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Old 01-28-2008, 02:55 PM   #1
Boromir88
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And directing The Hobbit...perhaps!?

Sci-fi/fantasy master Guillermo Del Toro in talks with directing The Hobbit movie.

Del Toro most recently directed the stunning, and fantastic movie, Pans Labyrinth. He's also directed Hellboy, and a successful film in Mexico, Cronos.

Personally, this is good news for The Hobbit, as Sam Raimi may have been a disastrous choice for director. Your thoughts on Guillermo directing The Hobbit and Peter Jackson producing?
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:29 AM   #2
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Pan's Labyrinth is the only film I've seen by Del Toro, but even if I base my opinion only on that, I can say I'd be happy if they chose him.

PL is one of the best and most stunning films I've ever seen. Besides, I have never quite got used to the lightness of the Hobbit. I'm not saying the film should be as dark as PL, but I think a director with the habit of making merry films would have been quite catastrophic.

I honestly believe Del Toro would be able to make the Hobbit real when it comes to the scenery and characters... I guess I can make a wild guess and say that if he directs the Hobbit, I will enjoy it more than I did the Lotr movies.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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I agree Agan, I think Pans Labyrinth has been Del Toro's most successful, and best, film as of yet. It was an absolutely stunning movie, and I like your point about him making The Hobbit a little "darker." It would be interesting to see how this would work out, as Tolkien attempted to make The Hobbit "fit" better with LOTR.

Anyway, fantasy is like Del Toro's bread and butter, and it is something you can tell he is very passionate about. As I said in the first post, I hope this works out, as the rumors that Raimi would do it, scared me.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
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Seconded. Del Toro would be great indeed (in case we can't have Tim Burton ). Just imagine his Mirkwood, or Gollum... I would definitely love to see a more "artistic" Tolkien-film (not talking about Tarkovsky or anything, but rather... umm... well, like Pan's Labyrinth compared to Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, if you get what I mean), and Del Toro would be just the man to do that.

As for Sam Raimi... well... he's just wrong. Is there a chance that he'll indeed direct the Hobbit?

I have nothing against PJ producing, though that might be because I don't know just how much influence does the producer have on the content of the film. If not much, well, then everything is fine. It would be sad indeed if all the Tolkien-related films should concentrate on the vision of one man. Del Toro, I'm sure, has a vision of his own of Middle-Earth, and most probably one that isn't too much like PJ's.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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Pipe

He could be a good choice, since there's a bit
of a problem for a movie Hobbit, since it would
have to accomadate the lighter Hobbit book tone
with the already made LOTR movies. Of course,
his selection could endanger any dwarf tossing
episodes in the Hobbit movies.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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Del Toro is an excellent director if we use PANS L. as the measuring stick. He certainly evidences a great amount of talent and has a wonderful eye for what makes a movie stunning and a visual treat. That should serve him well in HOBBIT.

To maintain continuity with the other Middle-earth films, I dearly hope that Jackson is a very hands on producer and plays a pivotal role in the selection of such other talents as
writers
actors and actresses
set design
costume design
special effects
cinematographer
and all the other team members important to a huge big budget film like this will be. It is probably that Del Toro will want a few key people of his own that he has worked with in the past. That is fine. But it is my understanding that New Line wants as much continuinity visible on screen as possible.

One interesting thing will be over such issues as final cut of the film(s).
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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Dunno who this Del Toro fella is...

Personally I would like to see Tim Burton direct the Hobbit. I'm really not a big fan of his filmmaking but visually he's great and he would do a wicked Mirkwood. I also don't think the Hobbit should be made in a style similar to LoTR. The tone of the book is obviously much lighter and I think the movie should reflect that. Plesase Mr. director, give it a wonderous fairy-tale feel instead of the realism of the trilogy.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Little Green View Post
I would definitely love to see a more "artistic" Tolkien-film (not talking about Tarkovsky or anything, but rather... umm... well, like Pan's Labyrinth compared to Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, if you get what I mean), and Del Toro would be just the man to do that.
I do agree with you waiting for a more "artistic" take on a Tolkien story. But just thinking about Wolfgang Petersen I'd wish to say that his U-Boat film Das Boot (U-96) was one of the most deep, believable, touchingly realistic and still entertaining War-movie I have ever seen. So maybe he could come over that "Troy" stuff to eventually produce a realistical but still mind-gripping Hobbit? In Das Boot he clearly showed he can care of his characters and he has an ability to make them look real even if some of them are a bit stereotyped.

