Guillermo del Toro's painful Hobbit decision

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Set in northern Australia prior to World War II, Nicole Kidman is an English aristocrat who inherits a large ranch. After learning that English cattle barons are plotting to take her land, she decides make the harsh trek to the Land Down Under. During her travels she's accompanied by an independent cattle driver known as "Drover" (Hugh Jackman) whom her husband hired to transport her.
October 28th, 2010

Guillermo del Toro found leaving his job on 'The Hobbit' "painful".

The Mexican director - who was due to work on the troubled project until leaving because of continued delays on production earlier this year - feels he had to leave the 'Lord of the Rings' prequel as he had "no choice" but stands by his decision to do so.

He said: "It was very painful. I try not to dwell on it as I'm an obsessive guy. It's difficult to talk about objectively. I had no other choice.

"When people say: 'Do you realise what it would have done for your career?' I look at them like, 'Who do you think I am? Of course I know those things.' I stand by my decision."

Since leaving, Peter Jackson has replaced him as director and Martin Freeman has been cast as lead character Bilbo Baggins on the project, which is due to film in February 2011.

However, the 46-year-old director is looking forward to new film opportunities and would like to work with Australian actor Hugh Jackman as he has "a lot of energy".

He told the Metro newspaper: "I like Hugh Jackman very much. He has a lot of charisma, he's a very good actor with a lot of energy.

"Some actors are eminently sympathetic and able to take the audience on huge journeys. They go through great ordeals on screen and retain basic human decency, and Hugh Jackman is one of those actors."