"The Hobbit" is finally happening! - To go into production at MGM

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Postby Zahveed » Wed May 28, 2008 3:09 pm

If that 200 Mil is somehow paid, this would practically be the most expensive movie ever made.
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Postby OscarGuy » Wed May 28, 2008 2:15 pm

A new roadblock:

Tolkien's Son Tries To Block Hobbit Movie
28 May 2008 9:11 AM, PDT

Lord Of The Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien's son is desperately trying to stop a new movie version of his father's novel The Hobbit.

Christopher Tolkien wants the two-film adaptation blocked until his family are paid the $200 million (GBP100 million) he claims they are owed by New Line Cinema bosses from the big-screen adaptations of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

He will appear before a judge in California on 6 June in a bid to have The Hobbit movie "terminated", reports Britain's Sunday Times newspaper.

Guillermo del Toro will direct the new franchise, and Sir Ian McKellen will reprise his role as Gandalf. Shooting is due to begin in New Zealand later this year.
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Postby MovieWes » Tue May 27, 2008 2:55 pm

I didn't say that Celeborn was definitely a member of the White Council. I said that it is possible that he was. There are some members of the White Council that J.R.R. Tolkien didn't mention by name.
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Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 27, 2008 2:44 pm

Ok. I did a little digging and while the references I found said Cirdan was a member, he did so from his home in the Grey Havens, sending only councillors to the council. Now, this does not mean he won't appear, but I doubt that he will. Celeborn is also not mentioned as a member of the white council. However, Radagast the Brown was listed as a part of the council and that the other Istari were likely members. Now, I think Radagast left the council at one point and went off to be with the birds and the animals as he preferred, but that may not have been until after the Dol Guldur.

The White Council information I found was on the LOTR wikia.
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Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 27, 2008 2:34 pm

The Cirdan thing though, I don't remember it being a part of any other published work. That he possessed the ring is mentioned, but not that he was a member of the White Council.
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Postby MovieWes » Tue May 27, 2008 2:29 pm

It comes from various sources. Some of it comes from the Appendices at the end of The Return of the King, some is published in The Silmarillion, and some of it is from Unfinished Tales. There is also a plethora of information on Wikipedia.
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Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 27, 2008 2:16 pm

Boy, it's been forever since I read the books, but if I remember correctly, Cirdan's membership in the council had more to do with his possession of the ring that he would later give to Gandalf. It was one of the three rings Sauron crafted and gave to the Elves. They were the only rings that were wrested from Sauron's control by Elven magics and thus were the only rings not held under the sway of Sauron. Galadriel and Elrond each possess one of the rings. At the time of this film, I believe Cirdan had the third ring, but I can't remember when it was given to Gandalf, so that may have some bearing on the film.

Since neither Cirdan nor Thranduil appeared in the original film, I'm curious who they will cast. Thranduil will obviously figure into the first film of the pair, but I don't even remember Cirdan ever even being mentioned as a member of the White Council.

Where is that info from, Wes?
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Postby MovieWes » Tue May 27, 2008 1:59 pm

A bit more information (mostly speculation) on what the second film could possibly consist of. Beware of possible spoilers!

My guess is that the second film will focus almost entirely on Aragorn/Strider, mostly because Viggo Mortensen is being called back. I'm also guessing that there will be some focus on the White Council and its battles with the Necromancer (aka Sauron). For those of you who don't know, the White Council consists of Saruman, Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Cirdan the Shipwright of the Grey Havens, and possibly Thranduil of Mirkwood and Celeborn (Galadriel's husband, played by Marton Csokas in "The Fellowship of the Ring").

So what all happens in the 60 year period between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings?

Bilbo returns to the Shire with the Ring.

Sauron returns in secret to Mordor.

Bard rebuilts Valle and become king.

Gollum leaves the Mountains and begun his looking for the "thief" of the Ring.

Théoden, son of Thengel, king of Rohan, is born.

Gandalf and Balin visits Bilbo in the Shire.

Estel (aka Aragorn) comes of age.

Elrond reveals to him his true identity.

The Corsairs of Umbar officially ally themselves with Mordor and destroy great monument commemorating Ar-Pharazôn's victory over Sauron.

Aragorn heads northwards towards where his kin dwelled.

Aragorn thereafter assumes his proper role as the sixteenth Chieftain of the Dúnedain, the Rangers of the North, and goes into the wild.

The White Council meets for the last time to discuss Sauron's attempts to find the One Ring. At this meeting Saruman insists that the One Ring has fallen into the Anduin, and had been swept out to sea. During this meeting there is much tension between Saruman and Gandalf, for Gandalf already suspected Saruman of desiring to possess the One Ring.

Fengel, fifteenth king of Rohan, dies. His son Thengel returns to Rohan to succeed him.

Saruman takes Isengard and fortifies it. Here he gathers orcs and Dunlendings. He sets his spies on Gandalf.

Aragorn meets Gandalf.

Aragorn, as Thorongil, offers his allegiance to King Thengel of Rohan and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor.

