It is nice to be able to write about the upcoming 2-part film The Hobbit and not have bad news. It is the reason I have mostly avoided the topic until now. Today I have some of the best news nerds all over the world could possibly get. Guillermo del Toro is officially out as director and his replacement is Peter Jackson!
Peter Jackson is the now legendary director who was responsible for the original trilogy of films that were The Lord of the Rings. He has been onboard as producer for the new series of prequel films, but bringing him out of the shadows and sitting him in the director's chair is a big move, bound to change the look and feel of the films, and hopefully the direction.
Hit the break for some of the changes and more.
MGM, the fairly bankrupt division of Disney that people tend to forget about, had been playing around with funding, possibly in an effort to get rid of Del Toro (speculation, of course). The official reasons were provided to The One Ring, stating,
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. 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... The mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director.
Definitely mention of negotiation troubles with MGM, could have been over money to start the project. No matter the reasons, though, the heart and soul of the original films will be retaking the helm of the iconic Tolkien franchise. We hope the next 6 years of filming with expensive equipment in the middle of nowhere helps to recover a career hurt drastically by King Kong and Lovely Bones.