It’s Official: Guillermo del Toro is on for the Hobbit

We’ve been hanging on tenterhooks for this news, and it’s finally arrived. Announced on Thursday, Guillermo del Toro will be directing the Hobbit movies, the prequels to the wildly successful The Lord of the Rings movies.
Variety made the announcement, quoting executive producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, New Line president Toby Emmerich, and Mary Parent, newly named chief of MGM’s Worldwide Motion Picture Group.

And the news looks very promising for a 2011/2012 pair of release dates. Del Toro will be moving to New Zealand for a four year period once he finishes with Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. He’ll be working with Jackson and his Wingnut and Weta production teams, the award winning teams behind Jackson’s LotR.

We’d been waiting on this announcement for awhile now, with only just last week del Toro announcing that something would develop soon; it did. Four months after New Line settled their massive lawsuit with Peter Jackson over LotR funds distribution, the film will be split in to two movies, bridging in the 60 year gap between Tolkien’s 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'.


Concerns were raised amongst fans of the films once they heard this however. Tolkien never actually wrote an entire book on this period. However what we can expect to see is a ‘The Hobbit’ film, followed by a movie which uses much of the details from Tolkien’s expansive appendices. In addition, throughout the Lord of the Rings books, mention was made of the movements of Gandalf, Aragorn/Stride, Boromir and Legolas prior to converging on Rivendell to join the Fellowship.

I’m actually really looking forward to these movies, the second more than the Hobbit. There is a lot of material that could be put in to a prequel movie to the Lord of the Rings storyline, and to get a look at lotr001life in Middle Earth prior to and during Sauron’s rise and return will be interesting.

No screenplay has been set, and no start date on production has been set either. However it is expected that del Toro will work together with Jackson, Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the trio who wrote the Lord of the Rings screenplays. And, with del Toro blocking out the next four years, an educated guess puts film releases for late 2011 and 2012.

Either way, bring on more Tolkien I say!

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