Guillermo del Toro abandons "The Hobbit"; Anyone looking for a job?

If you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, you may want to brace yourself. This past weekend worst-case-scenario news erupted when Guillermo del Toro announced that he has relinquished his role as director for the upcoming two-part Hobbit film. The news comes amid frustrations with delays surrounding production studio MGM's current financial crisis.

This most recent development is a blow to fans of the franchise, who after facing the realization that Peter Jackson would not be reassuming directing duties, gleefully accepted the next best thing when contemporary and longtime collaborator, del Toro, grabbed the reins with Jackson remaining on as executive producer. The two had been in the pre-production stage since the 2008 announcement with a script in the can and shooting scheduled to begin this year with tentative release dates set for Dec 2012 and Dec 2013.

But as it so often does in the zillion dollar movie industry, money problems were able to supersede the fandemonium for the prequel. MGM is currently sitting ugly at an estimated $3.7 billion in the red, effectively removing any production power from the studio heads and placing it in the hands of lenders who are apparently not ready to embark on a purported $300 million investment.

Del Toro, who is notorious in Hollywood for piling up potential film ventures (his IMDB page currently shows 12 films in development), grew tired of the delays and is not willing to invest six years of his film making career on the two movies. I know many of you are probably thinking that there's worse places to spend six years than the green pastures New Zealand, but the frustrations are at least understandable when he has built up a sizable buzz only to then squander two years on a project currently wallowing in limbo.

So while the big question of the films future still looms, the best we can do now is speculate on who will step in to fill the director's chair. The most likely heir would have to be Jackson who, along with del Toro, has invested quite some time envisioning this project and has already spent some time in Middle Earth. And while his two grossly overarching works since the triology (King Kong and Lovely Bones) have been met with varying degrees of financial and critical success, it would be foolish to claim that his legacy resides anywhere other than this film series. And if you want something done right...

There's little doubt that the rumor mill will begin churning over the upcoming weeks with other big names suited to step to the plate. Sam Raimi initially feigned interest with The Hobbit in 2007 and with Spidey now out of his hands, we could see his name being slung about once again. Another potential suitor could be Alfonso Cuarón, who happens to be besties with del Toro. While his resume isn't crammed with bank-breaking blockbusters (Y tu mamá también, Children of Men), he did churn out the most memorable film of the Harry Potter series thus far (Prisoner of Azkaban), proving he can assimilate within the context of Hollywood.

Feel free to chime in on who you see as best fit to take over the directing duties while we keep our Hobbit-sized fingers crossed for a speedy resolution.

| More


Follow us on Twitter for updates and links to general coolness

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
Laser Orgy Archives