Guillermo del Toro 'Hobbit' deal closes

Will direct the film and its sequel in New Zealand

Related: Del Toro doubles up for 'Hobbit'

After protracted negotiations, Guillermo del Toro has closed his deal Wednesday to direct "The Hobbit" and its sequel for New Line and MGM.

The Mexican helmer will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work with "The Lord of the Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson, who is exec producing, and his Wingnut and WETA production teams.

Del Toro will helm the two films back to back, telling the story of "The Hobbit," and its sequel, which will deal with the 60-year period between "The Hobbit" and "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first of the "Rings" trilogy.

Del Toro's next movie is the upcoming Universal release "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army."