Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit Starts Shooting in 2010

November 29, 2008

Guillermo del Toro / The Hobbit

As part of a promotion for the new Hellboy II Blu-Ray, Guillermo del Toro participated in an online chat with fans last weekend. As always, del Toro usually provides some minor updates on The Hobbit during chats like this, and he revealed a few details actually worth mentioning. Thanks to for providing the transcript of the chat. Most importantly, del Toro says that filming will begin in 2010 and that The Hobbit (to eventually be split into two films) will shoot for 370 days. Considering a typical film shoot is usually only a few months, that's a shocking number, but certainly necessary for this adaptation.

Gullermo also said that he's hoping to work with the following past collaborators: Hellboy comic book author Mike Mignola during the "design stage for a week or two", concept artist Wayne Barlowe, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro of all of del Toro's previous films, and special effects house Spectral Motion. None of this is official, but he's hopeful they will all join. Most of these people have worked with Guillermo before on everything from Pan's Labyrinth to Hellboy II, which will make them a perfect addition to The Hobbit team on top of everyone from the Lord of the Rings films.

As for the special effects and creatures, del Toro mentioned that they're really focusing on the Goblin Kingdom, the dragon Smaug, and the Spiders of Mirkwood in regards to creature design. "We will be pushing them to the edge of technology where we will fuse animatronics and CGI into a seamless new art form in creating creatures." While Hellboy II had a lot of recognizable puppets, del Toro says that The Hobbit will feature more of a seamless mix. "You will see some mind-boggling mixture of CGI / puppetry like never before. The demarcation of where one technique ends and the other begins will NOT be as clean as in HBII or Blade II or Pan's Labyrinth. I am going to push further than ever on both fronts."

It's always a huge relief to hear from Guillermo del Toro, because every time he talks about The Hobbit, I gain even more confidence in him. To be honest, I was worried after Hellboy II that he might not be able to still pull it off, but it sounds like Peter Jackson is making sure they're doing it exactly right. "The challenge is to create and expand a massive universe and be as immersive as the [Lord of the Rings] trilogy was. To approach Tolkien's book with the right mixture of reverence, enthusiasm and invention."

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DAAAAAMN! That's ages off, may as well forget about this film for a while. Never realised Del Toro is so slow to start a film? Jesus.

FRIG! on Nov 29, 2008


To #1 It's not really his fault. The studio, represented by Peter Jackson, is being maticulous with their approach with these films. I suspect they may start sooner though. 2010 is a rough estimate really.

Quanah on Nov 29, 2008


2010?!! 8 years after the end of LOTR's.. ohhh please don't do things late. Life's fading away waiting for good movies to come. Everybody's getting older waiting for so long. Start making the movie now!!!!!!

steven on Nov 29, 2008


It seems as though del Toro is not utilizing many of the essential things that made LOTR amazing. 1- You would think he would try to keep in some consistency by using the genius artists Alan Lee and John Howe who really shaped much of the genius imagery in the Trilogy. He's using the Hellboy concept artists who dissapointed in Hellboy II by using many Pan Labrynthesc creatures. 2- He is not using the Oscar winning Visual effects and CGI studios WETA workshop and WETA digital, which is OWNED by Peter Jackson and used on the once again brilliant LOTR trilogy and King Kong. King Kong and the LOTR trilogy were done brilliantly, and that is in part due to the special effects/ visual effects geniuses at WETA, and also the wisdom of hiring people who have expirience with the story they are working on (John Howe and Alan Lee who illustrated LOTR for years even before the films). I cant say that del Toros decisions will result in a bad film, personally I am a big fan of his previous work, but I cannot see how they will be up to par with the originality and truth to the book like the team who new the trilogy like the back of their hands. Luckily I don't see Peter Jackson letting this be a bad film, I just hope he helps it to be an amazing film, in the light of his films that came before it.

SmartGuy on Nov 29, 2008


Who says their not using WETA? Often more than one FX house in involved in a big project, so I imagine WETA will still be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Ditto for Peter's concept artists. GDT just wants some of his own people involved as well, which is totally natural. I'm pretty excited about this.

