Del Toro hobbles ‘Hobbit’

Posted by · 8:13 am · May 31st, 2010

You’ve probably heard the news by now, but in case you haven’t, here’s a précis via Variety:

Guillermo Del Toro has dropped out directing “The Hobbit” movies due to the ongoing delays in getting the films greenlit. Del Toro made the surprise announcement Sunday on The One Ring web site, adding that he will continue to co-write the screenplays based on J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”

“It’s not greenlit,” he told reporters. “That’s categorical. We’ve been caught in a very tangled negotiation. There cannot be any start dates until the MGM situation gets resolved. They do hold a considerable portion of the rights.”

I appear to be the only — well, maybe not the only — person on the internet not crushed by this news, so feel free to vent and speculate in the comments. Who would you like to see take up the reins? I hear rumors it’s a close-run thing between Béla Tarr and Brett Ratner.

→ 25 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

25 responses so far

  • 1 5-31-2010 at 8:24 am

    The Dude said...

    RATNER!? I just threw up a little…

  • 2 5-31-2010 at 8:28 am

    Gustavo H. Razera said...

    I couldn’t care less.

  • 3 5-31-2010 at 8:58 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Let that be a lesson to you never to take me too seriously, The Dude.

  • 4 5-31-2010 at 9:07 am

    Al said...

    Oh thank god, if that Ratner thing was true I probably would have had a stroke.

  • 5 5-31-2010 at 9:17 am

    Andrew m said...

    Alfonso Cuarón? Very close friends, so I could see it if he can finish Gravity in time.

  • 6 5-31-2010 at 9:26 am

    James D. said...

    Guy, you gave me a two minute internal dream into how much better the Lord of the Rings trilogy would have been with Béla Tarr as the director.

  • 7 5-31-2010 at 9:46 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Robert Luketic? Andy Tennant? Michael Patrick King?

    There are so many options out there, everyone.

  • 8 5-31-2010 at 10:30 am

    Maxim said...

    As I said before, Ratner is actually fine director. His films are as good as the material dictates, never worse. He ever has style florishes that are, at time impressive. I don’t mind being on record on saying this yet again.

    Comments like the one from The Dude above are about as inappropriate as they are cliche. You are supposed hate Ratner. We get it. Go back to reading what else Harry Knowles has to say.

    That said the man is a jerk and that’s probably why he’s unpopular (then again, internet nerds at large are stupid so on and on it goes).

    All of this is beside the point though. What a lot of people seem to ignore even if it’s sort of obvious it’s that if Del Toro found it necessary to step out then it probably means that the project is not really at a point where mulling other contenders is really appropriate.

    I will say one thing though – poor Peter Jackson.

    P.S. Nothing Jeff Wells ever says should be quoted for support.

  • 9 5-31-2010 at 10:32 am

    Michael said...

    haha, Michael Patrick King! Hats off to that one, I don’t think it would have dawned on me to pull that name out of nowhere like that. Very impressive indeed. This is fun.

  • 10 5-31-2010 at 11:39 am

    Carlo said...

    alfonso cuaron could be a good choice.

  • 11 5-31-2010 at 11:50 am

    Nel said...

    Alejandro Amenábar or Juan Antonio Bayona
    If we are going in the Del Toro vibe?

    I am actually split on this as a part of me can see why Del Toro was suited to the project but another part feels like a more anglocentric director would be suitable.

  • 12 5-31-2010 at 12:02 pm

    tintin said...

    Del toro was PERFECT! :(

  • 13 5-31-2010 at 12:02 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I think “Agora” demonstrated that Amenábar should be encouraged toward smaller budgets.

  • 14 5-31-2010 at 12:21 pm

    The Dude said...

    @ Guy: You so got me with that one… :)

    @ Maxim: I agree that part of the reason Ratner’s movies are generally panned is that the material he’s given tends to be lackluster. But I feel that the “does the best with what he’s got” argument is more appropriate with actors rather than directors, as the director can greatly influence what parts of a screenplay are embellished or re-written/tweaked. He may have the skills to make a great movie (and there are a few moments, albeit a few, where he shows this), he hasn’t made a film yet (in my opinion) that shows that he may actually do it. His track record speaks for itself.

    But my comment really isn’t about taking the cliche route (although, admittedly, that’s how it comes off…my apologies). I just think that Ratner and Tolkien would be an unwise cinematic match-up. The style of the LOTR movies just does not lend itself to Ratner’s style AT ALL. It would be a mess of a movie. I would have had the same reaction if you had said Sophia Coppola was in the running (I love her movies, but a Hobbit film by her would most likely be pretty awful).

