Photo from Splash NewsLord of the Rings fans are bummed about news that director Guillermo del Toro has quit The Hobbit. Calling it "the hardest decision of his life," del Toro cited ongoing delays as the reason for leaving the project -- after two years working on the film, MGM still has not set a start date. He will, however, still assist producer Peter Jackson in writing the screenplays for the two LOTR prequels.
Del Toro seemed an obvious match for The Hobbit because as his resume shows -- Pan's Labyrinth, Blade II, and the two Hellboy movies -- he's a great action director. Jackson has said he will discuss options for a new director with MGM this week ... in the meantime, fans are speculating as to who would be the best replacement:
- Neill Blomkamp -- This South African director won huge acclaim for his first feature film, last year's hit District 9 (which, incidentally, was produced by Peter Jackson).
- Sam Raimi -- The director of Army of Darkness and the Spider-Man films has expressed interest in the project.
- Ridley Scott -- After all, he is the king of the historical-fantasy genre.
- Brad Bird -- The man behind Up, Ratatouille, and Mission Impossible: IV has tons of experience directing family-oriented, live-action flicks.
- Fran Walsh: I know, I know: Jackson's wife is a writer. But she was also Assistant Second Unit Director on The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. She's my personal favorite choice to helm the project because I'd love to see what she could do.
Who would you most like to see direct The Hobbit?