Monday, November 09, 2009

POETIC LICENCE: Del Toro's 'Hobbit' changes

A mere few hours drive from where I sit typing, at the Wellington based WETA Workshop, film director Guillermo del Toro and producer Peter Jackson are hard at work on the most eagerly awaited set of fantasy films since Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy: the two Hobbit movies. Recently Del Toro revealed how he hopes a bit of 'poetic licence' on adapting the book by Professor J R R Tolkien will give audiences a more "majestic" experience.

With over three times the design time of Hellboy, and over three times the number of artists used on other films, Del Toro expects the production of drawings and character models, to continue through to the start of filming at the end of the New Zealand summer (March). The bulk of the design time took about a year he says, because of the unique idea he had for the monster he's most proudest of - the dragon Smaug -which will make it different to all the other dragons on film.

Aiming to add a sense of the majestic to other monsters in The Hobbit as well, Del Toro admits that some of the creature designs from LOTR, will be changing, "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"

As an added Easter Egg for fans of the source material, the director added that while the two films will follow the structure of the novel, they will also fill in a few gaps, such as what the wizard Gandalf was doing, when he was absent from the action in the book. The first of the two Hobbit films will open in 2011.

(Via Total Film Website)


  1. I feel like the odd man out in that I didn't really care for the LOTR movies that much, and the only reason I'd bother to see the Hobbit movies is that Del Toro's directing them.

  2. Fair enough Rob - I'm looking forward to seeing Del Toro's take on everything too.

    One of the things I liked about LOTR was the way my whole country really got behind it. So many movies film here, Narnia, Wolverine, 30 Days of Night etc, but with LOTR it just took on this whole other life and became something everyone brought into and was positive towards.

    Hell I even auditioned as an extra. Being 6ft3 I was instantly assigned as an Elf but failed the 'sword test'.

    It may sound odd a movie unifying a country but as they filmed it all over it honestly did, hopefully the same pride will occur for the Hobbit.

  3. That sounds really cool. I can see why there'd be enormous local pride, having a giant, sprawling trilogy filmed in your backyard.

    I've long since accepted the fact that I just miss something about LOTR---its obviously great, since its so popular for so long.

  4. I think Del Toro could potentially do a great job with this, although he certainly has big shoes to fill from the LOTR trilogy. I hope he doesn't get too crazy with the "artistic license".

    That's a cool story Dan. I can imagine that a country would back up such a great undertaking. It must have been really cool to witness.