Director Talk Heats Up For The Hobbit

With Guillermo del Toro officially off The Hobbit, talk has begun to circulate over who could be a possible replacement to direct the prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

While most of the rumors running rampant over the Internet can either be dismissed as fanboy wishes (or a cruel practical joke), some of the names have been pretty fun to read — if only for the speculation they conjure up.

/Film is responsible for a Smog’s share of some of the rumors — including word that David Yates, director of three of the later Harry Potter films, is allegedly the studio’s top choice to take on the directing duties for The Hobbit.

Deadline has also chimed in with reports that Yates is joined on the shortlist by the likes of Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin and all-around tool Brett Ratner. The top rumor among most sites, though, remains that Peter Jackson is being heavily courted into returning to Middle Earth as director of the two Hobbit films in development.

As for what del Toro will be up too since leaving New Zealand, stay tuned for an official announcment at July’s Comic-Con, where the director has promised he will elaborate on his future plans.

The Buzz: As somebody who thinks the Harry Potter films have only gotten better as the series progressed, I think David Yates could make a fine choice to direct The Hobbit. Dobkin and Ratner, on the other hand, sound like a cruel ploy by the studio to threaten Peter Jackson back on the project. After all, how could Jackson stand idly by and watch his beloved series of films get molested by one of two terribly cookie-cutter directors.

It makes sense, though, for the studio to consider somebody like Brett Ratner. He has, after all, shown himself capable of taking on the half-begun work of another director and churning out a bland, tasteless commercial hit in little time. In that way, he’s like a parasite of the film world.

As much as I am glad to see del Toro move on to actually directing something instead of just waiting for the MGM financial woes to clear up and The Hobbit get the green-light, I can’t help but feel sad that the world was never given the chance to see del Toro’s vision for The Hobbit.

I’ve never been into high-fantasy so The Hobbit, with its more action-adventure core, was much more accessible to me as a kid than any of the Lord of the Rings books. Plus, I have a soft-spot in my heart for the Rankin-Bass animated movie.

Jackson could really use an unqualified hit about now so I sincerely see him returning to the world he helped create and taking on directing duties for The Hobbit. They better hurry up, though. Sir Ian McKellen is not getting any younger.

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