I would still go for Peter Weir if asked. Or if Ridley Scott would get an inspiration to produce something he managed in The Blade Runner or The Gladiator... But who would ask me about that?

I don't think Del Toro a bad choice. Don't get me wrong. I liked Pan's Labyrinth even if I thought it was a bit overdone...

Being artistically great or fresh you need to avoid the generalisations of the main-stream black-white stuff and the requirements of being slapstick in the "lowest common denominator" -way etc. But you can't follow the clicheés of "artsy" films either.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
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I wish Jackson et al were excluded tbh. I'd like to see Del Toro given a free hand to give the movie its own look & feel. There's little point in 'more of the same' as far as I can see. I haven't seen the stage show, but have seen pictures & it has a much more interesting look than the movies. Costume design in particular seems far & away superior to what we saw in the movie - particularly the Elves. The worst case scenario, as far as I'm concerned, is to have a director who is constrained by the look & feel of the Jackson movies - & I'd feel the same if I'd liked them.

The overall mood of a Hobbit movie should be far more 'Fairytale' - which would allow the talking animals & the songs, etc to work. To try & force TH to fit with the LotR movies in terms of style & mood will mean excluding so much of the spirit of the book that they may as well not bother. The Hobbit is a wonderful work in its own right, & shouldn't be put in the service of another work. If there's to be a 'model' for a Hobbit movie it should be The Wizard of Oz meets Pan's Labyrinth, not Jackson's LotR.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:47 PM   #10
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davem... I suspect you are in for a great disappointment if your wants for HOBBIT include talking animals, the songs, and a more fairytale feeling to it all. I suspect we will see something that is far more consistent with the first three Middle-earth movies.

There are reports right now that New Line wants as much continuity in terms of what is on the screen as they can get between these two films and the first three which did so well in so many ways. They want to strike box office gold again... an again. The best way they feel they can do that is to replicate as much as they can from the formula used for the LOTR films. That means Peter Jackson, WETA, Howard Shore and many other elements that show up on screen giving the ticket buyers a feeling of familiarity.

This is a film franchise now, like it or not. Many important decisions are being made on the basis on increasing the bottom line. As we all know, the film business is, after all, a business. And the main business of business is making money. If they are going to invest some $150 million US dollars in each of these two movies, you can bet they want to see that number multiplied at least five times, maybe more.

I did see the stage production - when it debuted in Toronto - and would give it a four on a scale of ten. I do not know what pictures you did see, but the costumes, just like the entire production - were very uneven with flashes of brilliance mixed in among the outright ridiculous. Some of the costumes in the big song and dance number in Bree looked right out of the Disney DAVY CROCKETT movie complete with coonskin caps. On the other hand, Galadriel was stunning. Somebody had the bright idea to make Saruman look like Otto Preminger in STALAG 17 complete with floor length black leather coat. Aragorn had these charcoal marks under his eyes like American football players use. They called this a musical but not one musical number was memorable or something you wanted to sing as you left the theater. And about half of it was that Cirque Soliel wailing - of which I am not the biggest fan.

The most telling thing about the play happened when it was over. Almost the entire crowd was there because they were LOTR fans. We will not debate for the moment where and from what medium that came from. I, and I assume they, wanted to like the play. When the play ended, there was applause which can only be described as polite. There were no encores, no curtain calls, none of the usual stuff. The appluase laster about one minute and then people filed out. The reaction was one of indifferent mediocrity.

I have read where the London production is being much more well received. Perhaps they made some changes for the better. Or perhaps its a different crowd.

Quote:
The Hobbit is a wonderful work in its own right, & shouldn't be put in the service of another work. If there's to be a 'model' for a Hobbit movie it should be The Wizard of Oz meets Pan's Labyrinth, not Jackson's LotR.
I do think you have something there. I would not be unhappy if that was the road they decided to travel down. We will have to wait and see. I suspect what we will see is something a bit between what you describe and Jacksons LOTR films. Time will tell.

Adding something here: you mention songs in HOBBIT and the tone of WIZARD OF OZ. Lets take one of the songs from HOBBIT as written by JRRT. Chapter VI - the dwarves and Bilbo and Gandalf are up in the trees surrounded by goblins and wargs. The goblins then sing the song which begins with the line
Fifteen birds in five fir-trees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!

and it goes on.

There are lots of ways this could be presented including a straight song like "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" from Oz. Or another way would be to have various golbins sout different lines of it as taunts toward the treed prisoners. It comes off as more of a real taunt than a singsong broadway tune that stops the movie and everybody says "what a cute song those ugly orcs are singing". That is how I would do it .... as if that counts for anything.

