'Ongoing Delays' Make Guillermo del Toro Leave 'The Hobbit'

The Mexican filmmaker who was set to helm the film has announced that he passes on the said duty, but will still work on the screenplays until they 'are fine tuned and polished.'

AceShowbiz - After a long wait for the production of "The Hobbit", Guillermo del Toro has eventually decided to say goodbye to the project. The moviemaker has announced on Sunday, May 30 that he pulls out of the helming duty for both installments of the film.

"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," del Toro states to The One Ring. "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."

He adds, "The blessings have been plenty, but 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 wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product."

Explaining further about del Toro's departure, Peter Jackson who is "sad" with the decision says, "We understand how the protracted development time on these two films, due to reasons beyond anyone's control - has compromised his commitment to other long term projects. The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn't feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years."

The producer also states that del Toro still commits to co-write the script for "The Hobbit" with him, Fran Walsh as well as Phillippa Boyens. "...and happily our writing partnership will continue for several more months, until the scripts are fine tuned and polished," Jackson claims.

The filmmakers, New Line and Warner Bros. will meet together this week while they are looking for a new director for "The Hobbit". Jackson also believes that del Toro's departure will not cause "any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work."

As of late, Jackson has affirmed that "The Hobbit" is not put on indefinite hold. Responding to del Toro's statement that the project has not got green light, Jackson said, "It's not really been delayed, because we've never announced the date." He additionally affirmed that "November is still a target for a start date."

"The Hobbit" will re-create the scenes of the novel, with additional events that make an impact to "The Lords of the Rings", such as the expulsion of Sauron from Mirkwood by The White Council. It will be split into two parts, with the first movie slated to arrive in December 2012 while "The Hobbit 2" will come out a year later.

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