Jackson: I may direct The Hobbit
Peter Jackson has said he may direct The Hobbit himself if he cannot find a suitable director.
Guillermo del Toro pulled out from the highly-anticipated two-part Lord Of The Rings prequel at the weekend.
In an interview with The Dominion Post, after meeting studio representatives to begin the search for a new director, Jackson admitted he wouldn't rule out directing it himself if a suitable person could not be found, saying: "If that's what I have to do to protect Warner Bros' investment, then obviously that's one angle which I'll explore."
But he added he had signed writer and director contracts with Hollywood studios for two other films, with one likely to begin next year, saying: "The other studios may not let me out of the contracts."
Jackson said November was now the earliest start date for shooting, but added: "I just don't know now until we get a new director. The key thing is that we don't intend to shut the project down."
The two films are still being developed to shoot back to back in New Zealand, where shooting had been due to begin this summer with the aim of a 2012 release date.
But there have been constant problems and delays from MGM and New Line, the two studios behind the project.
Ken Kamins, released a statement on Sunday saying: "Peter has obligations and commitments to other films that would make it impossible for him to direct The Hobbit at this time."