Guillermo del Toro, the acclaimed Mexican filmmaker behind box office hits Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, has opted out of the big-budget prequels to the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy — a two-part adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit — after two years of pre-production work and repeated delays due to financial problems at MGM. Was the filmmaker right to walk away from The Hobbit? (Watch an AP report about Del Toro's decision)
This sinking ship needed to be abandoned: "It's hard to fault Del Toro here," says Josh Tyler at Cinema Blend. He took the job two years ago, putting "his entire life on hold to move to New Zealand and immerse himself in Middle Earth." But with MGM's looming bankruptcy forestalling the shoot again and again, he had no choice but to move on. It seems the whole project is "doomed to spend eternity in development hell."
Guillermo Del Toro abandons The Hobbit, will not direct"
He should never have been in contention anyway: Del Toro "did the right thing," says Jordan Hoffman at Ugo.com. But "we were never that hot on [him] directing The Hobbit in the first place." The only person who can do justice to Peter Jackson's Middle Earth is "a relative newcomer who doesn't have quite as signatory a mark."
"An Open Letter to Guillermo Del Toro"
Del Toro was wasted on this unnecessary movie: He should have quit this a long time ago, says Kurt Halfyard at RowThree.com. Why should someone as talented as Del Toro take on a "needless prequel" like The Hobbit when he has "far more interesting" projects on the slate. "Nobody wants to see a fine fantasy auteur waste his time on a cash cow."
"Guillermo Del Toro quits The Hobbit"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- 10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
- How Scott Brown is executing the perfect GOP Senate campaign
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
Subscribe to the Week