Another Big Update on The Hobbit from Guillermo del Toro
"I was calmly laying out the next decade of my life when The Hobbit appeared. I was preparing all these things and all of a sudden The Hobbit shows up and takes over my life." Total Film has published an epic 10-page Q&A with director Guillermo del Toro on all things The Hobbit. Of course, we still don't know who is playing Bilbo or when they'll start shooting (considering MGM may go under), but if you're a J.R.R. Tolkien fanatic, you've just got to read it anyway. Plus, it's always great listening to Guillermo talk about making movies! Especially a movie as very highly anticipated as The Hobbit - so just keep on reading!
One of the first questions he was asked was whether they'll keep the same structure as the book and whether they'll be adding or changing anything beyond that (as in, pulling more stories from other Tolkien works).
"We are respecting the structure established by Professor Tolkien because the order of the adventures in The Hobbit is well known to generations and generations of kids. You don't want to be moving stuff like that.
But we will be integrating Gandalf's comings and goings because he does disappear in the book quite often. So, as opposed to the book, we see where he goes and what happens to him."
We suggest you read the whole thing, but I've pulled a few of the better answers. Del Toro is known for his creatures and their designs, so he was asked whether they'll be sticking to the creature designs from Lord of the Rings or creating their own creatures. They're changing quite a bit, del Toro revealed. "I also wanted some of the monsters in The Hobbit to be majestic." Majestic? Might not make sense, but he explains.
"I wanted the Wargs to have a certain beauty so that you don't have a massively clear definition: what is beautiful is good and what is ugly is not. Some of the monsters are absolutely gorgeous."
What about the Spiders of Mirkwood? "They are visually quite striking and in a different way to Shelob," he explains. "They are more creatures of the shadow, more creatures of the deep forest... Our spiders have to feel massive but be very nimble." I'm already getting creeped out just thinking about the spiders that they're going to come up with for this. And what about the dragon Smaug (who has also been addressed before)?
"I think one of the designs I'm the proudest of is Smaug. Obviously he took the longest.
Early in production I came up with a very strong idea that would separate Smaug from every other dragon ever made. The problem was implementing that idea. But I think we've nailed it."
Obviously we won't know what it is until sometime in 2011, but I'm already very excited. Del Toro goes on to talk about working with Peter Jackson, making the battles in The Hobbit stand out, the tone and color palette (which will be different from Lord of the Rings slightly, focusing more on the seasons), and making it more magical. But I think it's best to leave you with this quote: "All I can say is that we have an incredibly good team of people who know we are not making another Rings. We are not trying to make a quadrilogy, or a pentilogy. We're tying to make two films that flow with those but that stand on their own completely."