This rumor has been circulating for awhile now, but it seems the story is picking up steam: The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that GDT is “in talks” to direct back-to-back installments of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.
If true, Peter Jackson would be executive producing, with Jackson and Del Toro overseeing the writing of the script. According to Hollywood Reporter, principal photography for the films, which will be shot simultaneously, is tentatively set for 2009. The production budget is estimated at $150 million per film. The release of the first film is slated for 2010 and the second in 2011.
Harry Knowles at AintItCool News has posted on his site that he has talked to GDT about the project, and is reporting that GDT thinks the project may happen.
It should be noted that GDT has stated that he did not care much for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but loved “The Hobbit”. Here is an excerpt from an article in Entertainment Weekly:
The Hobbit “is the only Tolkien book I read,” Del Toro said. “I tried my best to read Lord of the Rings, the trilogy. I could not. I could not. They were very dense. And then one day, I bought The Hobbit. I read it and I loved it. So it would be a privilege. But listen, I wish I knew. At this stage, after Hellboy II, I’m unemployed!
“I met Peter and Fran [Walsh, Jackson's life/creative partner] when we were trying to do Halo. I think what they’re doing in New Zealand is amazing. What they’re doing, in terms of the way they approach filmmaking — the way I see it is, it’s Hollywood the way God intended it. Because it’s a filmmaker’s dream and a filmmaker’s facility. So it’s heaven. The question is: Will I go to heaven? I have no idea.”