Dan B. on Nov 29, 2008


John Howe and Alan Lee are working on The Hobbit films; Howe's probably going to be the lead designer on Smaug. Secondly, Spectral Motion and Weta Digital worked together before on Rise of the Silver Surfer, it's no biggie.

Chris on Nov 29, 2008


I'm just pumped that this movie is being made. I'm not going to go into it thinking "I hope this is as good as the trilogy." Because if you're going to hold it up to those standards, there is a possibility of being disappointed. Del Toro and Jackson are invovled, I love both of their work, I just want to see one of my favorite books being brought to the silver screen by two amazing story tellers... enough said.

Faust on Nov 29, 2008


I still find it hard to believe that this is going to fly...with LOTR already released this is little more than pre-history in Middle Earth...the climactic struggle has already taken place...I just dont get it...they should have had the foresight to do this in its proper sequence....

cornholio_by_the_sea on Nov 29, 2008


I’d love to see the picture sooner, but I’d rather del Toro & crew take whatever time they need to make a good movie. It sounds as though this is exactly what they’re doing, so kudos to them for the prep work. I do hope they retain as many of the LOTR crew as they can – creative consistency is a good thing – but the movie business is a funny thing, it seems, and so who knows which people will be available ten years after production of the first series.

Random Man on Nov 29, 2008


Why didnt they give dragonball to this guy?

McDoommoon on Nov 30, 2008


I hope this movie does more than live up too the Trilogy, imo, those movies were kind of flat. Not entirely their fault mind you, if you have read all three books, you have to admit that they were awfully long and drawn out. The hobbit was a much more entertaining read, so it stands to reason that the movie should be even more so.

9mm on Dec 1, 2008


well you see #4 the reason for all this is that del toro is a big idiot!!! I fear for this movie, it will prolly really suck and that makes me very sad. the only way dragonball would be good is if they let someone who actually really understands and likes the world that is dragonball and dragonballz direct it. untill then it will suck and lose more and more credibility in the film world.

tyler wilson on Dec 1, 2008


if he does however creat this movie i hope to heck that they use the same actors, gandolf, bilbo and such other wise it is not worth doing as for it will no longer be as original as the other 3 movies. and i would not watch due to disopointment!

thecasting on Dec 17, 2008


dissapointed about the time length. Released in 2011! Geezzz! I've been reading website posts about The Hobbit since 2003. This is the rediculous part of the movie business. And a special thanks to Peter and new Line for that long drawn out accounting BS we had to sit through just to get to this point. I am anxiously awaiting a good movie but I am not light about letting go of past events and parties that were obstacles to moving forward. I'll have to wait longer now, in my anger.

wmsd on Dec 21, 2008


I'm a huge fan of Del Toro. It's a shame that Jackson has so much involvement in The Hobbit. I'd like to see Del Toro's unhindered vision of the book.

Jessica on May 5, 2009


@Jessica: Good for you. Well he totally blow it with the labyrinth. It wasn't so good as it might. Hopes he making it better with those sacred peaces. But people should have an little insight to got more comfortable with it. They already knows the story. A little glimp would give some feeling of trust that he will handle it.

Jammy on Jan 25, 2010


I agree with Jessica. Peter Jackson did a crappy job with the LOTR trilogy; the only thing he did well was Gollum. Everything else was a big schlock-fest with horrid visuals, wall-to-wall bad acting and bad direction. Oh, the Balrog was good, too, I'll give him that. Beyond that, it was horrid. Total melodrama. And setting it in New Zealand? Really? So ridiculous. Such a bad look for the film, and all because he had an agenda to make New Zealand a filmmaking capital. I'm so unhappy Jackson still has a connection to Tolkien films. New Line should have kicked Jackson to the curb and given Del Toro total creative freedom. Del Toro is a true storyteller with breathtaking visual creativity and actual insight into people's emotions; Jackson is a plodder with the soul of an engineer, only fit to be a production coordinator and perhaps a technical consultant for visual effects, not a director.

Dan on Mar 28, 2010


YOU are an idiot!

Ddenise on Jan 28, 2011

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