Guillermo Del Toro: 'I Don't Like Hobbits'!?

Let me first say, I'm a huge fan of Guillermo del Toro and am very excited to see what he will be able to bring the Tolkien's universe. That said I found the following quote from del Toro in an article on, talking about how he's never had any interest in the Lord of the Rings genre of fantasy... wait, what?

"I was never into heroic fantasy. At all," del Toro admitted during a 2006 Cannes interview. "I don't like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits — I've never been into that at all. I don't like sword and sorcery. I hate all that stuff."

Huh? I'm confused. Why did del Toro sign on for this four-year two film commitment? What made him change his mind about an entire genre which he clearly seems "hate"? Again, I'm pretty sure he will make an incredible movie regardless, but I'm interested to know what happened in the last two years that changed his mind on the genre.