Guillermo del Toro says farewell to Middle Earth

Guillermo del Toro’s has confirmed he will not be directing The Hobbit:

“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,” del Toro said in a statement on The “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.”

“I wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product,” added del Toro. “I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director.”

Del Toro did note he will continue to co-write the screenplays with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens.