Guillermo del Toro was an inspired pick to direct the The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If anybody can keep Bilbo from getting cute – and keep Gollum genuinely creepy -- it’s the director of Pan’s Labyrinth. When del Toro visited Studio 360 last summer, he talked with Kurt about his fascination with vampires and the fantastical, and the collaborative creative team behind The Hobbit: “It’s like a dream come true, frankly.”
But Del Toro has just backed out of the project; he said in a statement that “the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project.” (Variety reports on the studio delays and financial quagmires that have held up the project, including MGM’s $3.7 billion of debt.) Del Toro will stay on as a screenwriter but gets to leave New Zealand, which may be good for his health; he told Kurt about the kilos he’d gained from the down-under meringue called pavlova.
You can hear their full conversation here.
- David Krasnow