Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

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Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Freakzilla » 31 May 2010 18:27

Mon May 31, 2010, 3:48 am EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro said Monday that production delays have forced him to quit the planned film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a two-part prequel to New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson's blockbuster trilogy "Lord of the Rings."

"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," del Toro told a "Lord of the Rings" fan website.

"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," he said, noting the film still hadn't been given the green light by MGM, the struggling Hollywood studio.

Matt Dravitzki, a spokesman for "Hobbit" producer and "Lord Of The Rings" director Jackson, said del Toro would not be speaking to reporters Monday.

The announcement by del Toro reflected Jackson and del Toro's "full sentiments at this time," he said.

Del Toro would continue to co-write the screenplays with Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens.

Jackson reached a deal in late 2007 to make two films of "The Hobbit." He is serving as joint executive producer with Walsh.

Last week, del Toro, who directed "Pan's Labyrinth," "Blade II" and the two "Hellboy" movies, told journalists the "Hobbit" films, which have been plagued by delays, still hadn't been given the go ahead.

"There cannot be any start dates until the MGM situation gets resolved," del Toro said. "They do hold a considerable portion of the rights."

Reports emerged late last year that MGM was teetering on bankruptcy and del Toro said those issues had caught the "Hobbit" films in a "tangled negotiation."

"We have designed all the creatures. We've designed the sets and the wardrobe. We have done animatics and planned battles sequences ... We are very, very prepared for when it is finally triggered," he said.

Jackson told http://www.TheOneRing.net: "We feel very sad to see Guillermo leave The Hobbit, but he has kept us fully in the loop and 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. Guillermo is one of the most remarkable creative spirits I've ever encountered and it has been a complete joy working with him."

He would discuss options for a new director with MGM this week, Jackson told the website.

"We do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing preproduction work," he said.

Last month, Jackson dismissed rumors that the "Hobbit" movies have been delayed by production problems, insisting the project was still in its early stages.

He told Moviefone.com , "Well, it's not really been delayed, because we've never announced the date. I mean it's sort of interesting because the studio has never greenlit The Hobbit, so therefore The Hobbit has never been officially announced as a 'go' project, nor have we ever announced a date."

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 31 May 2010 19:23

I still don't understand why 2 films. Sometimes I hear they're planning on doing the Hobbit + a movie set in the time between that and LoTR, when Gandalf is first discovering that the Necromancer in Murkwood is actually Sauron returned (IIRC). And then I sometimes here that that's just a rumour. Driving me nuts... guess I should start google researching.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby SandChigger » 31 May 2010 20:53

Yeah, the "2 films" bit has always struck me as just a play for more box office revenues. :roll: If Jackson could compress the three books of LotR into three movies, why does The Hobbit require two?

I enjoyed the three LotR films, but The Hobbit isn't a book I've ever thought, "Gee, I'd really like to see that made into a movie!" about, that I can remember.

Seems too much like they're just milking it, so I'm not really bothered if these movies never get made. :hand:

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Redstar » 01 Jun 2010 00:11

I've been following this sometime, since the rumors of Guillermo as director several years ago. It's sad to see him depart, if only because I was curious what visual touch he might give the Legendarium, but I'm not particularly excited over this movie.

Anyways, from what I was following, they were going to make two films with the first being The Hobbit while the second was a bridge, but the very last I heard was they changed their minds and was just going to stretch it over two. Might be for the best, depending how they'd stretch it out. There are one or two decent cut-off points they could use.

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby trang » 01 Jun 2010 12:19

2 films is over kill, and will confuse new generations of fans. The hobbit is one book, smaller than the others by far, but a grand tale in its own right. I didnt care for the director choice from the start, mainly because I dont care for his movies all that much (they're ok, but not mind blowing or anything)

I dont understand why jackson himself just doesnt come down off the mountain, direct the dam thing himself, knock it out and move on.

Hell if he is dying for a project, go over to paramount and ask if he can take the reigns of DUNE, he might just do a decenct job.

Anyway, will watch it when it comes out, hope its as decent as the LOTR movies, only time will tell
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby TheDukester » 01 Jun 2010 12:46

Typical Hollywood bullshit:

1. A movie that didn't need to be made in the first place;

2. Somehow stretched into two movies, despite being based on a short book that is pretty much a children's adventure (albeit a very well-written one);

3. A project taken over by various egos, none of whom could get on the same page;

4. A studio playing with money it didn't have;

5. Disaster.

Yawn. Wake me when it's out on DVD. Or don't.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 01 Jun 2010 13:05

Didn't need to be made? I'll agree to the rest, but if a work by JRR Tolkien doesn't need to be filmed, then what does?
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby TheDukester » 01 Jun 2010 13:55

Huh? Why does anything need to be filmed? When did that become a requirement for legitimacy?

Keeping with Tolkien as an example: my life would be exactly the same if the LotR movies hadn't been made. I enjoyed them, I thought everyone involved did a great job, and I actually own the DVDs, but that's about as far as I'll go for a piece of entertainment. And had they not been made at all, I'd still have the LotR books sitting on the shelf, waiting to be enjoyed again at a moment's notice.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby DuneFishUK » 01 Jun 2010 14:08

Del Toro is the only guy I can imagine doing a decent job of The Hobbit - sucks that he's gone.