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Old 02-01-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
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There are reports right now that New Line wants as much continuity in terms of what is on the screen as they can get between these two films and the first three which did so well in so many ways. They want to strike box office gold again... an again. The best way they feel they can do that is to replicate as much as they can from the formula used for the LOTR films. That means Peter Jackson, WETA, Howard Shore and many other elements that show up on screen giving the ticket buyers a feeling of familiarity.

This is a film franchise now, like it or not. Many important decisions are being made on the basis on increasing the bottom line. As we all know, the film business is, after all, a business. And the main business of business is making money. If they are going to invest some $150 million US dollars in each of these two movies, you can bet they want to see that number multiplied at least five times, maybe more.
I don't see the point in hiring a director of Del Toro's quality & then basically telling him to copy Jackson & make a LotR clone. It strikes me that the best way to avoid striking box office gold is to simply repeat what has gone before - its also the best way to kill a franchise stone dead. Fans of the Jackson movies may go to see TH, but if all it is is more of the same then will they want to see a sequel?

And I have to say that, based on previous evidence (& the fluke of the LotR movies apart) the worst thing as far as commercial success is concerned is to give New Line what they want. From what you say New Line are in this purely to make money - & that is the worst approach because it leads to an avoidance of anything 'different' in the sequel as being too 'risky'. I can see this TH movie already - because I've seen the LotR movies. It will look exactly the same, have exactly the same 'feel', same bland dialogue. The more like the LotR movies it is the less reason to see it.

I do wonder how many movies fans really want more of the same, & how many would actually like to see a different vision of M-e? I suspect that if Del Toro was given a free hand he would give us a much more interesting take on Tolkien's work.

Then again, my ideal Hobbit would be an animation, in the style of Tolkien's own illustrations for the book.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:47 PM   #12
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I htink they have made radical changes since Saruman was wearing standard issue wizard robes in London and apart from Elrond being a bit too bling - dripping beads that might have come off the Christmas tree the costumes were good. They cut half and hour and went back to the drawing board.

I went on the opening night so yes the audience were probably mainly hard core Tolkien fans but it got a great response - thought he people we talked to in the interval may have been typical in that he was a big fan and she had bought them tickets as a gift. However both were loving it and we reckoned we had already had our money's worth. While it wasn't a classic musical with perhaps only Lothlorian being the "action stops while character sings" type of number, there were certainly a couple of good song and dance tunes and a few of the melodies I can hum even now after one hearing (just seen the CD on Amazon and thinking about it might invest). The puppet Balrog, Nazgul and Shelob were scarier by far than the CGI and the live Gollum far more effective. I so want to go again and several other Downers who have seen it in London have enjoyed it.

There was a play of the Hobbit about 10 years ago - heard it was quite good but no idea how they handled it other than they cut down on the number of dwarves.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:42 PM   #13
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I dearly hope that Jackson is a very hands on producer and plays a pivotal role in the selection of such other talents as
writers....
Oh, God, no!
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:06 PM   #14
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I think you both davem and Sauron the White are mature enough to see that the New Line will not make A Hobbit film to make an artistic avantgarde film or to offer the hard-core fans something they would rejoice in! A Hollywood film-studio would not finance a film by Bergman, Pasolini or Taviani brothers this day - they would not finance a film by Welles or Kubrick either. The days of these real or more challenging movies are just gone because today a movie needs to make money and not to be a good movie. That is sad indeed.

The time of the lowbrow cash-magnets is in. Nice effects, easy drama, non-existant characters if they just look good to the teens (just think of Elijah Wood or Hayden Christensen), black and white arrangements, easy plots not to puzzle anyone not to talk of making one uneasy about her/his everyday life, worldview etc. This is what you will get accept it or not.

Whatever comes from that Hollywood-mill is something standard entertainment PJ managed to turn LotR into. Now seeing he's on charge of the project just verifies any foresights that it will be much of the same.

Yes, the films by PJ looked and sounded great. I have no complaints about that. But the film on the Hobbit will be at best only looking good as they will restrain Del Toro or anyone taking the task with some pretty clear rulings that will appeal to the standard US. teen-audiences who haven't got the slightest of the book but wish to see more of that nice epic their friends liked as well and seeing of which allowed them to be on the edge on those days it was the talk of the day (which will change in two weeks or something)...
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:07 PM   #15
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Dunno who this Del Toro fella is...

