Guillermo Del Toro is still suffering "incredible heartache" after quitting his job as director of The Hobbit, likening his departure to losing a spouse.
The Mexican moviemaker announced in May (10) that he was giving up on the Lord of the Rings prequel after it was put on hold indefinitely.
And Del Toro admits that after dedicating two years to pre-production, he was heartbroken to leave the project behind.
He tells Britain's Film 2010, "It's the hardest decision I've ever taken. I have incredible heartache. I feel terrible about it. It's very hard. It's getting a little easier to talk about it, but essentially it's like you've been recently widowed and everybody (is) asking you how exactly your wife died. It's pretty morbid.
"There was no other choice, I kept postponing, I kept fending off the problems, I kept compartmentalising, I kept with it, everything we could (do)."
The film is back on track and due to begin shooting in February (11) and Del Toro admits he'll be first in line to see it.
He adds, "I'll be able to watch it and (I will) probably enjoy it. But you know, with The Hobbit, I feel like the guy (survival mountain climber Aron Ralston) in the real-life experience that Danny Boyle just did his movie (127 Hours about). I was hanging by a thread on my arm for so long that at the end of the day you have to cut it off. Do I like having one arm less? No. But did I have to? Yes."