Guillermo del Toro Not Directing ‘The Hobbit’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:13 pm,

Production on the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been held up by production studio MGM’s financial woes for several months now. The excessive delays have now dealt a hard blow to the project, this time on the artistic front, as director Guillermo del Toro has officially revealed that it’s no longer feasible for him to direct the two-movie project.

The Hellboy director broke the news to exclusively as a gesture of his, and The Hobbit co-screenwriter/executive producer Peter Jackson’s, respect for the Lord of the Rings fanboy community.  Despite recent comments and speculation from LOTR stars Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, this is in fact the first new, concrete bit of information to come out concerning The Hobbit‘s status in a while.

You can read del Toro’s official statement below:

“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 [Jackson], Fran [Walsh], 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 wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be the 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.”

the hobbit gandalf elrond gollum Guillermo del Toro Not Directing The Hobbit

Peter Jackson additionally announced that although he and his fellow Hobbit crew members were sad to see the filmmaker leave the project, “the bottom line is that Guillermo [del Toro] 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.”

He went on to refer to del Toro as “one of the most remarkable creative spirits I’ve ever encountered,” and that The Hobbit films “are extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA.”

Jackson then concluded his statement by revealing that del Toro would continue to do polish work on The Hobbit screenplay for the next several months and that “we [The Hobbit production team] do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work” due to del Toro’s departure as director.

Warner Bros and IMAX deal The Hobbit delay Guillermo del Toro Not Directing The Hobbit

As a filmmaker, del Toro has, if nothing else, displayed an immense talent for creative creatures, set, and effects design in films like Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.  Longtime Screen Rant readers might recall that, back in 2008, del Toro’s schedule was announced to be full until 2017, and he’s been hard at work on The Hobbit ever since.

Although many fans, myself included, will definitely be disappointed that del Toro will no longer direct the film as well, it’s understandable that devoting an extra three years of his life to The Hobbit was simply not a feasible option for an already busy man.

The big question now for the film version of The Hobbit is who will be brought on-board to direct in del Toro’s place?

Should Peter Jackson settle down in the director’s chair himself?  Is there another auteur you’d like to see give their take on Middle Earth?  Or perhaps a relatively unknown entity?

We’ll let you know when The Hobbit gets a new director and when production FINALLY gets going on the film as soon as we hear anything new.


TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. Ok, this can be goood, or baaaaad.
    if Peter Jackson decides to take on the project, i’ll be the happiest man alive, and don’t forget that Del Toro stated that he “hated” fictional books like the hobbit in an interview, so i want Peter Jackson to direct it…. pleaseeeeeeeee……

    the only other person i can see directing this is James Cameron…. that’s it….

    will someone buy MGM ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!

    • i stand currected, the guy who did The Pirates Of The Carribian should direct it! or Peter, i much rather have Peter, but the guy from the POC is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I thik Del Toro did what he thought best for the film franchise.
    And I dont blame him for not wanting to wait for what could have been a total 6 years to get this done.

  3. I understand why Del toro did it,and as much work as he has done it wont be forgotten but Peter should direct the movies, there is no others. MGM should either get bought out by someone or sell there Bond and Hobbit rights to a company that has money, who wont get rid of the people making the films, and get them made. then MGM can get out of the hold.
    If they cant a director, Ill direct it. lol that would never happen but i can dream.

  4. God why mindlessly bring Bush in to this?

    • he hates bush…….

      • I was going to ask the same question

    • He seems to be posting similar messages on other websites too. I think he needs help.

  5. Too bad that Del Toro had to leavet the Hobbit, but now he can make Hellboy 3. Peter Jackson should direct the Hobbit in my opinon.

    • And if he doesnt take the directors chair, then maybe Neil Blonckamp could replace Del Toro. Him and Peter Jackson seem to have a good work relationship, plus I really think he could pull off fantasy as well as he did with SCIFI.

      • Neil Blomkamp would be an interesting choice. I’d be down with that.

  6. Very regrettable, I don’t know if it is even a possibility, but I want Jackson directing now. Thought I could even go with a 1st assistant director from the original trilogy, with Jackson as a producer director.

    • man, Neil would be a bad choice, anyone BUT jackson would be a bad choice. i wasnt even too sure about Del toro…in my mind middle earth would be filled will hellpy and pans labyrynth creatures…..

      • Middle-earth filled with Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth creatures? But that would have been amazing! That was the main thing about the films I was looking forward to! Hopefully some of those creatures will still end up in the film, whoever directs it…

  7. With all due respect to Del Toro, I think this could be a blessing in disguise if Neil Blomkamp were to become involved.

    • middle earth would be ruined with blomkamp

  8. Okay… I’ve had a day to get over the shock of this news. As a massive Tolkien fan and a massive del Toro fan, I am still devastated. But let’s see if this debacle can be salvaged…

    Del Toro has already done all the set design, creatures, props, artwork, animatics, etc, so his visual style should still be intact in the final film. This is good, since his visual style is the main reason I was so excited about him directing. He’s still writing the screenplay, so that’s good too. I hope he at least stays on as a producer; it would be comforting for him to retain some control over the project. I just hope his replacement uses all his work and doesn’t throw it out and start from scratch… Alfonso Cuarón is his friend, so I’d trust him with the job.

  9. That is the most horrible news I’ve heard since the Hobbit’s delay. But this isn’t the end of Guillermo :-)

  10. they need to find someone who will be able to pick up where Del Toro left off there may need to be some minor adjustments with that much invested into the movie thus far it would ruin everything i feel that he can be successfulif anyone else were to come on to replace Del Toro the best choice would be Andrew Adamson (Narnia, Batman Forever…)seeing as how New Zeland is wherehe lives and the fact that he is a maser in his art
    but can he wrap up his current work on the new narnia film?!?

    • you had to bring batman forever into that dudes street crad!?!?!?!?

      • sorry,would Shrek have been better???

  11. I was really looking forward to seeing these films under his direction but as some has already pointed out he has already done most of all the foot work already. So we should get a good amount of his visual style and creation through out the film.

  12. I was really looking forward to Toro directing these movies with Jackson’s help/touch. It would have been a nice change for the series. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Jackson agreed to direct the films now? If that’s the case. I’m still happy. :)