He leaves Rohan and serves as a soldier with the Gondorian army.

(September 22) Frodo Baggins is born.

Denethor marries Findulias of Dol Amroth, daughter of Prince Adrahil II and sister to Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth.

Boromir is born.

Gollum reaches the confines of Mordor and becomes acquainted with Shelob. Later he is captured by Sauron.

Aragorn leaves Gondor and heads south to Umbar. He destroys a large part of the Corsair fleet.

Aragorn enters Lothorien. Arwen pledges her hand in marriage to Aragorn.

Frodo Baggins loses both of his parents in a boating accident.

Aragorn, in the service of the Steward of Gondor Ecthelion II leads a taskforce south and kills the Captain of the Haven, ruler of Umbar.

Théoden, son of Thengel, becomes seventeenth king of Rohan after the death of his father.

Denethor is appointed Steward of Gondor.

Birth of Faramir.

Death of Findulias.

Frodo Baggins comes under the guardianship of Bilbo Baggins.

A company of Dwarves, led by Balin, try to recolonize Moria.

Balin is killed and the dwarf-colony in Moria is destroyed.

Saruman uses the Palantir for the first time.

Gandalf learns about the Ring and calls upon the help of Aragorn.

At intervals, they search for Gollum.

Bilbo becomes a guest of Elrond and settles in Rivendell.

Gandalf visits Frodo.

Aragorn continues his search for Gollum.

Aragorn looks for Gollum in the forest of Mirkwood.

Aragorn stops his search and returns to his homeland.

Death of Gilrean, Aragorn's mother.

Aragorn renews his search for Gollum.

Elrond sends for Arwen and she returns to Rivendell.

Saruman, through his agent Grima, causes Theoden to decline into old age.

Gollum is released from Mordor.

(1st February) Aragorn captures Gollum amidst the Dead Marshes.

(23rd March) Aragorn enters Mirkwood. A few days later he leaves Mirkwood.

(31st March) Gandalf reaches again the Shire. Frodo departs on his journey.

(1st May) Aragorn and Gandalf meet at The Brandywine bridge.

Gandalf sends Aragorn to meet the Hobbits in Bree.

Gandalf heads towards Isengard

Mirkwood attacked by Orcs. Elves are victorious. However, Gollum escapes during the battle.

Afterwards Legolas sets out from Mirkwood and heads towards Rivendell.

Osgiliath is attacked and eventually falls.

Gimli leaves his undeground halls and moves towards Rivendell.

Boromir sets out from Minas Tirith.

Edited By MovieWes on 1211919602
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Postby rain Bard » Mon May 26, 2008 4:46 am

Thanks for posting this, MovieWes. I didn't like Pan's Labyrinth much, but I'm still looking forward to what Del Toro can put together here.

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Postby MovieWes » Mon May 26, 2008 1:25 am

For some reason, it won't let me post the rest of the interview. If you want to read the whole thing, you can read it here.
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Postby MovieWes » Mon May 26, 2008 1:12 am

Here's the second part of the interview...

Peter_Jackson: Q 8 coming ...

wetahost: 8 - I always thought creating Gollum would pose a great artisic challenge to the artists whose job it would be to adapt the Lord of the Rings. With the Hobbit I believe Smaug will pose one of the great challenges. Now we have all seen dragons in movies. But for the Hobbit I personally am excepting nothing less than unbelievable . Were will you go for inspiration? What styles will the art dirction look at? Personally I can see a lot being done with the setting from Pan's Labyrinth. Thank you and good luck to you all.

Guillermo_del_Toro: This is a big one-- Allow me to quote form my random responses at Onering.net…

I am a big Dragon fan. I've said it before- And I was fortunate enough to be born a Dragon in the Chinese Horocope...

And although its always impossible to agree on the "greatest" of anything, I bring forth these two as the main film contenders for that title: Eyvind Earle / Disney's Maleficent dragon ( a triumph of elegance of color and design) and Vermitrax Pejorative from

In my opinion, every other design has borrowed heavily from these two.
I plan to create something new and groundbreaking.

Smaug should not be "the Dragon in the Hobbit movie" as if it was just "another" creature in a Bestiary. Smaug should be "The DRAGON" for all movies past and present. The shadow he cast and the greed he comes to embody- the "need to own" casts its long shadow and creates a thematic / dramatic continuity of sorts that articulates the story throughout-

In that respect, Smaug the CHARACTER is as important, if not more important, than the design. The character will emerge form the writing- and in that the Magnificent arrogance, intelligence, sophistication and greed of Smaug shine through-

In fact, Thorin's greed is a thematic extension of this and Bilbo's "Letting go" and his noble switching of sides when the dwarves prove to be in the wrong is its conceptual counterpart (that is a hard one to get through, Bilbo's heroism is a quiet, moral one) and the thematic thread reaches its climax in the Bilbo / Thorin death bed scene.