. . . . Plesase Mr. director, give it a wonderous fairy-tale feel instead of the realism of the trilogy.
As Boro posted earlier on this thread, Guillermo Del Torro directed the award winning Pan's Labyrinth. It is a spectacularly done dark modern fantasy.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:50 PM   #16
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Just my two cents here.... I do think that Hollywood studios want to make money. That is their highest goal. Being a business, that should not come as a shock to anyone out there. All businesses want to make money, especially those with stockholders who they must answer to. They also want to make some good films that get them critical praise and awards. They would like the Triple Crown of all three if possible. That is what they had with the three LOTR films and that is what they want with the next two.

There are no wide-eyed virgins in the multi billion dollar business world. Harper-Collins and Houghton Mifflin are no different. They have a bottom line and have an eye to it at all times. Why else would they release a story that has been on my shelf for many years now and have the gall to advertise it as a new book? The name of the game is money money money. And anyone who thinks differently is denying reality.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:28 AM   #17
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Well, Del Toro is a very successful & highly accomplished director - far more accomplished than Jackson, who could never have produced a work as complex, subtle & moving as Pan's Labyrinth. GDT has made commercially successful, populist movies (Hellboy) as well, so its hardly a case of a director only known so far for art movies. Del Toro's Middle-earth could well be far superior to Jackson's. What we're being offered at the moment seems to be simply more of the same - two more movies which are carbon copies of the Rings trilogy. And as I said, a Hobbit movie that simply reproduces the look & feel of the LotR films may draw in an audience on the strength of those movies, but would anyone really want to see a sequel to it that was yet another copy? A Hobbit movie should have its own look & feel - otherwise forget a director like GDT & just hire some hack sitcom director & tell him to copy Jackson.

Quote:
There are no wide-eyed virgins in the multi billion dollar business world. Harper-Collins and Houghton Mifflin are no different. They have a bottom line and have an eye to it at all times. Why else would they release a story that has been on my shelf for many years now and have the gall to advertise it as a new book? The name of the game is money money money. And anyone who thinks differently is denying reality.
Things were different under Allen & Unwin.... Of course, Raynor Unwin was not only a close friend of Tolkien (& Christopher), but also a fan of his work. For instance, the launch of Unfinished Tales was a very muted affair because Christopher had asked for that - he wanted UT to be seen very much as a small scale book for serious students of Tolkien & at that time there was no expectation that HoM-e would follow. And, to give credit where its due, this is why CoH was presented as a 'new' work - you have to understand that there is a major difference between works like TH, LotR & The Sil & works like UT & HoM-e. The latter are 'academic' works, aimed at serious students of Tolkien's works. They aren't meant to be read by the general Tolkien fan - most of HoM-e is 'unreadable' - & I should know, 'cos I've read it: parts of it two or three times.

So, UT & HoM-e have to be set aside from the other M-e writings: TH, LotR, TS & CoH are aimed at the general reader, UT & HoM-e at the Tolkien student. And the main reason for that is that the latter works are complicated, repetitive, & require a lot of background knowledge about Tolkien & about his sources. Much of whats in the later parts of HoM-e was not written for publication:- it was written for Tolkien himself, because (as Raynor & others have pointed out) Tolkien thought on paper - he would often write long pieces, even essays, to get things straight in his mind, or clarify some aspect of a story, or even just to convince himself that something actually worked.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:20 AM   #18
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This morning I just rewatched PANS LABYRINTH to discuss it here. Those who are fans of movies like to play the game of looking at a filmmakers past work and speculating on how they would then make some future property. Del Toro has made a bunch of films but PANS is probably held up to be his best.

A rewatching of the film only confirmed my intial impression that the Fascist scenes in Spain were far and away the better part of the film while the fantasy scenes were weaker and not as interesting. In fact, given Del Toros love of horror and monsters, the fantasy scenes were far closer to horror than they were fantasy. The one scene of the creature with eyes in its hands was extremely dark and disturbing. Even the portrayal of the faun, was a bit dark and bordered on being twisted.

I have no doubt that Del Toro can do justice to the goblins/orcs and to Smaug and ther other forces of evil in HOBBIT. But I wonder about those here who cry out for a lighter touch and more of a kids film in line with WIZARD OF OZ or the POTTER films. I did not see it in PL.

However, I must say that its nearly impossible to look at a filmmakers past work and accurately judge how his future work would look. Especially when his past work is a limited body of work.

Sure, I can watch a dozen Frank Capra films and tell you how he would handle a story of the little honest guy up against the big corrupt machine --- thats easy. But I have no idea how Frank Capra would handle THE HOBBIT.

I can watch a bunch of John Ford westerns and tell you how he would probably handle a movie about an aging calvary commander in hostile Indian country. But I have no idea how Ford would handle the HOBBIT.

