Last updated 31/05/2010http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/3758073/Hobbit-director-Del-Toro-quits
Guillermo Del Toro has quit as director of the two The Hobbit movies, but will still help write the screenplays for the Lord of the Rings prequels.
"In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming The Hobbit I am faced with the hardest decision of my life," the Mexican filmmaker said in a press release.
"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."
Del Toro and producer Sir Peter Jackson said they remained committed to the films and would do everything they could to satisfy fans.
Del Toro said he would be first in line to see the finished films.
"I've been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed.
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