The Hobbit status has been somewhat in limbo after the Tolkien estate sued New Line Cinema shortly before the studio folded into Warner Brothers. Guillermo del Toro has been the favorite to direct this new two-picture affair, and he recently spoke with TheOneRing.net about the film.

"At this stage anything I say is of no consequence for I am not yet signed to do The Hobbit. Negotiations advance but are still ongoing," he said.

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While negotiations continue, the director has been busying himself by researching the entire J.R.R. Tolkien library.

"All I can say is that I am diligently going through all Tolkien material related to Middle-earth but only as a way of bridging a gap in my reading. I still respond the strongest to The Hobbit, but as an avid reader of Mythology I find a lot of his other writings fascinating. A perfect Cosmology forged from very eclectic sources," he said.

We'll have more on the progress of The Hobbit and on del Toro's ongoing negotiations as soon as we have more information. The Hobbit is set for a 2010 release, while The Hobbit Sequel is due in 2011.