Director Del Toro Quits The Hobbit
Blames ongoing delays; will help with screenplay
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2010 8:15 AM CDT
In this Aug. 19, 2008 file photo, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro poses for the media during a photo call to promote the movie "Hellboy 2-The Golden Army" in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Miguel Villagran, File)

(Newser) – The highly anticipated Hobbit movies have found themselves without a director. Guillermo del Toro quit “in light of ongoing delays,” he announced, calling it “the hardest decision of my life.” Del Toro will still assist with writing the screenplays for the two prequels, the Dominion Post reports. He blamed the delays on “conflicting schedules”; at a press conference last week, he confirmed MGM had not yet greenlit the project because of “a very tangled negotiation.”

"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," he said. “The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn’t feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years,” producer Peter Jackson told TheOneRing.net.