Having had months of rather depressing news that The Hobbit would be made without Peter Jackson in sight, came the rather joyful news that Peter Jackson would actually be involved. But due to his commitments on Tin Tin and Lovely Bones, he could only serve as executive producer, with approval over creative elements of the films. There were also rumblings that Jackson and fellow Lord Of The Rings writer Fran Walsh, would have some input on the script. Things keep getting better and better, and The Hobbit’s boulder of joy continues to roll: Guillermo Del Toro is apparently in talks to take the director’s chair.
With continuity the main issue, having a fellow plump and bearded man in the directors chair can only be a good thing. Witnessing Peter Jacksons dramatic weight loss while shooting the trilogy, Del Toro may want a bit of that Middle Earth weight loss goodness. But whatever his motives, having Guillermo del Toro as director is a great thing. Fans have been wanting Del Toro directing ever since it was announced Jackson couldn’t. Toro is best known for his work on Blade 2 and Hellboy, with the sequel being released later this year. Not only that, Pans Labyrinth earned 3 Oscars, along with another 61 wins and 55 nominations. Not only that, he turned down the chance to direct I Am Legend, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Halo, for Hellboy II: The Golden Army. If that isn’t dedication to something you love, then I don’t know what is.
The Hobbit is expected to start filming sometime in 2009, to be released in 2010, and the second in 2011. The films are expected to be filmed back-to-back, with each film being given $150 million budget. New Line are hoping the films will bring in similar numbers to The Lord Of The Rings, which is currently the highest grossing trilogy in the history of the universe.
2010 is a heck of a long time to wait, but if all goes well, it will be worth the wait!