Guillermo Del Toro has once again reached out to fans of "The Hobbit," this time elaborating on his decision to quit the New Line films.
"My commitment to the project demanded enormous sacrifices both in personal and professional terms," he writes on TheOneRing.net. "The consequences of which will ripple for years."
Del Toro, who called the departure "extremely painful," refused to provide a blow-by-blow of what happened but did reiterate what exec producer Peter Jackson said last week: "other contractual obligations with multiple studios" as well as family responsibilities were primary reasons for leaving.
"Rarely do you relocate for such massive amount of time when you have major ironclad agreements to put in deep freeze," he adds.
Del Toro is, of course, referring to his massive deal with Universal, which has the 45 year-old helmer attached to direct remakes of "Frankenstein," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide" and "Slaugterhouse-Five."
In the end, it seems Del Toro got tired of waiting around in New Zealand while "The Hobbit" rights-owner MGM tries to resolve its financial crisis. That and the fact that his family, who relocated with him to the foreign country, were ready to leave.
"I believe these films will happen," he reassures "Hobbit" fans, saying "preproduction continues as we speak."
As to whom will direct the Warner Bros./New Line fantasy pics remains a mystery.
Here's the full letter from Del Toro:
So, here I am again. As promised, I am posting a longer message before the week's end.
I have to thank those of you that have supported me from the start as well as those that converted along the way. And even say farewell to those that never did convert or believed.
I will miss Mr. Crere, the faith of Compa and Sir DennisC, the wisdom of Voronwe, the joy of Grammaboodawg, the support of Kangi Ska and so many, many others
Now, Pasi, et al- that is what is quite uncommon even on big films. Pete and co stuck to LOTR for years, I've developed films for years and I have shot many a movie on location... but rarely do you relocate for such massive amount of time specially when you have to do major ironclad agreements to put in deep freeze other contractual obligations with multiple studios.
My commitment to the project demanded enormous sacrifices both in personal and professional terms. The consequences of which will ripple for years. I relocated my entire life and family to New Zealand and first came on board in 2008.
So- while the cited delays, contractual complexities or obstacles, cannot be attributed to a single event or entity - you will simply have to believe that they were of sufficient complexity and severity to lead to the current situation. Trust me on this, Pasi- leaving NZ and the Hobbit crew is extremely painful.
As stated before- a wealth of designs, animatics, boards and sculptures is left behind representing accurately my ideas for Mirkwood, Spiders, Wargs, Stone Trolls, etc, etc and everyone (PJ, FW, PB and myself) has the same goal in mind: to try and ensure the best possible transition of the movie to a new director.
I believe these films will happen. Preproduction continues as we speak. The writing team of PJ,FW,PB and myself will keep moving the screenplays forward.
Perhaps even sooner than we may anticipate we will all look at the finished film and then- I will tear up whenever I recognize a set or a creature or a quirk created under my supervision. Everyone on these boards will get two movies. Me? I will be watching filmic family albums. Photos of my children from far away.
I hope you will understand how delicate the subject is for me.
I will drop by now and then, I will read the boards with interest and do hope to see some of you around at SDCC and many other places.
I am not here, however, to provide a blow-by-blow of what happened, but to assure you, as I have, that it has been the toughest situation of my life.
Beyond that- I am simply no longer an official voice for these projects. Be good, be well- and I invite you all to follow me into the next phase of my filmmaking journey.