As Guillermo del Toro has officially vacated the director's chair on The Hobbit, it's time for a new filmmaker to settle into Middle-Earth. According to two different reports, Warner Bros. and MGM are seeking a pair of filmmakers that are hardly strangers to fantasy films — with one of them being very familiar to the world that The Hobbit inhabits.
First, The Wrap cites a Production Weekly report suggesting that an offer has been made to David Yates to direct The Hobbit. Yates is best known for his work on the Harry Potter franchise, having directed the final four installments in the novel-to-film series. However, Yates' representatives have apparently denied the report as "not true at all."
Deadline says differently, suggesting that Yates is very much interested in The Hobbit as are other directors including David Dobkin and (*gulp*) Brett Ratner. But Deadline also reports that Warner Bros. and MGM's first choice of director remains Peter Jackson, the film's producer and the man responsible for bringing us the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the first place.
The WB and MGM will allegedly pursue Jackson until he "gives a definitive no," which he certainly hasn't done yet, having previously stated: "If [directing the film is] what I have to do to protect Warner Bros.’ investment, then obviously that’s one angle which I’ll explore."