Thursday, July 03, 2008

del Toro on Hobbit, Hellboy 2

Future The Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro is making the rounds to help promote Hellboy II that is coming out July 11th. As part of that he tends to comment briefly on the Hobbit.

With Newsarama:
“I see the whole, the five films — provided that we do everything right — as a symphony, and I believe that what I’m doing is an overture. Therefore, it can be a different color, have a different energy, and lead you into something that is already filmic legacy.”
With Dark Horizons:
Question: That childlike innocence that you talk about, is that what attracted you to The Hobbit?
del Toro: I believe so, you know to a point, because the Hobbit like this movie every movie has to be balance between the two. Pan's Labyrinth is the same thing. It had a lot of that awe, but at the same time it is a more adult theme and a more adult tone. The theme and the tone of the Hobbit are very different from this movie just aesthetically it can't be as poppy as this movie so the approach will be different. The Hobbit is an 11-year-old book and I read it when I was 11 and it hit me right at that moment so I tried to honor that feeling. It would be my most sincere hope that somewhere at some point on the Hellboy II exhibition there is a 10 year old or 11 year old with his or her parents that fall in love with one of the creature forever like Wink or the Angel of Death or something because we created those monsters...every guy that was involved every girl that was involved in creating those creatures I ask them to come from a place of love. I did it like animation, which is not very customary in movies like this. I said to each of the guys, "which is the character that enthralls you? Grab that character and run with it." Instead of assembly line the monsters, we gave a guy one monster and that guy created him from machete all the way to final realization, wardrobe, sculpting, painting, like you give a lead animator a character in an animated film, because I felt you needed that level of commitment in the creation of the creatures in the movie. There is one [inaudible] with one guy who did only the octopus fish vendor that was the only guy who did it. That was an entire shop that just did that creature. It is a very uncommon approach. I'm not sure that it is economically great, but it was creatively.

Question: Will Ron be in the Hobbit?
del Toro: I have no idea. I really think that there is, I have the most the greatest friendship and a lot of loyalty he has to me and I believe that there is a commitment to continue enjoying each others work together, but it doesn't come before screenplay. If the screenplay has a character he can fit and fulfil he'll be there. But if there isn't we will wait for the next one.

Question: How is the screenplay coming along?
del Toro: We are starting. We started taking notes on the first novel, on the novel and on the first movie and making adaptations for the ideas for the second one. It is in its infancy right now.

Question: Are you staying faithful to the novel?
del Toro: Look somebody said and I agree with that comment the only faithful adaptation is to actually put the book in front of the camera and turn the pages one by one. That is the only way you are going to do it. Hitchcock used to make a joke; if you give a goat in a garbage dump, and it eats the book and eats the film, the goat will turn and say, "I prefer the book." It is just a commonality. We will be as faithful to what we believe has to be done. As I said, I found in my life with the Hellboy movies the first one was slightly to slavish in some ways, so I think that we will try to honor it. If this is any indication, I find the differences - the changes Peter, Fran and Phillipe did to the trilogy in adapting it into a filming trilogy I found them to be absolutely necessary. Many fans will be irate or have been irate, many other have agreed and I see the same thing is going to happen with this.

Question: Where do you see a middle point to break the Hobbit in two?
del Toro: I don't see a middle point. I think the book should be contained if possible in the first movie, but this is an exploration. The second one would be a movie that would [weave] through the gap of about half a century between the hobbit and the first of the trilogy films and connect them. Ideally, we would have a creator overture and sort of a first movement to a symphony of five films. It is too early. When people ask me where I am with Hobbit, I say I'm in post with Hellboy I'm in post on the Lovely Bones that is where we are on the Hobbit. Three weeks from now I will be more and more able to answer.

Question: Will you be relocating to New Zealand for a number of years?
del Toro: You know when people ask me about the Hobbit I say always, "Look, my life completely was going in another direction" and when I got the call I said "yeah let's spend half a decade over there." I was just finishing my house and when I mean my house, I mean my house. I'm doing a man cave of epic proportions. My collection of crap was getting so big that my wife said, "Dude, you or us." I said "let's move the things out." I bought a house five blocks away from my house, I put a secret book shelf door, I put a haunted mansion room, I am moving all my stuff there and I was planning on having that as my office for the next five years and then I got the call.

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