Vanessa Juarez
October 05, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Who could replace Peter Jackson?

Peter Jackson could simply executive-produce — or choose to have no role at all. A couple of directors to consider if the job becomes available.

Why Him

Raimi seemed interested in directing The Hobbit just a few months ago, but it’s unclear if his name is still on the table. Having made three Spider-Man films, Raimi has mastered the blockbuster, as well as the art of dealing with fanatical fans. With his early Evil Dead movies, he’s also shown himself to be a comedian of the grotesque, which would come in handy in Tolkien’s gothic world.

Why Him

Though his name’s only been whispered as a possibility, del Toro has a spectacular style that could dazzle on a canvas as large as The Hobbit. Pan’s Labyrinth proved he could tell a grim fairy tale and anchor it with real emotion. It was a leap beyond his genre flicks Hellboy and Blade II. Also going for him: He’s got a level of street cred with the Comic-Con crowd that most directors can only dream about.

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