It now appears that Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson could wind up directing the two-part Rings prequel, The Hobbit, after all. Following the decision by director Guillermo Del Toro to walk away from the production because of the delays brought about by the protracted sale of MGM, which owns the rights to the The Hobbit and is coproducing the movie with Warner Bros., Jackson's manager said that prior commitments to other studios would prevent Jackson from directing The Hobbit. But Jackson told New Zealand's The Dominion Post today (Tuesday), "If that's what I have to do to protect Warner Bros' investment, then obviously that's one angle which I'll explore." And it did appear that it was unlikely that another top director could be brought on board until after the sale of MGM is completed -- whenever that may be. And even Jackson himself might find himself involved in making another film by that time. "The other studios may not let me out of the contracts," he told the Dominion Post. "The key thing is that we don't intend to shut the project down," he added. Meanwhile, Del Toro told the New Zealand newspaper that he had moved his family to Wellington two years ago to work on The Script and the development of the movie and noted that he had dreamed of turning The Hobbit into a movie from the time he was a child. "So it was very personal to me," he said. "I know [the delays have] been very frustrating for everybody."