Rumor Patrol: Neill Blomkamp Directing The Hobbit? [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 11th, 2013 at 4:10 am,

UPDATE: It appears this rumor is indeed false and Neill Blomkamp is NOT directing The Hobbot adaptation. See below for details.

Ever since Guillermo del Toro left The Hobbit, there’s been rampant discussion, rumors and speculation over who will replace him to bring the world of Middle Earth to life once more.

Peter Jackson has said he will direct The Hobbit if need be (and if he can get out of his contractual obligations for other projects) and both Warner Bros. and MGM have expressed strong interest in having Jackson direct.

On top of that, a list of potential other directors has popped up, including David Yates (Harry Potter 5, 6 & 7), David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) and Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand); our own Kofi Outlaw made a good case for Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men).

Now you can add another name to the list of possible Hobbit directors and it may be one that’s more reasonable than some of the other nominees. According to, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is now a potential director of The Hobbit. Although it’s no official confirmation, the site got a look at “a spy report” that states Blomkamp being the director as, “cold, hard, unsurprising fact.”


What lends credit to this particular rumor is the fact that Blomkamp is good friends with Jackson, who produced his surprise hit and Best Picture nominee, District 9. WB/MGM are still pursuing Jackson and have had talks with him, but word is Jackson doesn’t really want to to direct and probably never did (otherwise why didn’t he take the job in the first place?).

So, with Jackson wanting to stay in a mentoring role, it’s not a stretch to imagine that Blomkamp would end up as The Hobbit director, with guidance from Jackson as a producer (a similar collaboration was set to happen awhile back with the Halo movie).

For those worried Blomkamp isn’t up to the task, remember that he more than proved his worth with District 9. Although a politically charged sci-fi/action/drama is worlds away from The Hobbit, I’m confident Blomnkamp would do a great job with this film.

neill blomkamp district 9 on set Rumor Patrol: Neill Blomkamp Directing The Hobbit? [Updated]

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp to direct The Hobbit? also reports that pre-production is moving ahead, despite the fact that The Hobbit still has no director and MGM is still in financial trouble. Auditions are apparently being held, with some parts already cast, “specifically regarding a dwarf or two.” In fact, comedian Bill Bailey was recently on The Graham Norton Show, where he revealed that he’d auditioned for a role as a dwarf in The Hobbit, something which suggests that casting is indeed pushing forward.

Sources also state that shooting won’t start at the end of the year as Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis have said, but rather at the beginning of 2011. If this is true, it certainly suggests that a director is about to be confirmed – or that one already has been, and they’re just waiting until a certain little convention known as Comic Con comes along to officially announce it.

As you may have already guessed, until we hear otherwise, take this Blomkamp directing The Hobbit news as strictly RUMOR. But until we get confirmation either way, let’s get to discussing the possibility!

UPDATE: Not so fast! As it turns out, it appears that Blomkamp isn’t going to be replacing del Toro as the director of The Hobbit. Vulture reports (thanks to The Playlist) that not only is Blomkamp not directing but none of the studios have even approached him about it.

Instead Blomkamp will reportedly work on a new film he’s originally written entitled Elysium, which will take place on another planet – story details are being kept under wraps. It’s a shame as I would have liked to have seen Blomkamp direct The Hobbit, if not del Toro, Jackson or Alfonso Cuaron, of course. Oh well, at least we’ll get another original sci-fi flick from the rising director.

Were you hoping that Neill Blomkamp would end up directing The Hobbit? With the director’s chair still vacant, who would you like to see direct the adaptation instead?

At this point we’re not sure when we’ll see The Hobbit start shooting (although the latest word is early 2011) or when we’ll see it in theaters. As always, stay tuned to Screen Rant to find out all the relevant info.

If The Hobbit director announcement is to happen at Comic Con, be sure to check back at Screen Rant for our coverage.

Follow Screen Rant on Twitter @ScreenRant


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  1. It doesnt sound like a bad idea to me.

  2. @””For those worried Blomkamp isn’t up to the task, remember that he more than proved his worth with District 9″

    That doesn’t make him a great director. I love ‘District 9′, but he hasn’t shown that he can handle a big budget. The Hobbit are two of the most highly anticipated films, and a director with no experience with a huge budget wouldn’t be smart. Besides, Blomkamp may just turn out to be a one-hit wonder.