For the time being I will have to rest with the idea that Del Toro is a very good filmmaker with a good eye. That is about as far as I would go on this.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:57 PM   #19
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and this just in from totalfilm.com
===========================================

Quote:
World Exclusive: Del Toro clears up Hobbit rumours!
It’s NOT happening yet, Guillermo tells Total Film…
01 Feb 2008 4:11pm


“Well, the reality is that the Hobbit story has broken early because the negotiations have not ended and The Hobbit is not a sure thing.”

That’s Guillermo del Toro setting the record straight. With all the talk flying about the Pan’s Labyrinth helmer apparent sign-on to direct The Hobbit, Total Film called up our good buddy Guillermo to get the facts direct from him.

“The reality is, I will know that it's happening when we have the final word and I am fully and officially on board,” del Toro tells Total Film.

“I think what happens very often is that these rumours have a way of becoming real or not. I don't expect The Hobbit to be troublesome. But you know, then again, it may never happen... or it may!”

But make no mistake, del Toro does want this. Badly. “I would LOVE it,” says GDT. “I bought all the Tolkein books that were available in Mexico when I was 11 years old, but the one that I read at 11 years old was The Hobbit. So it left an indelible mark in my imagination.”

For the full story on The Hobbit, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and much, much more, make sure you read the full interview with del Toro in the April Issue of Total Film, out 21 February.

In the meantime, stick close to TotalFilm online for more GDT updates. “You know the beauty of The Hobbit, if it were to happen,” adds del Toro, “is that The Hobbit, out of all the books, is the one that resembles more a fairytale.

"I loved this very Hitchcockian idea of a very proper, prissy character with a very limited universe being taken on a journey where danger and pain and loss ultimately enhances his view of the world. And that to me is a very, very powerful story…”
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:15 PM   #20
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Well, to be frank, considering the films that Jackson had made before doing the LotR, would we have considered him the right candidate as a director? And despite all of the inconsistencies and weaknesses we book fans find in his version, he did amaze us with a wonderful set of visualizations and with a stronger trilogy of movies than anyone, I think, would have expected.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:08 AM   #21
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“You know the beauty of The Hobbit, if it were to happen,” adds del Toro, “is that The Hobbit, out of all the books, is the one that resembles more a fairytale.

"I loved this very Hitchcockian idea of a very proper, prissy character with a very limited universe being taken on a journey where danger and pain and loss ultimately enhances his view of the world. And that to me is a very, very powerful story…”
This at least sounds promising.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:28 AM   #22
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And del Toro might do betterjustice then (say, PJ would)
to the morally complicated situation near the end of TH
with competing claims/rights of the "good guys" to
Smaug's treasure hoard.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:24 PM   #23
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and Howard Shore may be along for the ride also
this posted today

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In an IF Magazine interview with LOTR composer Howard Shore, the interviewer asks Howard Shore about his potential involvement with the upcoming ‘Hobbit’ films:

“iF: Do you hope to be scoring THE HOBBIT for Peter?

SHORE: Yes, of course. The book is wonderful and I’ve dreamed of writing music for it.”
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:41 PM   #24
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I'd be ok with Del Toro. He has a great sense of imagery. I'm just concerned that his vision for Middle-earth won't match up to that in the other movies. He generally seems to like things dark. Dunno if that would be true if he were adapting someone else's work, though. Either way, I think he's the best choice we've heard since it became clear this would be happening with PJ as producer (I still kind of want PJ to direct, for unity of vision purposes, but I may be in the minority as far as that's concerned, and it's not going to happen anyway so that's a moot point).

I'd love to see Howard Shore come back. His music is gorgeous and it really captured Middle-earth for me. Even before seeing FOTR, I had the soundtrack and was marveling at how everything sounded so right.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:55 AM   #25
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Variety is reporting that Universal Pictures is making a pitch to tie up Del Toro on their own projects.

Quote:
U also was caught off-guard after they aggressively courted Guillermo Del Toro, the filmmaker behind "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy." The studio gave him a first-look deal, picked up a sequel to "Hellboy" with a budget of more than $80 million, and even bought the rights to his dream project, the H.P. Lovecraft epic, "At the Mountains of Madness."

But U brass was stunned to suddenly see Del Toro emerge as the likely director of the next two "Hobbit" movies for New Line and MGM. That would lock him down for four straight years in New Zealand.

Langley acknowledges, "We're in discussions with how to rectify that with Guillermo."
The looming legal battle on the shadow of uncertainty of a start date may cost the project the services of Del Toro.
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