The project itself was good - 2 films.. maybe overkill, but tbh, I'll take 2 hobbit films over 2 Transformers/etc films any day of the week. MGM is the one to blame - they've fucked themselves over to the point that they can't actually make any more movies. And now Hobbit and Bond 23 are both dead in the water.

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby TheDukester » 01 Jun 2010 14:23

I'm probably being a bit harsh on this one, but my patented Cynicism-O-Meter™ kicked in from the very first day. I just saw it as a huge cash-in on the success of the LotR films. Then, when all the rumors and news stories of difficulties with the project began to appear, I found myself thinking that, once again, Hollywood could manage to screw up a free lunch.

(Plus, it's already been filmed! 8) )
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 01 Jun 2010 17:44

TheDukester wrote:Huh? Why does anything need to be filmed? When did that become a requirement for legitimacy?

Keeping with Tolkien as an example: my life would be exactly the same if the LotR movies hadn't been made. I enjoyed them, I thought everyone involved did a great job, and I actually own the DVDs, but that's about as far as I'll go for a piece of entertainment. And had they not been made at all, I'd still have the LotR books sitting on the shelf, waiting to be enjoyed again at a moment's notice.


It's not a requirement, you're the one who listed that! I was questioning why you started your list with, quote: "1. A movie that didn't need to be made in the first place;"

What's the point of that line? Nothing needs to be filmed, so it goes without saying that it was a movie that didn't need to be made, one would/could say that of every movie ever made - my point was this exactly, if you're saying that The Hobbit is an unnecessary movie, then all movies are unnecessary movies by default, thus rendering the statement meaningless. :?

Not sure where your confusion is here!
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby TheDukester » 01 Jun 2010 18:23

Um, yeah ... I'm lost, too. Not sure where your confusion is.

Let's just punt.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 01 Jun 2010 18:26

You said it was a movie that didn't need to be made.

I said that if it didn't need to be made then nothing did.

You agreed with that statement and then asked why I brought the subject up.

I responded that you brought the subject up and I was merely commenting on it. Asked why you thought I brought it up.

You responded asking where my confusion was. Made some football reference which was not not understood by me.

Fun. :D
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Tleszer » 01 Jun 2010 18:39

And now, to clear up all confusion...












:orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake:
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 01 Jun 2010 18:40

Yarr, indeed.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby SandChigger » 01 Jun 2010 22:36

Tleszer wrote: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake:

Definite overkill! There were evidently far too many asses on the project already! :P

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Tleszer » 02 Jun 2010 08:16

I was just gonna have one green tushie, but then I thought: "If one is good, then three must be OUTSTANDING. It works for tehKJAcket, so why not me?"

Although, to be on-topic, it always seemed to me that have two movies was overkill. It would be McDune-esque adding a "bridge" where one isn't really needed. Then again, I haven't read the Hobbit (almost typed Bobbit :oops: ) or the LOTR Trilogy yet, so maybe there is reason to do it.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Hunchback Jack » 02 Jun 2010 11:41

Tleszer wrote:I was just gonna have one green tushie, but then I thought: "If one is good, then three must be OUTSTANDING. It works for tehKJAcket, so why not me?"


Well, that begs the question, now, doesn't it? ;)

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 02 Jun 2010 15:37

Tleszer wrote:I was just gonna have one green tushie, but then I thought: "If one is good, then three must be OUTSTANDING. It works for tehKJAcket, so why not me?"

Although, to be on-topic, it always seemed to me that have two movies was overkill. It would be McDune-esque adding a "bridge" where one isn't really needed. Then again, I haven't read the Hobbit (almost typed Bobbit :oops: ) or the LOTR Trilogy yet, so maybe there is reason to do it.

Seriously? Wow, you're one of very few people who can say that! (Of people that actually read books of course, I'm sure that amongst the general herd there are more people that haven't read much of anything).
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Jun 2010 15:45

I think The Hobbit was one of the first real "chapter books" I ever read, admittedly due to peer pressure.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 02 Jun 2010 16:04

It must have been one of my first, though I don't remember reading it. I remember LoTR being the first trilogy I ever read, read it when I was in grade 3.
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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Tleszer » 02 Jun 2010 16:08

About that McDune comment, perhaps I was a little off-base, considering that there actually is a ton of backstory that Tolkien put into the novels. Even though it would be an incredibly detailed "outline," I doubt it has the same connective-tissue as an actual novel.

I've had The Hobbit for years, but at the time I received it as a gift from my cousin, it just didn't look appealing to me. Of course, that was just based on the back cover since I hadn't bothered to open the thing. Basing a book on its cover... blasphemy, I know! Then again, this was the cover:

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby SandChigger » 02 Jun 2010 16:28

Eew! Characters in the illustration look like they've escaped from a bad production of The Tempest! :?

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Re: Director quits 'Hobbit' film over production delay

Postby Redstar » 02 Jul 2010 20:40

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=67316

Apparently, Peter Jackson is in talks to direct The Hobbit himself. While he'll do it justice, I was hoping for a very Pan's Labryinth-style atmosphere.