It's a rollercoaster ride of widely-expected-appointments-made-official around these parts. After yesterday's dispiriting news of Jimmy Fallon replacing Conan O'Brien on Late Night, we get confirmation today that Pan's Labyrinth maestro Guillermo Del Toro has been hired to direct The Hobbit and its sequel. There's a very short list of filmmakers with the sensibility and the chops to pull off a project of this magnitude, and certainly Del Toro would have to be high among them. Having resolved his ugly legal wranglings with New Line, Lord Of The Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson will be on board as producer.

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