Update: del Toro has announced that he has left The Hobbit, releasing this statement to One Ring:
“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. 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. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. 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. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director.”
(The following is the original post)
Hey it’s a slow news weekend, so here’s your update on the extremely gradual progress of The Hobbit. Guillermo del Toro is ready to shoot the moment MGM is sold or the film rights are transferred. Commenting that they’ve been caught in a tangled negotiation, he asserts that the film has not been greenlit, has no start date; nor is there any truth to rumors of 3-D. The current budget is for 2-D filming, though of course that could change.
Lest you think the project is at a complete standstill, del Toro says that in the two years he’s been on the project, creatures and sets have been designed, animatics and many sequences have been planned.
So, er…go back to your beer and barbecuing and please stand by.