At this point it's anyone's best guess as to who will take over directing duties on The Hobbit. Guillermo del Toro has bailed, Peter Jackson doesn't seem all that eager to take over, and any director who does sign up will have to commit to making a massive, two-part adventure film. With all that in mind, Slashfilm is floating the possibility that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director David Yates could be in line for the job.

They say at the outset that this is just a rumor, but that "industry insider tracking boards" have it that Yates is the studio's top choice to take over. It's worth noting that the studio in this case is MGM, which is famously mired in financial troubles and may not even be able to fund the film any time soon. It's also worth noting that Yates just wrapped production on the final Harry Potter film and will be spending the next few months locked in an edit room. Finally, you have to wonder how anxious he would be to tackle yet another adaptation of a beloved fantasy novel. Wouldn't you think all that work on Harry Potter would have earned him a vacation?

So yeah...grain of salt. It seems likeliest to me that MGM has reached out to Yates about the job, and either that he's mulling things over or is simply waiting to let them down easily. I can't imagine he'd actually take the job, but then again, those Harry Potter checks will stop rolling in eventually.

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