The OneRing.Net, the Tolkien-centric site that said back in January that Guillermo del Toro (the director behind Pan's Labyrinth) was "99 percent certain" to helm The Hobbit as well as an untitled Lord of the Rings "bridge" film, has an update for us.
The HellBoy helmer had this to say:
"At this stage anything I say is of no consequence for I am not yet signed to do 'The Hobbit.' Negotiations advance but are still ongoing."
But it doesn’t end there - he also adds:
"All I can say is that I am diligently going through all Tolkien material related to Middle-earth but only as a way of bridging a gap in my reading. I still respond the strongest to 'The Hobbit,' but as an avid reader of Mythology I find a lot of his other writings fascinating. A perfect Cosmology forged from very eclectic sources."
That all sounds just lovely. And it's insanely encouraging that he's reading up on his Tolkien. Yeah, you're just reading The Hobbit again for the heck of it. Sure, Guillermo. But this still doesn't mean anything until he officially signs on.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge del Toro fan and couldn't imagine a better filmmaker to take over the reigns of Middle Earth for Peter Jackson.
Sorry, Sam Raimi!