TheOneRing.net has posted a slew of spy reports from various sources, with lots of different tidbits on production of The Hobbit films. Perhaps most shocking of these: District 9 director Neill Blomkamp could be in the running to take the helm.
Even though Guillermo del Toro left the project recently, apparently production and casting is continuing as normal, as if there were a director present (as MrCere notes in the article, casting without a director would be a little strange). Additionally, shooting is said to begin in early 2011 as opposed to the end of this year, which had previously been stated to be the start date by people such as Ian McKellen.
Peter Jackson does not want to direct the films – despite studios trying to convince him in order to get the project moving, he wouldn’t have hired del Toro all that time ago if he wanted to direct it himself. And according to one of TheOneRing.net’s sources:
(I) was given the breakdown details for the film, which included who the director is: Neil Bloomkamp.
MrCere already commented on the spelling there, so I won’t do it again. Jackson and Blomkamp have already established a good working relationship; Jackson having worked as producer on D9. So this isn’t out of the realm of possibility at all, and MrCere states that: “My personal opinion is that this information is correct.” Hm.
A summary of the film’s overall status is provided for us:
1. Jackson doesn’t want to do it
2. He wants somebody he trusts and can be sure of
3. Casting is happening now
4. Pre-pre-production is happening now
5. MGM and Warners need a talent in place yesterday
6. The platform for making a big genre splash announcement is approaching
7. The schedule fits with rumors from many sources
8. Many spies are sounding similar notes
9. One tells us they have seen the film breakdown with Blomkamp directing
Let me go on the record as saying I don’t really want this. District 9 was an absolutely amazing film, and I don’t want to see new original projects from Blomkamp put on the backburner in order for The Hobbit to get made. It already ate up a huge amount of Guillermo del Toro’s time, another director who I’m desperately looking forward to new films from. Don’t get me wrong: The Lord of the Rings trilogy makes up three of my favourite films of all time. And I’d love to see a Hobbit film. With some of del Toro’s creativity already in place in pre-production, I guess I just wish Peter Jackson would direct it himself.
On the other hand, a Blomkamp-directed Hobbit could be awesome. So it wouldn’t be the end of the world.