Guillermo on Hobbit 3D Rumors, His DP Choice, and Avatar

August 31, 2009

Guillermo del Toro

Remember that rumor from a few weeks ago that The Hobbit might end up being shot in 3D? Yea, it's not true. That's why it was a rumor - it was a bit hard to believe. Our friends at put in an e-mail with the big man himself, Guillermo del Toro, and got confirmation that they are not pursuing 3D on The Hobbit. After getting that out of the way, GdT did also confirm that they're hiring Oscar winner Guillermo Navarro (of Pan's Labyrinth, Night at the Museum, Hellboy II) as the Director of Photography of Hobbit. He also drops a juicy tidbit about James Cameron's Avatar, to keep news on that going this week as well.

Most of these updates and quotes come from the actual forums on TORN where Guillermo posts regularly. Here's his statements on the 3D rumors, which put any speculation to rest (at least until Avatar opens).

As a co-writer and director of this film (who works with the design teams, costume teams, creature teams, VFX teams every day of the week), let me be very clear one more time: we are not talking about 3D, we are NOT writing the screenplay for 3D right now- we are hiring my DoP Guillermo Navarro to shoot the film and we are not discussing 3D with him either or with WETA digital or WB or anyone else.

That should be a little less sidestepping, I hope. If after AVATAR the market may change and demands are put upon us, etc that is in the future. But if such things happen and we start discussing 3D down the line, I'll let it be know here at TORN because that's the proper way of doing things. But make no mistake- I've been living in NZ for almost a year now and we have not been discussing 3D.

When we do, I'll make sure your source finds out. Thank You, Guillermo.

And speaking of Avatar, since that is almost always a controversial topic nowadays, Guillermo also briefly mentions that movie as well in response to MarketSaw's claims. Avatar is currently being finished at Weta Digital in New Zealand, which is the same company that will eventually work on The Hobbit. His responses stem from the earlier discussions on the TORN forums about 3D and if it's really the future of movies.

I believe Jim [Dorey of MarketSaw] is defending what he believes to be true. He is a knowledgeable, passionate film-lover and perhaps his source in this case is also someone that would love to see the HOBBIT films happen in 3D. Perhaps so-

Jim has been right in the past and he may be right in the future. He is dead-on about the imminent conversion of film into an expanding 3-D field - at least in most blockbusters and I know of, at least, 4 or 5 major filmmakers preparing 3D films right now. Some of them seriously artistic and ungimmicky!!

I've seen AVATAR and I was absolutely blown away by it!! I myself expect to explore 3D soon enough- it is the future, just not my immediate future. I promise to you guys and Jim to let you know if anything changes in that or any regard…

And no- neither David Tennant nor Tom Cruise are Bilbo and we are not redesigning Gollum. My best wishes to all- GDT.

So there you have it! Not only does GdT confirm that the 3D rumors and those Tom Cruise rumors (read about them here) are a bunch of BS (for the time being), but he goes on to praise Avatar in a big way. I'm sure a handful of commenters will say "of course, he's working with Weta, he has to say that," but come on, give Avatar a chance! If almost every filmmaker out there has said its blown them away, why would they all be lying? I'll admit that teaser trailer wasn't the greatest, but it still might blow everyone away once it opens in December. At least just wait until you see the entire thing in IMAX 3D, as it was designed to be seen.

But let's keep our focus on The Hobbit and Guillermo del Toro, since that's what this update is about today. We still have three years to go, but it's starting to get exciting. I can't wait to find out who he cast as Bilbo!

Find more posts: Discuss, Movie News, Rumors



Regardless of the CG, Avatar is really an experiment in immersion. One I have to say it wholeheartedly succeeds at with just 15 minutes of footage.

Fuelbot on Aug 31, 2009


First let me say a Jim Cameron film is always something to look forward to.I thought fifteen minute footage twice,thought was ok,interesting but nothing mind-blowing.Something about CGI 3D that doesn't translate compared to 3D documentaries I've seen.Looking forward to seeing film as a whole.I thought Avatar day was a great idea,but I didn't think effects were as good{even with 3d} as the first Transformers movie,and to be honest I think Inception is looking much better.

TIR NAN NOG on Aug 31, 2009


And Micheal sheen should play Bilbo.