Anyway, back to Smaug: One of the main mistakes with talking dragons is to shape the mouth like a snub Simian one in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch. .. A point which eluded me particularly in Eragon, since their link is a psychic one.

To me, Smaug is the perfect example of a great creature defined by its look and design, yes, but also, very importantly, by his movement and -One little hint- its environment - Think about it... the way he is scaled, moves and is lit, limited or enhanced by his location, weather conditions, light conditions, time of the year, etc. That's all I can say without spoilers but, if you keep this curious little summary you'll realize several years form now that those things I had in my mind ever since doodling the character as a kid had solidified waaay before starting the shoot of the film.

A big tool is also how and when he is fully revealed. I could give you specifics- beat-by-beat in fact (I'm geeking out to do it), but...

I will say no more in order to save you from ruthless spoilerage (we have a few years to go, you now...?) and increased anxiety.

Let me, however, say that this is actually one of the points I feel most enthusiastic about.

As to his voice- well, each reader has a Smaug voice in his / her head, just like you always do when "hearing" a great character in a book.

I have mine... and it will be revealed in time...

manuthevif: Guillermo, Will Peter be directing Hellboy 3 at some point?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Offers have been made but he remains elusive- we will be in talks soon.

swjedi18: Will be seeing The While Council in The Hobbit?

Peter_Jackson: Hi swjedi18 - To early to say before the scripts are written but it is definitely an idea we are discussing.

Guillermo_del_Toro: There's a very good chance if the "gaps" are filled in some form in either narrative. Too early...

Peter_Jackson: Now for Q7

wetahost: 7 - how important is it to you to create overall consistency between Peter's LOTR films and Guillermo's? in terms of the actors, look and feel, scenery, score, fx -- is your aim to have them stand on their own or sync up with the trilogy?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I believe that it’s a little bit of both- the world must feel like the same world. The aspect ratio, music, essential established costume and production design trademarks but I would love to bring a lot of new flavours to the table. THE HOBBIT is, in essence, an overture to a massive Symphonic work so main themes are reprised but new modulations and new colors are introduced, thematically and texturally.

Peter_Jackson: I love Guillermo's symphonic allusion. The "overture" can have a different flavour, a different texture, yet be a carefully crafted introduction to what's to follow. Film Two is perfect to dramatise the shift in Middle-earth that propells us into the dark days of LOTR. If LOTR is World War One, then the Hobbit is like an Edwardian adventure tale, set in the days before world notices the looming storm clouds.

Junaid: Is The Hobbit harder or easier than LOTR to adapt as a script?

Peter_Jackson: Hi Junaid - Both are equally difficult to be completely honest. The Hobbit has its own unique problems, different to those of LOTR.

Guillermo_del_Toro: Not easy- I tell you that-

Peter_Jackson: Here comes Q6 ...

wetahost: 6 - Will Weta be releasing figures for this film like it did with Kong and Narnia?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I would hope so!! I want them all!!

Galdor_Felagund: How does Christopher Tolkien feel about the two new films?

Peter_Jackson: Hi Galdor - Christopher Tolkien did not wish to be involved in the LOTR movies and I would assuem his feelings are the same with these two films. I totally respect him for that since he is looking after the legacy of his father's books and does not wish to be involved in someone else's interpretation of those stories.

Peter_Jackson: Here comes Q5

wetahost: 5 - Having recently reread the Hobbit with my children, it strikes me that the Hobbit contains a fairly linear story that doesn't necessarily follow the "three act" formula typical of movies. What do you see as the biggest challenge adapting the story to the big screen?

Guillermo_del_Toro: There are so many- I am all for trying to preserve every idiosyncrasy the novel has- the very things that seem “unfilmable” and that – in my mind- will make it thrilling as a film. The novel is much, much more inventive and dislocated in its narrative (Bilbo being hit by a rock during the Battle) than you may think at first. I think that you can treat a classic like a museum piece –stuffed and mounted- or you can make it a living, breathing narrative that is unfolding right then and there.

Peter_Jackson: Structure is important in film, but as Guillermo says, there's often structure to be found in the most unlikely of places! It's quite possible to build a structured story and retain idiosyncrasy. It's going to be part of the joy of writing this.

Lukas-Eldarion: Will you do another chat later on in the process?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Gladly- gladly- I'm in!!

Peter_Jackson: Hi Lukas - we would love to this has been a lot of fun. Let us just get the last of the official questions out because we are working down to the most popular ones in the final few

Peter_Jackson: Now for Q4

wetahost: 4 - Will Gollum play a role in the second film? If not, any plans to find a different role for Andy Serkis? Because, and I think most will agree with me, everything is better with more Serkis.

Guillermo_del_Toro: Yes! As all of you know, Gollum has a rather fascinating arch to go through and his alliance to Shelob or his period of imprisonment in Thranduil's, etc but it is early still- so early in fact that to reveal more would tie our hands and be counterproductive.

