The Hobbit Loses Director Guillermo Del Toro
Posted on Mon May 31, 2010 03:11 PM PDT

deltoro200.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - After several delays in getting The Hobbit greenlit, director Guillermo Del Toro has called it quits.

The director made the announcement on the fan website,, but he did add that he'd continue co-writing screenplays based on J.R.R. Tolkien's book.

In a statement, Del Toro writes:

    "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."

Earlier this week, Del Toro admitted at a news conference that the pics had not been greenlit due to MGM's financial crisis. On the fan website, he adds:

"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 wish 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."

Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving are said to be attached to the film.