Guillermo Del Toro exits The Hobbit

Director Guillermo Del Toro has been forced to depart movie production of The Hobbit .

In surely the saddest news to come out of the MGM financial fiasco, the director will no longer be directing the big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel.

As MGM still flounders with its money woes, production on The Hobbit has been stalled indefinitely until the studio can fix its situation. As a consequence, Del Toro has officially stepped away from the films in order to concentrate on his own projects.

The director announced his departure through Lord Of The Rings site The One Ring , citing “mounting pressures of conflicting schedules” as the problem. And who can blame him? By all accounts the Hobbit script(s) are written, the design work is complete and everything is ready to go.

But with MGM in crisis, Del Toro’s hands are tied. Here’s what he had to say:

“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.

“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.”

So that’s the end of that. Or is it? If The Hobbit ’s production is delayed for a further couple of years, could Del Toro direct another movie and have that completed in time to return to Middle Earth? It’s a stretch, but we’re ever hopeful…

Source: [ The One Ring (opens in new tab) ]

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Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.