Guillermo_del_Toro: There can never be "too much Andy"
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Postby MovieWes » Mon May 26, 2008 1:09 am

Jackson and del Toro Talk The Hobbit!
Source: WetaNZ, ComingSoon.net May 24, 2008

Executive producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro answered fans' questions today about The Hobbit (targeted for a December, 2011 release) and its sequel (December, 2012 release) in an online chat. Below you can read the full transcript of the chat!


Peter_Jackson: Hi this is Peter here, great to talk to all of you. It is a rainy Sun morning down here in NZ, hopefully there is sun shining where you are. Over in London we have Guillermo on the other end of his computer, and he'll be coming on to say hi. A quick note, we will deal with the 20 most popular questions that have arrived over the last 2 weeks during the course of the hour, but would love to answer as many as we can from as many of you on this chat and who want to fire additional questions. So let us get underway. Hi Guillermo, are you ready?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Hi! Guillermo here- Its a bit cloudy in London but people are already drinking out on the streets- God Bless the pubs-

Peter_Jackson: We have them in a super exciting count down form and will start with Q20. We have chosen 1 questino but in the case of these 20 they represent many 100s of similar questins.

wetahost: Here's the first question: 20 - Will you be doing less location shooting this time because your set builders, digital effects teams etc have become so proficient?

Peter_Jackson: Middle-earth is location, with very few structures really. It's a natural countryside and that's where a lot of shooting will take place.

Guillermo_del_Toro: Location will be favored and real set construction. I love REAL set construction and think that sets are very important part of the storytelling and scope of a film...

AnthonyPearson: What are your plans with the casting of Bilbo Baggins? Is Ian Holm still an option?

Guillermo_del_Toro: The fact that Ian Holm is SO memorable means that PJ, Fran and PB did their job right. We will utilize him in some fashion for sure but the difficulty of th erole will be better assesed after we do the script (s).

DavidPlaice: Will there be any locations outside New Zealand, e.g. the Welsh Marches for The Shire?

Peter_Jackson: Hi David - It is unlikely we will need any locations outside of NZ which has always been the perfect Middle Earth. there is nothing yet that tolkien has described that we haven't managed to find in this amazing little country and I expect the Hobbit to be no different.

Guillermo_del_Toro: None being considered at the moment.

aust: Will Howard Shore be returning to do the score?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Yes- absolutely, Shore is the VOICE of these films and we will absolutely be invited back. Peter and Fran have talked to him a couple of times already and Ive exchanged emails about the subject. He will return.

nolcai: Hello. Are you planning to use some location in italy?

Peter_Jackson: Hi nolcai it is unlikely we will shoot any of the Hobbit of Italy, but I would love come to Italy for a vacation, you should tell me the best places to visit.

Guillermo_del_Toro: Not really- But I love Italy...

wetahost: 19 - May i congratulate on your new appointment as director of The Hobbit, Guillermo. My question is to Guillermo, what can we expect from your vision and approach with this picture and I'm guessing there will be alot of dark elements to this film, but how far will you go in terms of horror and violence?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I hope that Mirkwood can be pretty scary but not graphic, I hope Riddles in the dark has an element of fear and suspense and to be deeply atmospheric but still allow the ingenious, engaging contest to take place. And Smaug should be all shock and awe when he unleashes his anger so, it will be pretty intense but not gorey.

icaroz: Will the Ring trilogy get a blu-ray release around the time of Hobbit? or sooner?

Peter_Jackson: Hi Icaroz - We are working on a blu ray version of the LOTR trilogy with Warner Bros at the moment, not sure when it is due for release. It certainly won't be this year.

KenshinIV: What are the chances Ron Perlman will be voicing Smog?

Guillermo_del_Toro: At this time the voice of Smaug is down to a very few choices in my head and I have a completely specific one, Ron has a good chance but I have other plans for RP... we will see...

Galdor_Felagund: Will you use the Hobbit holes used in LotR?

Peter_Jackson: Hi Galdor-Falagund - yes we hope with the permission of the land owner that we will rebuild Hobbiton bigger and even better than what it was for LOTR in exactly the same location

Peter_Jackson: Here is Q18

wetahost: 18 - Peter & Guillermo: What do you envision Gandalf's role will be in this film? He seems to go off on his own and disappear in several sections of the book. Do you want to stay faithful to that or give him a more active role? How do you think you'll ingratiate his character into an effective, cinematic storyline?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I believe that Gandalf is meant to be used in that way- coming and
going in and out of the narrative. If anything, this creates the perfect setting for those “gaps” to be bridged by the second film…

Peter_Jackson: Those gaps are great! There's a lot of stuff going on, which is distracting him. I'm just pleased to be getting Gandalf the Grey back for two more movies. Ian and I loved him best. We were a little sad when the Gandy the White took over.

mwilcox: Will you be filming the Hobbit in 3D?

Guillermo_del_Toro: At this stage it is too early to tell, but no plans are being made for that at the moment...

