Guillermo del reported here at the end of January that Guillermo del Toro was 99 percent sure to direct “The Hobbit”. Since then the Tolkien Estate filed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema (a copy of which can be found here) and the movie studio has been folded up and put in the pocket of its owner Warner Bros. and its bigger parent Time Warner Inc.

After all the speculation and angst, the director of two “Hellboy” films (the second set for a July 11 release) still seems to be the top choice for director and despite the legal uncertainty, the quiet movements by the key players seem to suggest the film will still be made and sooner rather than later. So in this season of waiting, TORn was finally able to contact the fan-friendly director.

“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.

The Mexican born director is busy however researching not only the Hobbit but the greater 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.

He described himself as a bibliophile and his study of Tolkien’s mythology fits in with his passion for myth.

“I bought my first book at age 4 and my last one, last week an original pamphlet edition of Calmet’s (Augustine Calmet) dissertation on Ghosts and vampires from the 18th century.”

The director embraces Internet communities and has his own fan site at where he participates and corresponds with fans.

“It is my belief that your community will be a joy to be a part of, whether I do “The Hobbit,” or not,” he said.