Peter Jackson may not be directing the upcoming Hobbit movies, but New Line may have found an even better director to take his place. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Hobbit movies – the book is somehow being split into two films – will be directed by none other than Guillermo Del Toro. Del Toro is best known for the award-winning film Pan’s Labyrinth, as well as Hellboy. Needless to say, Guillermo Del Toro is no stranger to fantasy OR fanboy films. Del Toro is in talks to direct, which means nothing has been finalized – but usually, when someone is “in talks”, it means they’re going to take the project.
As I’m sure you know, The Hobbit is a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and is one of the most anticipated projects of the next three years. Concerns were raised when Peter Jackson backed out after a rather bitter contract dispute, but those same concerns were alleviated when New Line and MGM managed to come to peace with the director. Jackson will be an executive producer for The Hobbit, which will be split into two films that will be created simultaneously, each for $150 million. It is expected that the first film will be released in 2010 and the other in 2011.
Here are two things I’m wondering:
- How much creative license will Del Toro have in regards to The Hobbit? Obviously, neither fans nor New Line want to mess with a proven formula, but Guillermo Del Toro has a very unique visual style. Honestly, it’d be pretty cool to see what Del Toro would come up with if he had free reign; at the same time, The Lord of the Rings trilogy was pretty perfect, and I don’t want anything getting messed up. So how much visual flavor will Del Toro be able to add to the story?
- Second, how are they splitting The Hobbit into two movies? The Hobbit is the quickest and most basic of the Middle Earth tales, and it seems a bit odd to split the shortest and most adventure-based tale into two movies – other than the obvious revenue-making potential, of course. How will they split The Hobbit into two?