A few people have written to ask us about the Guillermo Del Toro directing the Hobbit thing. We’ll let First Showing explain:

Before we get any further, numerous sources confirm that New Line Cinema won’t be officially announcing a director until the writers strike is settled. So until then, all of this must still be considered a rumor. There was even a report back in late December from Variety that said that Sam Raimi “is expected to go right back up the mountaintop and take the helm of The Hobbit films.” Obviously The Hobbit films are a very hyped-up project and it seems everyone is grasping onto whatever “reports” they can get from studio sources. As of right now there are enough conflicting “99% certain” reports from both camps that it could still be one or the other or even somebody entirely different. Either way, I really hope we get confirmation very soon so everyone can stop arguing.

So…what do we think? We’re delighted, although we would almost rather see Del Toro direct Harry Potter 7 & 8, just because that franchise so desperately needs a great finish. Del Toro has the sense of evil and suffering necessary to make a good Tolkien movie work, and he certainly has the fantasy chops.

Our concern, as always, remains the mysterious “second Hobbit movie.” Reportedly, Hobbits 1 and 2 will be shot at the same time. Since there is no actual story for Hobbit #2, this surprises us, although as we’ve said many times, we WOULD watch a movie that consisted of Sir Ian McKellen’s Gandalf just wandering around the Shire reading an Elven phone book, in Sindarin or Quenya.

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