RSG1050: Mr. del Toro, have you started keeping a notebook of sketches on this film yet?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I have started already and shared some of the design a=ideas with Alan Lee and John Howe during a very excited lunch in London.

RobbieM: Will Ian McKellen return as Gandalf?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Absolutely!!

Peter_Jackson: Hi Robbie - absolutely

Peter_Jackson: Here comes Q17

wetahost: 17 - Dear Peter Jackson, I enjoyed your cameos in the LOTR movies, Will you have a cameo in this Hobbit, and what character would you like to play?

Peter_Jackson: I actually haven't thought about it. My convention is to do cameos in films I direct. I don't know if that extends to films I produce. I guess we'll find out. I love Hobbits! I am a Hobbit, in very many respects, as were my parents. Tolkien wrote about a type of people he knew, in pre-war England, and somewhere along the line, he must have bumped into my relatives!

Guillermo_del_Toro: Unlike Peter, I'm a Dwarf ( a coarse creature I am)- but I studiously avoid cameos…

Jessalyn: When do you expect filming to begin?

Peter_Jackson: Dear Jesslyn - at this point in time the plan is to write for the rest of this year and start early conceptual designs. 2009 will be dedicated to pre-production on both movies and 2010 will be the year we shoot both films back to back. Post productin follows one film at a time with The Hobbit being released Dec 2011, and F2 release Dec 2012. That is the schedule in about as much detail as we have ourselves at the moment.

Peter_Jackson: And Q16 ...

wetahost: 16- Peter: What was it about Guillermo that made you feel he was the
right guy to continue on the saga of Middle-earth? Are the two of
you on the same page for the vision, direction, and style that these movies will have? If the two of you disagree on a point, who wins out?

Peter_Jackson: I'll talk more about this in a later question, but watching his films, he has
respect for fantasy. He understands it, he's not frightened by it. Guillermo also understands character, and how the power of any movie is almost always linked to how closely we empathize with characters within the story. His work shows great care and love for the main characters he creates. He also has supreme confidence with design, and visual effects. So many film makers are scared of visual effects - which is no crime, but tough if you're doing one of these movies!

If we disagree, the director has to win, because you should never force a director to shoot something they don't believe in. But we're both reasonably practical and ego-free, and I believe that if we disagree, we both have the ability to express our differing theorys - state our case, like lawyers - and between us, work out what's best for the movie.

Eriol: So what age rating are you aiming at?

Peter_Jackson: Hi Eriol - the rating will be the same as the Trilogy, PG13 on both movies

Guillermo_del_Toro: An intense PG-13...

Reguba: Will the Hobbit get an extended edition like LOTR?

Peter_Jackson: Dear Reguba - interesting Q. The truth (and this is the truth) is that you don't plan for extended editions up front an extended edition is the result of left over scenes that have been deleted out of theatrical cut. In an ideal world the script is written lean and tight and therefore there are no scenes left on the cuttring room floor and therefore no extended edition. However when writing 3 epic LOTR films there was no way we could keep the writing process as lean, so the extended edition was a result of seeing our thought process during the writing and shooting play itself out on screen with scenes we no longer needed when we finally cut the films together. Whether there will be an extended edition of the Hobbit will depend entirely on the final theatrical cut and what we have left over.

Guillermo_del_Toro: That one is REALLY too early to answer... but being a DVD freak (now a B-Ray freak) I think that if you have enough alternative material you can make it accesible on DVD (or B-R) format... Is not a priori that one decides this.

Peter_Jackson: Now for Q15

wetahost: 15 - Will you be using the same production team ie. Special
effects, art directors, cinematographers, composer etc..

Guillermo_del_Toro: Many of them will be back. I will supplement the FX departments, the design departments (with very interesting names), but the crew will utilize as many of the original elements as possible.

elffan9: Will we be seeing Legolas in Mirkwood?

Guillermo_del_Toro: We all think that this is a very interesting idea but the scripts are in process so- sorry,.. too early to tell.

Peter_Jackson: And now Q14

wetahost: 14 - In the Hobbit book, we have talking trolls and the Eagles and
Smaug talks as well, however in the LOTR Trilogy, trolls did no more than grunt, Fellbeasts screamed, and the Eagles, who were meant to talk, just stayed silent. How much will the portrayal of such animals change in the Hobbit?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I think it should be done exactly as in the book- the “talking beast”
motif has to exist already to allow for that great character that is Smaug. It is far more jarring to have a linear movie and then – out of the blue – a talking Dragon.

Yetzi: did you start casting for the 13 dwarves?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Nope- no casting has started yet, but some people have thrown their helmet in the ring.

Peter_Jackson: Hi Yetzi - no casting has commenced and won't until the scripts are written. We have had chats with one or two ofthe LOTR actors however but the casting will be driven largely by the writing and it is impossible to cast 13 dwarves without knowing their personality and characters. We anticipate we won't be in serious casting mode for these movies until well into next year.

wetahost: 13 - Hi. Do you intend to play this one by the Book (The Hobbit that is) and make it a very light childrens tale on film, or do you plan to stick with the much darker treatment- in keeping with the LotR films - particularly the latter ones. My personal preference would be for the latter - cannot see how eg. the Rivendell Elves could regress from their nobility in LotR to those "...Tra-la-la-la...." singing versions which wer in the Hobbit Book. Thank you.

