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May 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The long-drawn-out efforts to sell MGM, which owns the rights to The Hobbit, have resulted in the decision by Guillermo del Toro to pull out of directing the planned two-part movie based on the J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings prequel. “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,” del Toro wrote on website. “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.” Del Toro said that he would “fully support a smooth transition to a new director.” In a separate statement, producer Peter Jackson said that the film had been delayed “due to reasons beyond anyone’s control” and expressed sympathy for del Toro’s predicament. Meanwhile, Jackson’s manager, Ken Kamins, told the website that Jackson himself has “commitments to other films that would make it impossible for him to direct The Hobbit at this time.” There is still no word on when filming of The Hobbit will begin.