Jackson. “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. Guillermo’s strong vision is engrained into the scripts and designs of these two films, which are extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA”.

“Guillermo is co-writing the Hobbit screenplays with Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and myself, and happily our writing partnership will continue for several more months, until the scripts are fine tuned and polished” says Jackson. “New Line and Warner Bros will sit down with us this week, to ensure a smooth and uneventful transition, as we secure a new director for the Hobbit. We do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work”.
The irony is MGM sued, spending a tremendous amount of money so that they could have co-ownership for The Hobbit films and now they are the reason it isn't moving forward. I wouldn't get your hopes up that this means Peter Jackson would direct as his one consistent message regarding these films is he doesn't want to. At this point, until MGM gets sorted out, the Hobbit films will likely remain on hold and the longer it takes the less likely it will become the films will get made. It is sad to see Guilermo Del Toro go as he would have brought a unique look to the films, I wish him well in his other endeavors (Hellboy III perhaps?).

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