Bad news for ‘The Hobbit’.
Tolkien’s 1937 prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy was so close to coming to the big screen, with pre production started already, when it was announced that the film would be put on hold indefinitely due to studio disputes.
Now, the director, Guillermo Del Toro has stepped down from his duties.
In a statement he explains:
“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’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.”
All is not lost though, as Del Toro will sill remain involved with the two films, just not as the captain.
Producer Peter Jackson tells Lord of the Rings Fan site Onering.net:
“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.
“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.”
Step up Jackson and do it yourself!