    • i agree, matt, i am one of the few that though D9 was just mediocre at best. i wont be seeing the hobbit movies if either blomy, ratner, or any other “trendy” directors, hell guys, why dont you just let Schumacher direct the damn movies!!!

  3. Oh boy oh boy, now were in for it. Neil is a great director thus far, don’t get me wrong, but Matt’s right, big budget films are way to fragile to be handled without consideration, could be a disaster if taken for granted. I’m hoping Peter takes up back the enterprise but let’s HOPE that someone out there convinces Peter to do what fans know is best: him as director.

  4. Yes. YES. Please let this happen! I haven’t seen District 9, so I don’t know for sure how good this guy is, but I have heard people praising him, and after hearing the possibility that Brett Ratnet should direct…

    • After hearing Brett Ratner, I thought Chris Tucker would play Bilbo and Jackie Chan Gandalf.

      But hearing Neil is like a defibrillator bringing me back to life. Since he already has a good working relationship with Peter Jackson, and since he made one of my favorite alien movies, then he’s got my vote.

    • dude, gold, your opinion doesnt mean squat if you hadnt even SEEN D9 yet

      • It received a Best Picture nomination. If we have a choice between Brett Ratner and the director of a Best Picture nominee, I don’t think I need to watch the nominated film to help me decide, and I don’t need anyone on the internet to tell me that my opinion is somehow invalid.

        Blomkamp for Hobbit.

        • What you FAIL to realize is that your opinion is wholly invalid. 1) you haven’t even seen the film, nominated or not, you cannot weigh in beyond that. I am a fan of the film, however, there have been films nominated in the past, even some that have won, that are a complete joke. Awards can only go so far because we all know that there are films that win that shouldn’t and some that lose that ought to win.
          2) Blomkapm’s ENTIRE filmography, be it feature length (oh wait, he has only directed 1 whole feature length film, short, or even commercial, consists of gritty, documentary style sci-fi. He had my vote for Halo from day one, however, The Hobbit just isn’t the film for him to direct as an experiment into new genres. I think the more appropriate route would be Jackson as Director and maybe Blomkamp assisting or 2nd unit. Something of that nature. Either way, you have every right to dismiss “anyone on the internet’s” opinion (as if that some how demeans an informed opinion)but it will never negate the fact that your opinion is rendered invalid per your uninformed, thus unfounded assertions.


  5. With all of the pre-production drama regarding the Hobbit, I hope they settle on a director soon. I for one was releived that Guilermo of the Bull bowed out. His vision would have been much too dark. It worked great for the Hell Boy movies and Pans maze, but I never thought that would translate well to the Hobbit’s world. I hope Jackson comes to his senses, puts on those 100 pds that he lost and directs these films.

    • he said himself that he has no want to direct them, but WILL if there is no other choice, plus he is under contract with other studios for other films, which sucks. i really REALLLY hope blomy doesnt get the gig, nor ratner either, just too bad choices in my opinion

    • Pan`s Maze? Couldn`t spell Labyrinth could ya?;p

  6. I would WHOLEHEARTEDLY support Neill for this film, especially if they’ve even CONSIDERED Brett Ratner. Ratner should be nowhere near The Hobbit. Heck, I’d rather have Betty White or even Lorne Michaels direct than that hack.

    • i heard a rumor that joel schumacher wants it….. just KIDDING!!

      • He’d still be better than Ratner!!!

  7. blomy isnt experienced enough for these films, even under jacksons supervision. i dont want prawn-like middle earth creatures

    • Hahaha! I’m with ya on that one bud. You are absolutely right!

  8. I agree with everyone saying that Blom isn’t ready for this film. He hasn’t shown he can direct anything beyond doc style sci fi. I don’t think films as important as the hobbit are appropriate for him to break his teeth on other genres.

    • So you would rather have Bret “Hack” Ratner on the film?

      • No, I would rather have Jackson on the films to keep continuity with the previous films. I can’t say I am a fan of Ratner in the least bit and I can say that I love Blomkamp’s work, however, his work on D9 does not show breadth or range, none of his work up to this point does. I’d rather see Yates or Cauron on the film. Why would you automatically assume I want Ratner on the film? The “X” films were horrible (Singers included), especially “Last Stand.”

        I will say if Jackson keeps a tight leash on Blomkamp we might see something good in a Blomkamp Hobbit film.

      • i am thoroughly convied that ratman ratner has something on every power player in hollywood, how else does a no talent guy liek that guy ANY work there