If you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may not have heard that Guillermo del Toro dropped out of The Hobbit last week. He was supposed to helm the two films that precede the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the constant production delays seem to have forced the visionary director out. News of his departure was met with cheers and tears and finally the man himself has released a letter to the fans via TheOneRing.net giving his official farewell…

So, here I am again. As promised, I am posting a longer message before the week’s end.

I have to thank those of you that have supported me from the start as well as those that converted along the way. And even say farewell to those that never did convert or believed.

I will miss Mr. Crere, the faith of Compa and Sir DennisC, the wisdom of Voronwe, the joy of Grammaboodawg, the support of Kangi Ska and so many, many others

Now, Pasi, et al- that is what is quite uncommon even on big films. Pete and co stuck to LOTR for years, I’ve developed films for years and I have shot many a movie on location… but rarely do you relocate for such massive amount of time specially when you have to do major ironclad agreements to put in deep freeze other contractual obligations with multiple studios.

My commitment to the project demanded enormous sacrifices both in personal and professional terms. The consequences of which will ripple for years. I relocated my entire life and family to New Zealand and first came on board in 2008.

So- while the cited delays, contractual complexities or obstacles, cannot be attributed to a single event or entity – you will simply have to believe that they were of sufficient complexity and severity to lead to the current situation. Trust me on this, Pasi- leaving NZ and the Hobbit crew is extremely painful.

As stated before- a wealth of designs, animatics, boards and sculptures is left behind representing accurately my ideas for Mirkwood, Spiders, Wargs, Stone Trolls, etc, etc and everyone (PJ, FW, PB and myself) has the same goal in mind: to try and ensure the best possible transition of the movie to a new director.

I believe these films will happen. Preproduction continues as we speak. The writing team of PJ,FW,PB and myself will keep moving the screenplays forward.

Perhaps even sooner than we may anticipate we will all look at the finished film and then- I will tear up whenever I recognize a set or a creature or a quirk created under my supervision. Everyone on these boards will get two movies. Me? I will be watching filmic family albums. Photos of my children from far away.

I hope you will understand how delicate the subject is for me.

I will drop by now and then, I will read the boards with interest and do hope to see some of you around at SDCC and many other places.

I am not here, however, to provide a blow-by-blow of what happened, but to assure you, as I have, that it has been the toughest situation of my life.

Beyond that- I am simply no longer an official voice for these projects. Be good, be well- and I invite you all to follow me into the next phase of my filmmaking journey.



There you have it. This is extremely exciting news. Not because I like to see things go down burning in flames but because this leaves del Toro open for his original creations and movies that he’s been wanting to do. I would much rather have two del Toro originals than two more LOTR movies. No matter who makes The Hobbit, it’s still going to look and feel like its predeccessors. It doesn’t matter if you have del Toro or Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers), you’d still get the same Lord of the Rings type vibe. Sure, a Troll may tell a penis joke, but beyond that it isk going to be business as usual.

Guillermo del Toro would have brought (and will continue to bring) some fresh creatures and ideas to the films. But, in the end, I think we should all be excited about what we’re going to see next from the master of fantasy and strange.

Do you feel the same way? Or did you want more LOTR?