Guillermo del Toro no longer directing The Hobbit.

Any intention I had of seeing The Hobbit is now gone. Guillermo del Toro, director of Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Blade 2 and the supremely amazing Pan’s Labyrinth, has announced that he is no longer directing the Prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies. del Toro has worked on the movie for going on two years now, with seemingly every aspect of the movie worked out but MGM’s financial issues proving a problem with the production actually going forward.

It was today that del Toro announced his departure from the movie’s production in his capacity as a director. He will continue work on the movie as a co-writer on the script, but the production length has forced him to leave. A quote from a Lord of the Ring fansite details some of his reason.

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.

Peter Jackson’s position on del Toro’s departure is nothing but supportive and glowing on del Toro’s ability as a creative force.

While it’s a shame to see del Toro have to leave behind all of that hard work I really can’t wait to see what he actually decides to direct next. He’s had several movies lined up to direct after the Hobbit, including a Frank Darabont written Frankenstein remake, a possible Hellboy 3 movie and an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft Novella, just to name a few.

That being said, I now have no reason to see the Hobbit. I’ve had interesting in the Lord of the Rings and del Toro was my only reason for seeing it being made into a movie. Without him the only way I’ll be in that theater is if Neill Blomkamp directs, which I don’t see happening. Still, I’m sure many others will greatly enjoy it, if it every actually gets made.

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