When it was announced that Guillermo del Toro would be directing the movie adaptation of The Hobbit, it seemed like a match made in heaven. Del Toro is one of modern cinema’s premier fantasists, and his vision for The Hobbit simply sounded amazing. Unfortunately, certain financial issues surrounding the film, which have led to the start date getting pushed back again and again, have caused Del Toro to announce that he will no longer be directing the film.
On the positive side, Del Toro is still co-writing the two Hobbit films along with Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh, so there’s that. But even so, I have a hard time thinking of anyone who would be as equal to the task as Del Toro. Jeffrey Overstreet has some ideas for a new director — Peter Jackson, Alfonso Cuarón, Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton — but I share his reservations about all of them.
I’d rather they just shut down production of the film altogether than move forward with a director who won’t do J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories justice. And while I’m certainly disappointed that Del Toro’s leaving The Hobbit, I am excited that he’s leaving in order to focus on other projects that he has in development, such as Hellboy 3 and At the Mountains of Madness.