A representative for "Harry Potter" moviemaker David Yates has shot down reports he's signed up to direct troubled "Lord of the Rings" prequel "The Hobbit". Speculation has been rife about who will take over from Guillermo Del Toro, who quit the project in May because of the ongoing delays.
Yates has recently been linked to the role - but the rumors have been dismissed by officials at the Creative Artists Agency. The director's rep tells TheWrap the reports are "not true at all".
"The Hobbit", based on J.R.R. Tolkien's first book, has been thrown into jeopardy due to ongoing financial problems at MGM Studios, which was put up for sale in 2009 after falling heavily into debt. The film will split into two parts, with the first movie slated to arrive in December 2012 while "The Hobbit 2" will come out a year later.
After announcing his departure from the project, Guillermo Del Toro stated he would still team up with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to finish the screenplay. Jackson, who will serve as producer, recently was reported to be approached by Warner Bros. and MGM to take the helming duty.