Guillermo_del_Toro: We’ll see about the “Tra-la-la-“ later- but the book, I believe, in echoing the “loss of innocence” England experienced after WWI, is a passage form innocence to a darker, more somber state- The visual / thematic progression should reflect that in the camera style, color palette, textural choices, etc.

Peter_Jackson: As I said earlier, I personally feel that The Hobbit can, and should have a different tone. The "tone" of these stories shouldn't be defined by the pressure our characters were under in LOTR. The world is a different place at the time of the Hobbit. The shadow is not so dark. However, what should stay the same is the reality of Middle-earth, and the integrity we bring to it as filmmakers.

Shane: Will the two movies be shot at the same time?

Guillermo_del_Toro: The idea is to shoot them "back to bacK" with a small break to breathe and to reconstruct certain sets and have time to reasses... But a schedule of a year is expecvted.

Peter_Jackson: Hi Shane - Yes the movies will be shot back to back and the shooting of the movie will be driven by which actors are working with us at a given time and what locations we are in. For instance, if we are shooting Hobbiton scenes for Hobbit movies we would also shoot Hobbiton scenes for F2. So during our year of filming we will be shooting both movies at the same time out of sequence.

reel1: Hi, Guys. Was it intentional to release the first Hobbit film on the 10 year anniversary of FOTR?

Peter_Jackson: Dear Razor - No this is the first time I have actually thought about it ... that is nice I will claim credit for the idea from this day forward

Peter_Jackson: Q12 ....

wetahost: 12 - Peter: During production of the trilogy, there were days where there were several filming crews working simultaneously, with
different people directing. Would you ever want to head up a crew and direct the shooting of a scene for a day?

Peter_Jackson: Most directors prefer to direct everything themselves. I thought I could on LOTR, but very quickly found out that the sheer scale prevented it. Instead of a 15 month shoot, we would have shot for 3 years! Guillermo always shoots his own material, so we'll do our best to construct a schedule that allows him to do that. It will depend a lot on how the scripts break down.

I'd happily shot some second unit stuff, anytime Guillermo asked me to. But let's see what happens.

Mr.Movie: Are you already go to New Zealand, Mr.Del Toro ?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Yes- I've been actually been there already -secretly- shh- and will be there shortly after HELLBOY II opens and will be getting a LOT of frequent flyer miles in the next few months-

Peter_Jackson: Hi Greg - F2 is referring to Film 2

Peter_Jackson: Here comes Q11

wetahost: 11 - Guillermo del Toro is an accomplished director. I just wondered whether ok not, he will bring more prostetics, animatronics and physical effects to the film, as he does with such films as Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth (which are great films by the way)? Or will Weta Digital still have their work cut out for them with VFX?

Guillermo_del_Toro: I plan to mix CGI and PHYSICAL in such a way that your eye wonders which is which- keep you mind busy but NEVER allowing for the weaknesses of either tool to take over. Yes, I have, by trial and error, learned that both tools need to be mixed and how much they must be mixed to succeed in creating environments and living creatures. WETA is the lead house, absolutely but we will expand the creature team and beef up the prosthetics team. Imagine a physical creature with a radio controlled muscle / facial system but with partial CGI replacement on the head or mouth, etc and you’ll start to get the idea…

Guillermo_del_Toro: And now for the question...

Vampireta: So how was your first meeting with each other?

Peter_Jackson: Hi Vampierta - The first time I remember meeting Guillermo was at Bob Shay's hosue during a LOTR party. Obviously at that time we had no concept of what the future held!!

Guillermo_del_Toro: We finished a tray of shrimps together and agreed that NEW LINE should keep hiring round, bearded directors with funny accents...

Peter_Jackson: Q10 ....

wetahost: 10- Hi there, thanks for giving this opportunity. my question: will Alan Lee and John Howe be on board again? I really admire their work. good luck for this project and have a lot of fun.

Guillermo_del_Toro: As I said, I had a marvelous lunch with John and Alan in London a few days ago and we all got very excited as we discussed my ideas on Smaug, Mirkwood, etc They are most definetly back!

Peter_Jackson: Impossible to imagine it without them!

Trotter_the_Ranger: What will be the title for the second movie?

Guillermo_del_Toro: Too early- but not "H2 Electric Boogaloo" that has been discarded.

Peter_Jackson: Hi Trots - the second movie doesn't have a title yet and probably won't until we write the script. As you will see we have the incredibly boring name Film Two which I assure you will not last for very long. Just bear with us.

Peter_Jackson: Q 9 ...

wetahost: 9 - Peter, perhaps you could clarify what your role will be in the production of these films: What exactly does an executive producer do? Will you follow that model or "forge your own path?" How will Guillermo's role and your role be different? Do you plan on writing thescript again with Fran and Phillippa?

