As expected, over two weeks after the announcement that director Guillermo del Toro had departed the planned two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, there’s been a lot of rumors and speculation about who might take over. The most chatter has been about whether producer Peter Jackson may take on the directing reins himself, something that’s been shot down a number of times due to other commitments. According to Deadline, who have had a lot of contact with Jackson’s manager, the two studios behind the anticipated prequel, Warner Bros. and MGM, are working hard on getting Jackson to change his mind and direct the two movies.
So far no one else has been offered the job, although there’s been talk of David Yates, who just finished filming the last of his four “Harry Potter” movies, Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin and yes, even Brett Ratner. Yates already has a good relationship with Warners having helmed another fantasy franchise and the latter two have directed many blockbuster hits for New Line. Part of the problems finding a new director according to Deadline is that so much of the gross of the movie has been committed to other people involved with the long-developing project that there wouldn’t be much left for a director who comes on board now.
As far as Del Toro and thoughts on what he may do next, the director contacted his fansite Del Toro Films about recent rumors of a new take on Van Helsing for Universal Studios. He let them know he won’t be making any decisions or announcements on what he’ll do next until next month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, which has long been a venue for the “Geek Pope” to address his followers.
In the statement, Del Toro says:
Van Helsing (writing and producing) is still in talks and not quite certain. Even then, I would like to share my plans only at COMICON. I am taking it slowly and marking very, very carefully the calendar of projects that I will be involved as producer, writer, etc I will not announce the project I intend to direct until then . I am very happy to say that all the projects and partnerships being considered are both quite surprising and, I hope, powerful. Much as I want, I cannot say much more at this time but I anxiously await to share these with you. I will be shopping on the floor in San DIego for several days. See you there!!
Stay tuned for more details on The Hobbit and Del Toro’s future plans as they arise.