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Is ‘District 9’ Director Heading To ‘The Hobbit’?

Rumors are circulating hard that Neill Blomkamp is in line to fill the shoes of Guillermo del Toro


Fans have been clamoring for Peter Jackson to pick up where he left off with the Lord of the Rings trilogy and take over the two planned “Hobbit” movies. But the brains behind this new production might have another idea: Oscar-nominated director Neill Blomkamp.

TheOneRing is reporting the rumor, and say that while it’s not a slam dunk in terms of whether it’s definitely true or not, they feel it does have some legs.

Mostly because despite fans’ efforts to write Jackson’s name on the ballot, he’s simply not interested in taking over the director’s chair for J.R.R. Tolkien again at this point. And he needs to trust whoever is offered the job — and it seems obvious, especially to those who saw Jackson and Blomkamp together at San Diego Comic-Con last year — that Jackson does trust Blomkamp to do the franchise well.

Also, a director most likely is in place because casting is underway — something that typically doesn’t happen until a director is on board — and pre-production has already begun. At the same time, if Warner Bros. is going to make a huge announcement about the director, they have the perfect venue to do it coming up in just weeks: San Diego Comic-Con.

Blomkamp has had tremendous experience working with the mixture of live action and computer-generated imagery that “The Hobbit” will likely entail, after his critically acclaimed work on the lower-budget “District 9.” THe man, who got his start as part of the special effects team behind “Stargate SG-1” on Syfy, also has a light schedule, with only an untitled project he’s writing and directing for release in 2011 on his immediate schedule, according to Internet Movie Database.

However, Blomkamp does not have a lot of experience as a director, outside of a few smaller past projects, so if Warner Bros. is bringing him in, they will be gambling that “District 9” was not a fluke and is actually the intended norm for Blomkamp.

Then again, Jackson was not much different. Before taking on Lord of the Rings, Jackson’s primary directing credit was “The Frighteners” in 1996. Now he is one of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors.

None of this, of course, has been confirmed by Warner Bros. or New Line Cinema, so treat this as you would any other rumor.

Shooting was said to begin later this year, but it likely won’t begin until early 2011.

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