Guillermo Del Toro Leaves 'The Hobbit'

While you were busy getting your Memorial Day weekend groove on, a bit of huge breaking news scattered across the internet, sending waves of "freak out" through the fanboy community. After facing numerous amounts of delays – turning what was once projected to be a three-year project into a six-year nightmare – Guillermo Del Toro has stepped down as the director of the two-part Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit.

Guillermo Del Toro

Del Toro spilled the beans to over the weekend, saying that the delays were just too much to handle, despite having poured hundreds of hours into two years of pre-production on both films. He notes, "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."
Producer Peter Jackson (who directed the first three Lord of the Rings films) chimed in to say that New Line and Warner Bros. will be sitting down this week to begin discussing a new director, and though Jackson says he may be open to helming it himself, his manager claims he's just too busy with other commitments to take on this giant task. As of right now, both films are scheduled to arrive in theaters in December 2012, and December 2013 respectively.
Do you think Del Toro's exit will hurt the two films in the long run? Or are you happy this has freed the man up to start making films again?
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