A French Tolkien fan site, Elbakin.net, brings us the news that Del Toro has openly confirmed he was chosen to direct. The same source mentions that he confirmed that he will be directing both movies, so any speculation on whether Peter Jackson would be directing the second movie would be wiped away in one go. The French site Tolkien-universe.com gives even more details:
“A l'avant première de la dernière production du réalisateur, L'Orphelinat, à l'UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles, à Paris. Durant un débat avec le public, Del Toro a annoncé qu'il avait été choisi pour réaliser Bilbo le Hobbit !”
This news could probably be correct, but we have to wait for the official announcement. For those who don’t understand French, it says that at the avant-premiere of the movie L’Orphelinat, at the UGC Cinema in Paris, Del Toro has announced during a debate with the public that he would direct The Hobbit. Personally I don’t know what to think about Guillermo Del Toro as a director of the two The Hobbit movies, because of the reactions he gave in the interview with the Hollywood Insider:
“I tried my best to read Lord of the Rings, the trilogy. I could not. I could not. They were very dense. And then one day, I bought The Hobbit. I read it and I loved it. So it would be a privilege. But listen, I wish I knew. At this stage, after Hellboy II, I’m unemployed. [Laughs]”
It seems to me very strange to have a director for the two The Hobbit movies who found The Lord of the Rings too dense and openly says he was unable to read it; especially if the second movie is supposed to make a bridge between the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, where a lot of the ‘dense’ appendices will need to be used to make a good movie (luckily it will be Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh who will write the script). I remember very well the reactions on the news that Peter Jackson would make a movie adaptation of the Lord of the Rings; where most believed he would ruin everything and some Tolkien fans still think the same today. As for now it seems a lot of the Lord of the Rings fans will be glad with Del Toro as director, but I’m certain a lot of Tolkien book lovers will be filled with fear all over again.
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