WB/MGM Want Peter Jackson to Direct ‘The Hobbit’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:29 pm,

In the wake of Guillermo Del Toro’s departure from The Hobbit, producer Peter Jackson offered to step into the director’s chair if need be, in order to “protect Warner Bros’ investment.”  However, he reminded fans that he had projects set up at other studios and that he might not be able to get out of those contracts so easily.

del Toro’s exit was only the latest in a series of setbacks that The Hobbit has faced. Naturally, MGM and WB began to consider other directors, and although several names have come up, they’re apparently keeping their fingers crossed that Jackson will decide to return – and when you hear the other names of the potential replacement directors, you might feel the same way.

According to Deadline, David Yates (the most recent Harry Potter films), David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus) and… wait for it… Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour series, X-Men: The Last Stand) have all shown some level of interest in getting The Hobbit job.  Until Jackson explicitly refuses though, no deals are going to be made.

There really wasn’t a better choice for The Hobbit films than del Toro. That ship has sailed though, and while it’s always going to be difficult to reconcile what might have been, the issue now is who’s best qualified to fill his shoes. Our own Kofi Outlaw made a compelling argument for why Alfonso Cuarón should take the reigns. Like del Toro, Cuarón seems like a filmmaker capable of keeping these films consistent with the tone of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy while still putting his own unique spin on it.

I’m not as confident with the three names listed above. Personally, I don’t think any of them should be allowed anywhere near The Hobbit.  Frankly, I can’t believe Ratner’s name has even come up. I realize he was in a similar situation when he took over directing duties on X-Men: The Last Stand, but it’s not like the end result was anything awe-inspiring. Hopefully his “edgy” Snow White project keeps him busy and far, far away from this.

The challenge with finding someone of del Toro or Cuarón’s caliber is that so much creative groundwork for these films has already been laid. There might not be a lot of room left for someone else to bring their own voice to the material at this point. Another possible point of contention is how much money is left to offer a new director. Jackson, the Tolkien estate, producer Saul Zaentz, and Harvey Weinstein are already involved as gross participants, which leaves very little leftover for anyone else. That might make it particularly tricky if they decide to try and woo a big name director.

If they’re sticking with the names already mentioned though, I don’t think I’m alone in declaring that Jackson should direct The Hobbit himself. Not only has he been with the project from the beginning, there’s also no one else who better understands what del Toro wanted to accomplish with these films.

The only possible downside I see is that Jackson never seemed that passionate about directing these films. It’s not a situation where he’s dying to do it. He’d be stepping in to protect the money that’s already been spent and because a better option never presented itself.  Considering that one of del Toro’s reasons for leaving the project was how much time would be required of him, is it even realistic to assume Jackson would pass on several other films he’s become invested in just to make The Hobbit?

What do you guys think? Are you hoping Peter Jackson ultimately decides to direct The Hobbit himself? If not him, who else would you want to see do it?

Source: Deadline.

TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. this movie is going down hill fast, I think its safe to assume he will not direct for the same reason del toro left. By the time this gets worked out it will be to late, this movie is just getting worse and worse when names like ratner come up its the end. Say goodbye to what the hobbit could have been.

  2. Ratners looks just scream punch me in the face. How could he do this movie if people are constantly punching him in the face?

    I hate Ratner and just the mention of his name in any capacity of this film would make me not want to see it.

    I dont care if he was responsible for licking the crud build up from in between Bilbos toes.

    Im sorry was that to … opinionated?

    • Haha, Aknot. You’re not alone. That picture perfectly sums up Ratner. His name is pretty much geek poison at this point.

      • only reason Rush 1, 2, 3 were hits was because of the stars, RATNER just cant direct his way of a paper bag

  3. Jackson or Cuarón should direct this. Toss a coin. Either one of them would do it well enough. Not quite as well as del Toro would have done it, but I’m getting desperate at this stage. And they need to do it soon. Christopher Lee might not be around in a couple years’ time, and what about Ian McKellen? This story gets more and more depressing with each passing day.

    But Brett Ratner? Come on… MGM must be trolling us. That’s just ridiculous. No way in hell can the human civilisation allow such a travesty to occur. I would probably cry if that happened.

  4. Has anybody checked into the availability of Paul W. S. Anderson? :)

  5. Isn’t Timur Bekmambetov hot stuff right now? Why can’t they throw names like that at us? What did we do to deserve this list of names?

    Ratner, if you read this and actually get this job, you better cast Chris Tucker as Bilbo. That way we can at least chuckle at how bad it is and not groan and face palm the entire film away.

    • LOL@scuba, man that was priceless….but yea, ratner!?!?!?!?!!? wtf man, none of the above names would do a damn bit as good of a job as jackson, or del toro, freakin stupid studio exects, man…ahh hell, nothing more worth saying….RATNER??!?!?!? hahahah

  6. “There really wasn’t a better choice for The Hobbit films than del Toro. ”

    I strongly disagree as I think Jackson was always the best choice for these films especially considering what he as his team accomplished with the LOTR Trilogy. I think that del Toro was Jackson’s choice to do these films because he was the director that in all likelihood could accomplish what Jackson had done..their styles are very similar, especially visually. Del Toro was offered these films because Jackson was too busy to accomodate WB/MGM. I hope Jackson can take these on or these films are not going to get the treatment they deserve.

    • couldnt have described how i felt about this whole mess better than you just did greenknight., im still reeling over RATNER…..man o man lol

    • Actually, Jackson was adamant that these films have a different tone than his LOTR trilogy and was excited about the “stylistic imprint” he imagined del Toro would leave

      And his decision to only produce The Hobbit wasn’t simply a matter of scheduling or being too busy. He said:

      “Having directed the LOTR Trilogy, I really felt that I put my heart and soul into dramatising this world and story, only a few years ago. The idea of going back in and essentially competing against my own movies, seemed to be an unsatsifying way to spend the next 5 years.”

      You can find both of those comments here: http://www.wetanz.com/holics/index.php?itemid=695&catid=2

      I’m a big fan of Jackson. And with the list of current contenders he definitely gets my vote. But I still would have loved to have seen del Toro’s version.

      • Hmm sounds like he didn’t want more of the same but it’s still Middle Earth..I would have certainly liked and enjoyed del Toro’s adaptation since I really enjoyed Labrynth and the Hell Boy films and he has a great visual style and excellent creative mind for modelling and bringing creatures to life and I am sure we will see alot of his influence in these films but I was always hoping and am still hoping that Peter Jackson tackles the directing repsonsibilities for these movies.


        Thanks for posting that link! :)

  7. i dont think it would have been competing so much as actually blending the the series into one big whole epic story

  8. So, let’s up Ian McKellen doesn’t DIE before the Hobbit duology is filmed….he ain’t gettin any younger.

  9. if that happens, they’ll just CGI him in there throughout the films