Del Toro stops in L.A. for the last time pre-Hobbit and updates us

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Director Guillermo del Toro popped into Los Angeles for one last time on Monday night before returning to New Zealand to make two films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and told reporters and fans that he is happy development takes so long, because it makes the films better. Del Toro has been prepping the film since he got the job in 2008.

"I wish it took longer even," del Toro said at a meet and greet at the Meltdown Comics shop, where he was signing copies of his novel, The Strain.

Writing is still underway on the two screenplays for the movies, which will be produced by Peter Jackson. "We're working on it still," del Toro said. "I think it will be finished when the DVD comes out."

The signing represented del Toro's final U.S. appearance for a while as he plans to spend several years in New Zealand working on the films. "This is my last trip," he said. "I'm going to go [there for] three years."

Already, the New Zealand cuisine has affected del Toro's girth. "I grew eight sizes," he said. "This morning I went to Big and Tall because my pants were, like, [too tight]. There's a thing called Pavlova, which is like a giant meringue with cream on top. I have this [jacket] to cover my breastage."

The Hobbit is due in theaters in 2012.