SAN DIEGO -- When it was announced in May that Guillermo del Toro was stepping down from directing "The Hobbit" movie, the fanboy community shed a few tears. After that news dropped, rumors swirled throughout the Internets about who would step in to take over for del Toro, with most signs pointing to "Lord of the Rings" maestro Peter Jackson.
When MTV News caught up with the much-loved del Toro during Comic-Con on Friday (July 23), the director and admitted geek proffered his thoughts on letting go of the project, particularly the infamous Smaug dragon, and, most importantly, whether he thinks Jackson will officially take over "The Hobbit."
"I don't think [Smaug] will [be in 'The Hobbit']," del Toro said. "I think Smaug is such a signature creature. If Peter [Jackson] comes onboard, he will like to redesign that."
Del Toro added that he thinks a portion of his work on the film (two years' worth of writing and designing) will survive, and he has very specific hopes for who he wants to take over the film. "Me, like any other geek, I really want to see Peter [Jackson] do the movie," del Toro said.
Does he think Jackson is close to officially taking the job? "I think so. I would say so," del Toro said. "At this stage, you need somebody that has been involved in all the stages, that has been writing. The logical person to take over is Peter."
Most fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and Jackson's work, for that matter, would likely agree. Del Toro also talked about how having to step down from the project was "heartbreaking" for him, not only because he is a fan of the source material, but because he put two years of writing and designing into what was supposed to be two films.
"It's a heartbreak for me that I cannot own that work," del Toro admitted. "It is almost like having a partial adoption of children, but you know, it really came to the point where we could not keep postponing [other film and book projects], contractually things went away. ... A lot of the stuff started to conflict in very bad ways."
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