    As far as who SHOULD replace del Toro…Cuaron is my favorite suggestion, as he has already proven that he can make a good fantasy film (while appeasing die-hard book fans…hello, Harry Potter). Tarsem Singh would also be an interesting choice. We’ll see how this develops.

  • 15 5-31-2010 at 1:02 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Scrap the project and spare us all

  • 16 5-31-2010 at 1:27 pm

    Jim T said...


    Cameron would give a “big message”.
    Scott would give heroic line deliveries and swords.
    Burton would make everyhting black and weird.

    I say Bigelow.

  • 17 5-31-2010 at 2:32 pm

    Cameron said...

    They should get Terry Gilliam-but no one would trust him with a budget like that

  • 18 5-31-2010 at 3:12 pm

    Red said...

    It’s pretty much too late to just scrap the project. All the designs (costume, set, etc.) are finished, Hobbiton is already rebuilt…Hell, PJ said about a month ago that they had 30 hours of DVD film to put on the special features.

    I highly doubt it happens, but I hope PJ ends up doing it. Forcing another director to come in and film two movies on this kind of scale with 2 years of somebody else’s concepts and ideas being thrown in his hands?

  • 19 5-31-2010 at 5:02 pm

    Roger said...

    Most Definetly Jackson should finish! C’mon. I bet this is a sign! No one can continue the Job like him! I trust fans can wait a little longer to have him a no one else doin it!

  • 20 5-31-2010 at 6:30 pm

    Me. said...

    Del Toro isn’t directing any longer?! WHAT?! :'(

    That being sad, Bela Tarr wouldn’t be a bad choice. or Jackson. Not Ratner though (although you never know, maybe he’ll do a good directing job).

  • 21 5-31-2010 at 10:38 pm

    Red said...

    Now PJ is saying that if they can’t find a suitable replacement, he will do it. Sticky situation though, since he is already under contract to start two films next year, and he isn’t sure if he’d be able to get out of them.

  • 22 6-02-2010 at 3:22 am

    ninja said...

    Who couldn`t see this coming? GDT likes creative freedom so I doubt there was much of it in the production that is more concented with continuity to LOTR rather than adapting the book itself. Hence why they went with the two movies cash-grab that contains a lot of filler that isn`t in the source but other Tolkien work, which will considerably darken what`s otherwise an adorable adventure story.

    That Jackson will direct in the end is a no-brainer. It just question of paycheck. He needs the Hobbit more than the Hobbit needs him because after the TLB debacle and KK`s very iffy success (Universal flatly dismissed Halo movie after $200 mio KK made $550 worldwide,which tells you something about KK`s profitability or lack thereof) , his director cred is on the shakey ground.

  • 23 6-02-2010 at 2:12 pm

    John said...

    Tintin will probably redeem him. The word is that even though Spielberg has director credit with Jackson as producer, Jackson directed almost the entire thing. Not to mention that District 9 got Jackson another Oscar nomination this year.

  • 24 6-03-2010 at 4:58 am

    ninja said...

    D9 got him a nom as a producer, not director, thanks to Top 10 change. The movie wouldn`t have gotten in if they had kept Top 5. Also, D9 is highly overrated. Star Trek was much better and despite what D9 fanboys say, D9 got the same critical and response as Avatar. ST got better reviews than both but ranks on about the same as D9 and Avatar (actually ranking is Avatar 8.4, D9 8.3, ST 8.2). So only from minority`s POV, D9 is the best sci fi of the decade or such laughable hypebole. I mean, it`s a movie that rips off The Fly among other things. Great performance by Copley,though.

    That said, I`ve never read Tintin but Wiki`d it just to see what the hype is all about and I`m not going to see that crap. Plus, it has charisma blackhole Billy Elliot Jimmy guy in it so it`s definitely a sit-out for me.

    Jackson = overrated. Heavenly Creatures and FOTR were masterpieces, TTT and ROTK entertaining back in the time but don`t hold up well and KK and TLB were garbage. He needs The Hobbit to restore his rep but to pull that off he`ll have to go back to storytelling and character and drop CGI overkill and overuse of slo mo. The guy is the Roland Emmerich of slo mo in that he is only concerned with how to out-slo mo his previous slo mo. People run, yell, die, cry and type in slo mo in his movies, what`s next? Hope we never find out.

  • 25 6-03-2010 at 6:54 am

    John said...

    It’s interesting that you think he’s “overrated” even though you believe he’s directed two “masterpieces” while his “director cred is on the shakey ground.”