Missy Schwartz
December 19, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EST

This morning, just 24 hours after New Line and MGM announced that Peter Jackson will executive-produce The Hobbit and its sequel, EW met with Guillermo del Toro, the Oscar-nominated director of Pan’s Labyrinth, who is rumored to be a possible contender for taking the helm. Del Toro flew into New York from London (where he’s in post-production on next year’s Hellboy II) to do press for the Spanish ghost movie he exec-produced, The Orphanage. He gamely answered our Middle Earth queries. 

EW: There’s been so much speculation about who will direct these movies. Have you been approached?
GUILLERMO DEL TORO: You know, I think I’ve been abroad too long. I’ve heard some rumblings, but nothing official. I don’t want to think about it because it’s such an eventuality. It’s the only Tolkien book I read. I tried my best to read Lord of the Rings, the trilogy. I could not. I could not. They were very dense. And then one day, I bought The Hobbit. I read it and I loved it. So it would be a privilege. But listen, I wish I knew. At this stage, after Hellboy II, I’m unemployed. [Laughs]

So when you hear about the project and your possible involvement, your reaction isn’t: “Oh no way!”
No, no, no, not at all. I do get those reactions on other things. Many things where people say, “Well, what about you for this?” And I go, “No, that’s not a good match.” But I met Peter and Fran [Walsh, Jackson’s life/creative partner] when we were trying to do Halo. I think what they’re doing in New Zealand is amazing. What they’re doing, in terms of the way they approach filmmaking — the way I see it is, it’s Hollywood the way God intended it. Because it’s a filmmaker’s dream and a filmmaker’s facility. So it’s heaven. The question is: Will I go to heaven? I have no idea.

The idea of you and Peter Jackson working together is enough to make every geek’s head explode.
It would make my head explode! But you know, I think it’s an eventuality. I would love to, but as my agent says, “You’re currently unemployed.” [Laughs]

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