Date: 2nd June 2010

Del Toro Won't Direct The Hobbit

Guillermo del Toro will no longer direct the two movies based on JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, reports said.

Speaking exclusively to fan site The One Ring, Del Toro said it was with "great regret" that he would be "taking leave" of the films.

"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," he said.

However, del Toro added that he will continue to co-write the screenplays.

The project - which has already been delayed for several years - is expected to last longer than originally expected.

Executive producer Peter Jackson reportedly said Del Toro could not commit to living in New Zealand for that long.

Source: Press Release