Director Guillermo del Toro said Monday that production delays have forced him to quit the planned film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit,' a two-part prequel to New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson's blockbuster trilogy 'Lord of the Rings.'

"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 told a 'Lord of the Rings' fan website.

"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," he said, noting the film still hadn't been given the green light by MGM, the struggling Hollywood studio.

Get the full story on del Torro's departure at PopEater.com. img vspace="4" hspace="4" border="1" align="left" src="http://www.blogcdn.com/blog.moviefone.com/media/2010/05/hobbitbook.jpg" id="vimage_3027215" alt="" />Director Guillermo del Toro said Monday that production delays have forced him to quit the planned film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit,' a two-part prequel to New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson's blockbuster trilogy 'Lord of the Rings.'

"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 told a 'Lord of the Rings' fan website.

"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," he said, noting the film still hadn't been given the green light by MGM, the struggling Hollywood studio.

Get the full story on del Torro's departure at PopEater.com.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
PG-13 2012
Based on 40 critics

Hobbit Bilbo Baggins joins 13 dwarves on a quest to reclaim the lost kingdom of Erebor. Read More

categories Movies