More from EW
1 of 15
''SAM RAIMI.'' —Jay
Pro: Like Jackson, Raimi got his start on half-a-shoestring horror films, so, like him, he'd know how to bring low-budget thriftiness to a big blockbuster like this.
Con: Spider-man 3. We don't need a scene with Bilbo dancing in a nightclub.
2 of 15
''ALFONSO CUARÓN would be awesome. I was hoping he would do it before del Toro!'' —J
Pro: Cuarón knows how to do fantasy, having made what's arguably the best Harry Potter film. Also, he and del Toro are good friends, which could make the handoff easier.
Con: His tendency toward the dark and grimy might not suit The Hobbit, which is generally lighter fare than Lord of the Rings.
3 of 15
''J.J. ABRAMS. Nuff said.'' —Beth
Pro: Lost proved he can handle a large cast, while Star Trek showed that he knows how to treat beloved characters respectfully.
Con: The showrunner extraordinaire is probably so used to being in charge, it's unlikely he'd be willing to alter his vision to match anyone else's.
4 of 15
''Surely it'll be NEILL BLOMKAMP (District 9). Bet on it.'' —D's Advocate
Pro: He's already worked closely with Peter Jackson on District 9. Also, his time on the stillborn Halo project may have given him the patience needed to deal with a mercurial studio.
Con: Limited experience. He has only one feature under his belt, albeit a pretty darn good one.
5 of 15
''...TERRY GILLIAM.'' —pastafarian
Pro: This wouldn't be his first movie about a troupe of adventurous dwarfs (Time Bandits).
Cons: Gilliam's skewed-angle, fish-eye visual aesthetic is so idiosyncratic, it might threaten to overwhelm the rest of the movie. Also, due to his history with ''cursed'' projects, there's the distinct possibility of budget problems, grievous bodily accidents, natural disasters, and/or a plague of locusts.
6 of 15
''KEVIN SMITH is the man! Let him do it.'' —Sandy
Pro: Um?J.R.R. Tolkien was a fan of penis jokes, right?
Con: While he might be good at creating a universe (or Askewniverse, as it were) and populating it with interesting characters, New Jersey is far from being Middle-earth.
7 of 15
''Two words: QUENTIN TARANTINO.'' —mufnman17
Pro: He's got no problem splitting a movie into two releases.
Con: The moment Bilbo Baggins pulls out a gun and quotes a line from Black Mama, White Mama while the French version of ''I Will Wait for You'' plays in the background is when we'll know we've gone too far astray from the source material.
8 of 15
''CHRIS COLUMBUS is the only director left with enough imagination to do this and do it right.'' —Parser
Pro: Columbus has certainly proved his fantasy chops, and his own personal style is a little more, well, malleable than some of these other directors, meaning he might be suited to constructing a prequel that best mimics Jackson's original vision.
Con: As much as I personally love Adventures in Babysitting and Mrs. Doubtfire, somehow films on his résumé like Nine Months, Stepmom, Bicentennial Man, Rent, and I Love You, Beth Cooper don't inspire a lot of faith.
9 of 15
''DAVID FINCHER. He can create a fantasy; Benjamin Button was absolutely breathtaking.'' —M
Pro: A shadowy, near-nihilistic version of The Hobbit might be interesting, and Fincher's work on Fight Club might give him an understanding of Gollum's schizophrenia.
Con: For someone so dedicated to portraying creeping moral darkness in the urban landscape, a film about a diminutive worrywart's adventure in a fantasy world of dragons and goblins might not be the best fit.
10 of 15
''Why does it have to be a guy? Why not [KATHRYN] BIGELOW — didn't she just win the Oscar for The Hurt Locker?'' —Snsetblaze
Pro: Her insights into male bonding evidenced in Point Break and The Hurt Locker might come in handy in depicting Bilbo's interactions with his dwarfish companions.
Con: Oscars in hand, and the world her oyster, it's doubtful this is a project she'd be very passionate about.
11 of 15
''Two words: DAVID LYNCH.'' —Timmy
Pro: Like Gilliam, he has extensive experience working with the vertically challenged.
Con: One word, four letters: Dune.
12 of 15
''I think JEAN-PIERRE JEUNET (Amelie, Micmacs) would be excellent. The Hobbit is more of a whimsical, lighthearted story compared to the LOTR trilogy, and I think Jeunet has the right amount of creativity, and if in charge of an epic movie, I believe he can really bring what it takes.'' —SAB
Pro: His sweeping Gallic whimsy might be a perfect match for the fantasy genre.
Con: I don't remember any puckish Frenchwomen or Rube Goldberg contraptions in the book. For more reason to doubt, see his other entry in a classic Hollywood series, Alien: Resurrection.
13 of 15
''JOSS WHEDON — but they'll have to change Bilbo to Bilba Baggins.'' —Brett
Pro: Snappy dialogue and lots of fun fiddling with conventions.
Con: Could be a mismatch of tone. Plus, with his luck, it'll get canceled after the first film.
14 of 15
''Or perhaps Peter's writing partner FRAN WALSH?'' —Snsetblaze
Pro: As Jackson's wife and creative partner, as well as screenwriter, producer, and songwriter for the trilogy, Walsh knows more about the series than anyone except for maybe Jackson himself. She even reportedly directed some scenes on her own.
Con: She's never officially directed a film.
15 of 15
''I won't settle for ANYONE but JAMES CAMERON!!!!(nose in the air, arms crossed)'' —chickenrex
Pro: He knows his way around big-budget special effects.
Con: Bilbo's quest might end up as an allegory for saving the wetlands. Plus, it could take him 12 years to make it.