Peter_Jackson: Truth is "Executive Producers" do a range of things on movies from a lot to virtually nothing! I see myself being one of a production team. My interest is helping Guillermo make the very best films he can. I love writing and I'm looking forward to that. Guillermo will be writing, along with Fran, Philippa and myself. As a director, I could never direct something I didn't have a hand in writing, and we're not expecting Guillermo to do that either. If the director is part of the writing, it means he was there when the discussions took place, story decisions were made ... he knows why things are the way they are, and what they need to achieve. Everything is in a script for a reason, and only by being part of a writing team (or writing it yourself), do you really understand the intention of every beat.

I see my role as being part of that writing team, which will create the blueprint, and then helping Guillermo construct the movie. I want Guillermo to make his movies, and I want to make sure we end up with a 5 movie series that's as good as it can possibly be.

Merlkir: any ideas about the talking wargs? the wargs in hobbit are remarkably different from the "hyena" ones in the LOTR movies..

Guillermo_del_Toro: Absolutely: they will be different from the Hyena ones established in the Trilogy- they will be faithful to the creatures in the book and will be redesigned accordingly.

lordlinton: Loved the video diaries for King Kong, will you guys be doing something similar for the Hobbit?

Peter_Jackson: There is a lot of questions about production diaries for the internet - the truth is that Guillermo and I haven't even discussed this topic yet, now do we have a real plan in place for the internet and DVD side of the film. You have to realise that although this was announced and is all round the world we are at the very beginning of the process just starting to think about the scripts. We are not trying to fob anyone off but we simply haven't got that far in the process yet and it is a plan we will put into place during the course of 2009.
"Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution." -- Alec Guinness (Lawrence of Arabia)

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Postby MovieWes » Wed May 21, 2008 11:10 pm

From Variety...

Universal, del Toro love 'Hater'
Mark Johnson to produce Moody adaptation

Universal Pictures has acquired "Hater," David Moody's 2006 novel. The adaptation will be produced by Mark Johnson and Guillermo del Toro.

The thriller is about an epidemic of random violence in which ordinary people strike lethally without warning or remorse. Book will be adapted for the screen by Glen Mazzara (FX's "The Shield").

"What I loved about 'Hater' is it recognizes the reality that we live in, where it is incredibly easy to polarize, to hate for gender, race, age," del Toro told Daily Variety.More than one option(Co) Daily Variety
Filmography, Year, Role
(Co) Daily Variety

Pic will be developed under the first-look deal that del Toro made at U when the studio committed to "Hellboy 2."

"Hater" was first optioned by Johnson, who originally approached del Toro to direct. But del Toro since committed to helming "The Hobbit," which will keep him in New Zealand for the next four years.

"I'll carry my weight on the creative side, in choosing elements and storyboarding, but it will be up to Mark and the director we choose to execute the day to day," he said. "The Hobbit" is a "monumental task, and I don't want to do anything that detracts from my attention to that."

Pre-production is about to get under way on the two-part "Hobbit." Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are expected to pen the scripts under the direction of Peter Jackson and del Toro. Preliminary contact has already been made with at least three actors whose "Lord of the Rings" characters also appear in the "Hobbit" storyline: Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Andy Serkis (Gollum).

"We will all be involved in the script in some fashion but the exact definition is about a week away, " said del Toro. "I am all for keeping the actors who originated the parts, as much as availability and their willingness will allow."

Among the other projects del Toro has in development under his U deal are more "Hellboy" films and his scripted adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness," about Antarctic explorers who encounter terror in the tundra.

"I think we need to re-create the tentpole studio horror film," del Toro said.
"Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution." -- Alec Guinness (Lawrence of Arabia)

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Postby MovieWes » Wed May 21, 2008 7:22 pm

The first piece of official Hobbit imagary... the logo.

"Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution." -- Alec Guinness (Lawrence of Arabia)

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Postby MovieWes » Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:03 pm

Well I'm feeling very good about The Hobbit and its sequel after reading this interview. Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Howard Shore, and many of the key people behind the trilogy are already back onboard. This should be as good as the first three films!

Guillermo del Toro Chats with TORN About ‘The Hobbit’ Films!
April 25th, 2008 by xoanon | Discuss

In an exclusive interview with TheOneRing.net, Guillermo del Toro talks about Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Howard Shore, Animatronics vs CGI, the ‘tone’ of the upcoming ‘Hobbit’ films and much more!

We had the opportunity to chat with Guillermo del Toro this morning from his current HQ in London. He’s hard at work putting the finishing touches on ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ and taking interviews from news outlets about that film, and the recent announcement that he’ll be doing ‘The Hobbit’ and a subsequent Hobbit sequel down the line.

First things first, YES, that is him on our message boards, he told me he intends to post there as often as he humanly can. And yes, he is as cool and approachable as he sounds. Take a look at my interview!

How did this whole process get started?

