Guillermo Del Toro was the perfect director to take on the two-part Hobbit. Very few directors have the dark edge mixed with a knack for blockbuster sensibility. With today’s news that he has left the project, here are ten directors we would love to see take on the this epic blockbuster.

10. Vincenzo Natali

If you’ve seen Natali’s work then you already know he is a total nerdy filmmaker at heart. When you see Splice this weekend you’ll also be reminded of how far he’s come since Cube and the potential he still has. Splice (executive produced by Del Toro) is excellent and hopefully if it’s a success, it’ll make his stock rise in Hollywood. It’d be interesting to see him tackle something of this magnitude.  – Jack G.

9. Sam Raimi

Once highly considered to take on this project, he has already proven he has a style that is appropriate with the fantastic realm with movies like Evil Dead, Drag Me To Hell, and even the Spider-Man movies. He has a distinctive direction that could be paralleled with the world Jackson and Del Toro have been working hard on. Along with the fact that he’s currently getting practice with fantasy epics with World of Warcraft‘s pre-production, it only makes sense for Sam Raimi to be a candidate. – Hash A.

8. Neill Blomkamp

The man is already BFF’s with Peter Jackson as we saw him enthrall audiences with District 9 last summer. Although his style may be a bit too kinetic, but he definitely has the blockbuster chops to take on this scale of adventure. With what he was able to produce on the relative small budget of D9, I can’t even imagine what he could bring if he was handed The Hobbit. – Jordan R.

7. Nicolas Winding Refn

One of the most visually interesting directors working today, Winding Refn has quietly been building his style, but has yet to break out. His latest film Valhalla Rising already feels like it is set in the Lord of the Rings universe. Considering we already have a script ready to go, Refn would deliver a kind of epic we’ve never seen before. – Jordan R.

6. Peter Weir

Although he only made one film this past decade, Weir has been changing it up with each new project. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World got quickly overlooked but it is one of the best epics in recent memory. His visual style is fully realized and the way he is able to throw the viewer right into his world is unparalleled. In addition, his knowledge for strong character involvement would honor Jackson’s legacy. – Jordan R.

5. Gore Verbinski

Verbinski is an obvious choice. He can handle the “epic-ness” required for The Hobbit. The Pirate sequels didn’t suffer because of his direction, but due to the rushed scripts. He’s a competent and trustworthy filmmaker who’s completely fitting for material like this. – Jack G.

4. Dean DeBlois + Chris Sanders

Most people aren’t familiar with these two fine directors. They were behind this year’s fantastic Dreamworks animation How To Train Your Dragon. With Pixar director Brad Bird taking on Mission Impossible 4 and colleague Andrew Stanton taking on the sci-fi epic John Carter of Mars there is no reason these guys should be excluded from the list. They created an exhilarating adventure that took a lot of chances and worked wonders. DeBlois also showed a extraordinary sense for visuals with the Sigur Rós documentary Heima. – Jordan R.

3. David Fincher

Lord of the Rings was a landmark for putting amazing visual effects second to complex character driven stories. David Fincher is one to follow this type of direction in all of his movies. The biggest of which is his latest semi-fantasy movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He is brilliant with character development and bringing an epic feel to things that may not normally fall into that category, such as in The Game. One could argue his style, though distinct, would not match LOTR. However, this could be exactly what’s needed in a prequel that separates itself from what follows. – Hash A.

2. Alfonso Cuarón

Not only did he direct my favorite film of the last decade, Cuarón also showed he can bring dark sensibilities to a huge blockbuster with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He can provide intricate character development, thrilling spectacle and an epic journey, making him one of our top choices to direct this saga. – Jordan R.

1. Peter Jackson

Yes, The Lovely Bones sucked and King Kong left a bit to be desired. What could be better than let the director go back to the universe in which he delivered his best work? Deadline says there is no way Jackson would direct, but we can all cross our fingers. He has been working so closely with Del Toro building up The Hobbit that he would be the number one choice to take this on. – Jordan R.

Who do you want to see direct The Hobbit?

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