Guillermo del Toro quits work on 'The Hobbit'

Tbd-guillermodeltoro060210 And like that, the newest fellowship of the ring has been broken. Guillermo del Toro, the fat, bearded fanboy director handpicked by (formerly) fat, bearded fanboy director Peter Jackson to helm the upcoming two-part Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit, has left the project.

“In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming The Hobbit, I am faced with the hardest decision of my life,” Guillermo said in a statement over the weekend. “After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures.”

Jackson’s statement was similarly regretful: “We understand how the protracted development time on these two films, due to reasons beyond anyone’s control — has compromised his commitment to other long-term projects. The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn’t feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years.”

Del Toro and Jackson will both remain as cowriters on the film. There is no word yet on a new director, but Jackson said it definitely won’t be him. In that case, we say there definitely shouldn't be a movie version of The Hobbit.

[Photo: Getty Images]

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 10:45am]

    

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