The departure of Guillermo Del Toro from The Hobbit has left co-writer/producer Peter Jackson in a tricky situation. The project needs a director, but who’s eager to get on board a project whose start date is indefinite? Speaking to New Zealand’s The Dominion Post [via The Playlist], Jackson said that they’re unable to find a suitable director, then he might have to step into the director’s chair: “If that’s what I have to do to protect Warner Bros’ investment, then obviously that’s one angle which I’ll explore. The other studios may not let me out of the contracts.”
His manager told TOH that Jackson is unable to direct The Hobbit because he has obligations to other projects. He continued that Jackson “will turn his attention to Tintin 2 in the new year.“ Hit the jump for more on the projects that are also on Jackson’s plate.
As we first reported in May 2007, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson teamed up to film a trilogy of films based on the beloved Belgian comic-strip hero Tintin for DreamWorks. The plan was to have Spielberg direct the first part, Jackson helm the second, and a director TBA to helm the third. The films use motion-capture technology (the technology Robert Zemeckis uses for his movies). Spielberg’s installment, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is already set for December 23, 2011 and will be released in 3D.
Jackson also has other projects on the table. He’s developing an adaptation of Phillip Reeve’s quartet of Mortal Engines fantasy novels. He’s also optioned the rights to Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels, which reimagine the events of the Napoleonic Wars as if they were fought with a force of dragons manned by aviators. Jackson mentioned to the Post that “he has signed contracts as a writer and director for two new films – with work likely to begin on the first next year – but would not elaborate further.” Are those films Mortal Engines and Temeraire or two new projects we haven’t even heard of yet?
Remember when we were all speculating over who would play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit? Well, I guess we can put that on hold and speculate about which director will make the trek to Middle Earth. Our own Jake Lasker had some interesting ideas.