I know "The Hobbit" is still a couple years out, and I think there is a thread where its progress is mentioned, but I wanted to post this as a fresh start.
"As Guillermo del Toro shed his mantle as director of “The Hobbit” and returned to being another filmmaking fellow in a wide world, he posted a bittersweet note on a J. R. R. Tolkien Web site that explained his decisions for leaving the project in further – if not complete – detail.
Last week Mr. del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”) said on TheOneRing.net that he was withdrawing as director of “The Hobbit,” which MGM is planning for release as two films in 2012 and 2013, amid uncertainty about the studio’s future.
In a message posted Sunday night on that same site (and carrying the dateline of the Elven kingdom Rivendell), Mr. del Toro wrote that his “commitment to the project demanded enormous sacrifices both in personal and professional terms,” requiring him to relocate “my entire life and family to New Zealand” after he joined the project in 2008.
Though he has made other films that required location shoots and took years to come together, Mr. del Toro wrote, “rarely do you relocate for such massive amount of time specially when you have to do major ironclad agreements to put in deep freeze other contractual obligations with multiple studios.”
Without further explanation, Mr. del Toro added: “So – while the cited delays, contractual complexities or obstacles, cannot be attributed to a single event or entity – you will simply have to believe that they were of sufficient complexity and severity to lead to the current situation.”
Mr. del Toro wrote that he was leaving behind “a wealth of designs” for “Hobbit” characters and settings, and expected that whenever he watches the finished films, “I will tear up whenever I recognize a set or a creature or a quirk created under my supervision.” He added: “I will be watching filmic family albums. Photos of my children from far away.”
Peter Jackson, the director of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and a producer and screenwriter of “The Hobbit” films, said he would step in if necessary to direct “The Hobbit,” pending his commitments to other projects. A replacement director for Mr. del Toro has not been announced."
As a huge fan of Toklien and a lover of the LOTR movies, I am really excited to see The Hobbit brouhght to life onscreen, but done right. I hope this isnt a nail in the coffin for the movie's production.