May 30, 2010 11:58 PM EST

Guillermo Del Toro Drops Out of The Hobbit

Guillermo Del Toro Drops Out of The Hobbit
Variety has reported that Guillermo Del Toro has dropped out of directing "The Hobbit". The surprising news is said to be due the delays in the film getting greenlit.

Del Toro said "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. 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 went on to say, "I've been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director."

Del Toro said that he will continue to co-write the "The Hobbit" screenplays.  

Source: Variety
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