GDT: I met Peter (Jackson) a long time ago when we were planning on doing ‘Halo’ together, I really love how they have that setup in New Zealand, I call it ‘Hollywood the way God intended it’. New Zealand has all the technical advantages when doing a big movie and you are shooting it in paradise, both in terms of artistic freedom and commitment.

When ‘Halo’ didn’t happen, Peter and I stayed in contact on a regular basis, and last winter I started getting inklings that ‘The Hobbit’ may come this way, mainly from the studio. The first thing I said was that I would only be interested if Peter was involved and the (New Line Lawsuit) problem gets resolved. When that issue was resolved I got a call from Peter and we chatted, and it started from then, it was my Christmas gift!

Fans are all abuzz about ‘The Second Film’, can you tell some of your plans for it?

GDT: You know, I traveled to New Zealand just a little while ago, and one of the main reasons for going was to sit down and talk about the second film. ‘The Hobbit’, the book, is really one self-contained film, so for the second movie we sat down and worked it out. When we did this we got really excited because this second film is not a ‘tag on’, it’s not ‘filler’, it’s an integral part of telling the story of those 50 years of history lost in the narrative. There will be certain things that we will see from the first movie but from a different point of view, but it will feel like a volume, in the 5 volumes of the entire story. It will not feel like a bridge, I’ve been hearing it called ‘a bridge film’, it’s not, it’s an integral chapter of the story, and I think we’re all on the same page.

You will be moving down to New Zealand for 4 years, is that right?

GDT: Approximately, my whole family, but the first stages of design and R&D will be done with me going back and fourth from LA and New Zealand because there are a lot of things I need to put to bed before I finally move to New Zealand. I’m going much sooner than my relatives would like!

We will officially be doing a lot of prep on ‘The Hobbit’ this summer, there is so much to do, its amazing. Just the reforestation of The Shire, re planting all those trees and plants will take months, and we’re going to be as exact as possible.

Films like ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ used a few studio sets to simulate outdoors, will you be doing the same for ‘The Hobbit’ or will you be making use of New Zealand’s wilderness like Peter did?

GDT: I think green screen photography is exactly like CGI, it is a tool, I don’t think it should be overused. Things like ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ are incredibly dependent on location, we shot on location for more than half the time. Those locations can be enhanced by technology however, both digital and physical. What I would like to avoid is the recreation of the natural environments in CG, I don’t like doing that. The movie is essentially a journey movie, I think you need to use locations as much as possible.

You’ll be using WETA Digital for the effects?

GDT: Yes, the essential elements for keeping continuity are on track, in the last few weeks I’ve been chatting with a ton of people via email, phone, and in person from the previous films. People like Andy Serkis, Sir Ian McKellen, Howard Shore, John Howe, Gino Acevedo, Richard Taylor next week I’m meeting Alan Lee. I’m doing this to ensure that whatever we do we keep continuity with the other films, yes it’s a world that is slightly more golden at the beginning, a very innocent environment.

What I’m trying to do is keep the elements in place but allow you to feel a progression from ‘The Hobbit’ until ‘The Return of the King’. I believe ‘The Hobbit’ is a very crucial volume in The Lord of the Rings, it is a narrative that starts out very much in an innocent and golden way. It is permeated from England going through World War One, so there is a loss of innocence and a darker tone as the book and the film progresses. We’ll be doing that in the first film, taking you from a time of more purity to a darker reality throughout the film, but I think that is in the spirit of the book. All these guys, Alan Lee, John Howe, these guys are integral for us to map out that progress in the two movies, and allow you to completely blend in to the universe that is already in place. But this will be a progression, it should not feel at the start of the film that this is the same time (as the beginning of ‘Fellowship’). 50 years in Shire time, is not the same as 50 years in human time, if you think about how our world has changed in only 7 or 8 years, you can think of it as decades of turmoil, those 50 years in Middle-earth.

Do you have any roles cast?

GDT: Well, I had the most charming meeting with Sir Ian, and all bureaucracy pending, he’s on board, as is Andy Serkis. We will continue giving you progress reports as the occur. It is our intention that we will not lose any of the key elements.

What will differ from your films versus Peter’s?

The only thing I will be pushing for more in these films that the other three are full animatronics and animatronic creatures enhanced with CGI, as opposed to CGI creatures themselves. We really want to take the state-of-the-art animatronics and take a leap ten years into the future with the technology we will develop for the creatures in the movie. We have every intention to do for animatronics and special effects what the other films did for virtual reality.

Another thing people will notice, at the beginning of the film will be the palette, that will be slightly different, the world will be the same but it will be a more ‘golden’ world, a more wide-eyed world. But by no means will we depart from the canon, we will take the three previous films as canon. When I become part of a world that I love, such as this, I really come with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, and we know we are recreating and creating a world that is part of the mythos of millions of people and we will approach it as passionately and respectfully as it needs to be taken.
"Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution." -- Alec Guinness (Lawrence of Arabia)

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