TIR NAN NOG on Aug 31, 2009


Totally agree with #3 Tir! Sheen would be amazing as Bilbo

Maxx on Aug 31, 2009


He is completely correct about 3D being solely a gimmick. I am extremely happy to hear that they won't be perusing it. I would hate fore there to be huge amounts of wasted footage showing axes and arrows flying out and troll arms reaching out. I groan every time I see one of those shots. I actually really hope that Avatar kills this gimmick bullshit and shows that 3D can be used artistically. That or it proves once and for all the 3D is worthless and should be ended.

Stevo on Aug 31, 2009


The entire idea of 3d just furthers the bullshit that hollywood can disguise a shitty story with good effects. Thats the whole deal with mass CG in many films. THat said I agree with ^ Perhaps avatar will use these tools to ENHANCE the story. Not disguise it.

ramez on Aug 31, 2009


Why? 3D is a gimmick. Despite what people think, movies are getting a bit cheaper and not as many people are buying additional food and what not. to make more money? Make it in crappy 3D and charge $3-5 more. Here we are again setting up Avatar to suck and apparently everyone thinks it will unless you spend $15 or more a person to see it, "the way it should be seen." 'Cause apparently if you don't see it that way, it's worthless meaning the action is crappy and there's no plot. I'm just saying and if you want to defend it, defend it with something more than what you've been saying. There's really nothing supporting that movie. People say it's good? What's that mean? They're friends of Cameron? Yeah...

Tra la la la la di da on Aug 31, 2009


Tom Cruise as Bilbo? Who started that one? He'd make a better elf...

Google the Oct8pus on Aug 31, 2009


every time you write about our buddy Guillermo, you use that creepy picture.

Al on Aug 31, 2009


^ What's wrong with that photo? I don't think it's creepy, I think it's stylish, better than the normal GdT photos most people use, I think it's unique! Just my choice... I'm glad everyone is finally seeing 3D for exactly what it is - a gimmick. I've been fighting against it although I'm only going to support it because of Cameron. Avatar is the only movie I'll say needs to be seen in 3D and will be supporting.

Alex Billington on Aug 31, 2009


I find it curious that GDT ls praising Avatar after a week + of fanboy badmouthing...

Jamdolin on Aug 31, 2009


^Perhaps he doesn't care to follow the bashing TREND.

Vold on Aug 31, 2009


Del Toro is fast becoming a world renown director, Pan's Labyrinth was just amazing, and I have high hopes for The Hobbit, ans I'm glad to see that he's staying far away from this 3-D gimmick, a gimmick that needs to be put to rest.

Xerxex on Aug 31, 2009


3D is NOT a gimmick is used to serve the story. Any filmmaking tool used to serve the story will never ever ever be a gimmick. Thus far, 3D has been gimmicky. But the point of Cameron's film is to experiment in 3D technology that serves the story and the film. The only bad thing about the trailer was that it was shown online, and of course it's going to look crappy that way! Almost all CGI trailers look shitty in online trailers.

T-Man on Aug 31, 2009


I meant to write "IF used to serve the story"... not "is used to serve the story"

T-Man on Aug 31, 2009


Agreed Michael sheen would be a perfect Bilbo...didnt know who you were talking about and looked him up on IMDB. Holy shit that would be an amazing casting choice. And like Ive said 10 times before you cant judge Avatar until you've seen how its meant to be seen.

Cody on Aug 31, 2009


I can see Sheen in the role, but James McAvoy would be the better choice in my opinion. He does wide eyed innocence very well and has a great range as his performances in The Last King of Scotland, Atonement and Wanted would indicate.

cinemabandit on Aug 31, 2009


Even when used well, 3D is only a very small plus, not worth the extra dollars or the manufacture of millions of disposable glasses. It adds something to only a handful of shots in the entire film, and when not used properly on landscape shots, it actually makes everything look smaller and less epic (if you saw Monsters versus Aliens, you know what I'm talking about... Little-toy-car syndrome everywhere).

Mark on Aug 31, 2009


As long as Guillermo sticks to the book, as far as the story goes, and doesn't add some of his own crap to 'improve' it, I'll be willing to see the Hobbit.

AC on Dec 20, 2009

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