Guillermo Del Toro Frontrunner to Direct THE HOBBIT

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Guillermo Del Toro (a mighty fanboy himself) is in talks to direct J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, to be co-financed by New Line and MGM.
New Line and MGM are serious about getting THE HOBBIT to the big screen and to ensure it's success they want a director who knows the material and understands how to translate it all to film for the fans.

Guillermo Del Toro certainly fits the bill and is well known for being a fanboy himself when it comes to films, comic books and more. He has had plenty of experience with fantasy as seen in his films; Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy and Blade 2.

THE HOBBIT, which is to be made into two films, is expected to begin production in 2009 with a budget of $150 million per film. The release dates are slated for 2010 and 2011.

With the current WGA strike there is no writer attached but once things are resolved THE HOBBIT will be on a fast track with Del Toro and Peter Jackson overseeing all writing.
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Hollywood Reporter