Guillermo del Toro has been on the rumored short list to direct the Hobbit films and apparently, it's all but confirmed now that he will be in charge alongside producer Peter Jackson. The Hollywood Reporter says that he is in talks to helm back-to-back installments of the J.R.R Tolkien novels, which will be co-financed by MGM and New Line.
Principal photography for the films, which will be shot simultaneously, is tentatively set for 2009. The production budget is estimated at $150 million per film. The release of the first film is slated for 2010 and the second in 2011.
Del Toro is wrapping up the post-production for Hellboy II:The Golden Army and has a few projects on the horizon like a new adaptation of Frankenstein and an update of the Cthulhu Mythos with the upcoming adaptation of H.P Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness.