Jackson is Not Directing the Hobbit Films

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Since the big announcement yesterday that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit” for New Line and MGM, fans and Hollywood have wondered if Jackson will direct the films as well. According to Entertainment Weekly, he is not because fans would have to wait a long time for his schedule to clear up:

While MGM and New Line want to keep Jackson’s involvement in the film as broad as possible, hinting that he may take up both writing and directing responsibilities, Jackson’s manager Ken Kamins told Hollywood Insider that Jackson won’t be directing the films. “Peter won’t be directing because he felt the fans have waited long enough for The Hobbit. It will take the better part of every day of the next four years to write, direct and produce two Hobbit films. Given his current obligations to both The Lovely Bones and Tintin, waiting for Peter, Fran, and Phillippa to write, direct and produce The Hobbit would require the fans wait even longer.”

So who will direct? Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man” films), Guillermo del Toro (“Hellboy” films) and Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) are names that have come up, but no decision has been made, says New Line’s co-chair Robert Shaye. “There is obviously a small but significant number of directors who could handle two films of this magnitude, but we have no commitment to anybody. Now that Peter is an integral part of the decision-making process, we all have to see eye-to-eye on any candidate we try to enlist.”

The creative powers are expected to start planning the films in early 2008.

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