During the premier of "The Orphanage" in France, director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) has confirmed that he will take on the helming duties for the upcoming two "Hobbit" films. Up until now, it has been reported that del Toro was only in talks to direct.
The video is in Spanish and French, but the exact thing that del Toro agreed to was when the following was said: "Today is a big day, because we are announcing what everyone wanted to hear, which is that he will be directing 'The Hobbit.'"
Principal photography for the films, which will be shot simultaneously, is tentatively set for 2009. The production budget is estimated at $150 million per film. The release of the first film is slated for 2010 and the second in 2011.
"Hobbit," which Tolkien initially wrote for his children, was published in the UK in 1937 to wide acclaim. It centered on Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who joins a group of dwarves and the wizard Gandalf on a quest to find the treasure of a dragon named Smaug. Tolkien went on to write "The Lord of the Rings" 17 years later.
Ugh. Count me out. Del Toro directing the Hobbit is the worst news I've heard yet on the film. Hold out for Jackson. Get rid of Bob Shaye, whatever. But not Bilbo's Labyrinth. Ugh. What a waste of an opportunity to really deliver what fans are waiting for, more LOTR. Stories require storyTELLERS, not just guys who come up with weird, meaningless characters. and I say again, ugh.