Guillermo Del Toro has announced he is no longer directing the two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, citing "ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming".
Del Toro will remain connected with the project as screenplay co-writer but said the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules had "overwhelmed the timeslot originally allocated for the project".
"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 wrote in a statement posted on fansite theonering.net.
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