It's Official - Guillermo del Toro Directing The Hobbit!
Guillermo promised us an official announcement this week - and now here it is. Late Thursday afternoon it was 100% confirmed - the soon-to-be legendary director Guillermo del Toro is officially attached to direct The Hobbit. Variety confirms the announcement today from executive producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, New Line president Toby Emmerich, and MGM president Mary Parent. Guillermo will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work with Jackson and WETA in order to produce the new two Hobbit films back-to-back - which will be released in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
This is definitely a glorious day in the world of Middle Earth! Production is now moving forward and all contracts have been signed to finally start work on The Hobbit. Warner Brothers will be distributing the film in the US and MGM will be distributing it internationally. As was announced previously, the first film will be an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's entire book, and the second will be a newly imagined story focusing on the 60-year period between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
The Hobbit is set in a time "between the dawn of Faerie and the Dominion of Men," and follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins to win his share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. His journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings and into darker, deeper territory, meeting various denizens of the Wilderland along the way. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature and utilizing both his wits and common sense during the quest, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. Synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia.
Now that it's been officially confirmed, it sounds like Guillermo won't be doing At the Mountains of Madness for a very long time and won't be doing Hellboy III at least until he finishes both Hobbit movies in 2011. I'd say this is a very promising future for del Toro and I can't wait to see his interpretation of the beloved Tolkien universe. Now I'm even more excited for Hellboy II: The Golden Army this summer. What are your thoughts on Guillermo del Toro officially directing The Hobbit? Is he the next best replacement for Peter Jackson?