It seems that the long-delayed two-part epic The Hobbit has found its new director in a bright-eyed newcomer named Peter Jackson! That's right, fanboys and fangirls around the world have reason to rejoice as Deadline is reporting that the original visionary behind the magnificent movies that were The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is in negotiations to retake the reigns of the Tolkien film legacy and direct the two films. Things appear to be going smoothly and Jackson is likely to free himself from conflicting commitments as negotiations with studios Warner Bros. and MGM move forward.
The outlook for The Hobbit was looking rather bleak last month when director Guillermo Del Toro was forced to drop out of the film due to the notoriously excessive delays caused by the upheld property rights owned by the bankrupt MGM. Rumors over the last few weeks had Jackson protege Neil Blomkamp of District 9 as a candidate to take the role. However, there was very little substance to the notion, other than Jackson's connection to Blomkamp, and official denials were made. There were also a few sadists that found it funny to spread rumors that Brett Ratner was in talks to take the job. (Let that never be spoken again.)
At this point, as Del Toro would reveal in his explanation for leaving the project, the person who would ultimately direct the film, would be required to sacrifice nearly six full years of attention to the project. -- Quite an enormous thing to ask for any working director, much less one experienced enough to be offered the job. As a result, the Captain of this ship called The Hobbit would have to be someone wiling to be "out at sea" for a very long time, with heart and passion for the material, who was also willing forgo the professional vanity of a diverse film resume for the better part of the next decade. ...Well that narrows things down, doesn't it?
Much like the task of delivering the Ring of Power to Mount Doom, it was, on paper, full of worthy candidates. However, it required a specific type of character with an inner strength to resist the evil band of doom's temptations. Just as it had to be Frodo with the help of loyal Samwise to cast that demonic bling into the magma, so too, does it have to be Peter Jackson's vision to guide The Hobbit towards being the films we need them to become. With the help of his loyal team of scribes, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo Del Toro (who remains on board to complete the script,) it seems to be a rare occasion where fate may have intervened and gave fans what they wanted. Peter Jackson just may forgo his original reservations and finally complete his Tolkien films.
If true, then this is tremendous news which will likely expedite the financial delays. While Jackson was weary of competing with his previous work, it's also clear that much of the magic behind the film masterpieces of the LOTR Trilogy would have been lost had he not been in the director's chair. While Del Toro undoubtedly would have given us great films, it was always clear that Jackson was the soul of those three films. While it wasn't like he was behind the camera every second as assistant directors shot a great deal of those films, his stamp was nevertheless distinct.
There is undoubtedly more news to come on this front.