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‘Hobbit’ fans solve director riddle

Guillermo del Toro lures fanboys with message

News from the shire late last week heralded Guillermo del Toro as the new keeper of the ring.

But while New Line Cinema and MGM sparked headlines April 24 with their announcement that the “Pan’s Labyrinth” helmer would indeed direct a two-film adaptation of “The Hobbit,” del Toro fans already had more than a hunch.

The helmer, known for his hyper-accessibility within online fanboy circles, posted a cryptic message on Theonering.net days earlier hinting at his looming anointing:

“A riddle for you all-

Half familiar, half unknown.

A thing it is, ‘It almost is-‘

This thing all things devours:

Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;

Gnaws iron, bites steel;

Grinds hard stones to meal;

Slays king, ruins town,

And beats high mountain down.

The day of the moon will be when all is revealed to thee

Questions will cease

Answers will please

We’ll learn of the Shire and all you desire.

At ten minus Three. Joining to be Ten minus Eight Add to the slate of the two dozen princes that die without winces. And add to each day of the week.”

That sure beats a standard studio press release.

Fans at the site quickly solved the riddle, expecting an announcement on Monday the 21st, the “day of the moon.”

But it apparently took New Line and MGM a bit longer to work out the deal, so del Toro followed the official announcement with a fresh post:

“I must say you guys solved my, perhaps, ill-conceived riddle quite fast (I’m ashamed, actually) and got the date and times right. Nevertheless, the powers of red tape extended the process for hours and days longer.

“But now it’s all done.”

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