does this mean he can start working on a new "Hellboy"?
EW.com) -- Guillermo del Toro will no longer direct "The Hobbit," but will continue for the next several months to polish the scripts for the two-part "Lord of the Rings" prequel alongside Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh. Del Toro made the announcement Sunday via the J.R.R. Tolkien fan site TheOneRing.net.
May 31, 2010 2:23 p.m. EDT
"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," Del Toro said. "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. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. 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. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director."