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 TheOneRing.net, 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.

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp to direct The Hobbit?

TheOneRing.net 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.

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Source: TheOneRing.net