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Topic: Guillermo Del Toro a good choice?

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Posts: 18
Date: Mar 25, 2009
Guillermo Del Toro a good choice?

Do you think Guillermo will live up Tolkiens vision of the Hobbit and the events in between the Hobbit and LOTR?

"Hail Earendil, brightest of angels, sent over Middle-earth to men!"
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Mar 25, 2009
Hail Earendil,
You wrote;
"Guillermo Del Toro a good choice? Do you think Guillermo will live up Tolkien's vision of the Hobbit and the events in between the Hobbit and LOTR?"

Frankly, I am concerned, after reading his comments that he could not get through reading The Lord of the Rings.

In a Tolkien Gateway web article he made several comments that raised my concerns.

"Although he has stated he 'loved' The Hobbit, Del Toro's lack of knowledge about Tolkien's works has already worried some fans:

"I tried my best to read Lord of the Rings [sic], the trilogy. I could not. I could not. They were very dense. And then one day, I bought The Hobbit. I read it and I loved it."[1]

When asked to what extent has the work of Tolkien influenced him:
"Not at all. I could barely finish "The Hobbit". Curiously, that kind of fantasy, never called out to me. I think that fairy tales are in themselves a different genre. Heroic fantasy, in general, leaves me cold. I am more interested in Robert E. Howard's work of terror than his novels about the muscular Conan. Although there are two writers of fantasy that I think are sublime: Clark Ashton Smith and Lord Dunsany. [Translated from Spanish]"
Guillermo del Toro

"I was never into heroic fantasy. At all. I don't like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits -- I've never been into that at all. I don't like sword and sorcery, I hate all that stuff."
-, October 2006 (Interview from May)

I loved his work in Blade and Hellboy. But this is a far different genre that really requires an in depth knowledge of the material. Especially as the prequel will have to be extrapolated from many sources including the Silmarillion, Lord of the Rings, as well as the Hobbit.
Think about it.
The Hobbit is a magical adventure written which has become a children's classic.
The Lord of the Rings is a complicated fantasy novel with a dark and sinister plot where good and evil are played out in a very adult way. It also depends and alludes to a mythos and lore which flow through all three books of the trilogy and are not fully explained in the appendixes.
That brings us to The Silmarillion and the Ainulindale, the Valaquenta, the Quenta Silmarillion, and the Akallabeth. The Silmarillion also contains a chapter called "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age".
The Silmarillion is a scholarly work with interlocking references, a heavily developed mythological structure which includes many historical leads which point to passages in ALL of Tolkien's works and is the basic text for understanding the history and social structure of the races - Elves, Dwarves, Men, and everyone else too. It also includes the ethical framework of these races.
Can you imagine a director working on the Hobbit without an understanding of the greed of the Dwarves and the history of animosity towards certain Elvish peoples?

I am glad you brought the topic up.
I think that it would be good for others to express their opinions.
Welcome back to the Forums.

-- Edited by Bear on Wednesday 25th of March 2009 05:15:27 AM


Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 18
Date: Mar 25, 2009
yes i totally agree i dont think he has the vision that peter jackson had when he brought LOTR to the big screen. I did not kno he said that about the book which scares me a little because this in Tolkiens mind is the essential piece in all of his romances.

"Hail Earendil, brightest of angels, sent over Middle-earth to men!"
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2372
Date: Mar 27, 2009
If that is true it does seem a rather odd choice to have him making the films. I hear Peter Jackson is going to be on the team though, just not at the helm?

LOTR were great films. Lets hope that PJ learnt by the few mistakes he made lore-wise and that The Hobbit is spot on. Its alot less to cram in than LOTR was so it shouldn't be too hard.

My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
Status: Offline
Posts: 129
Date: Aug 10, 2009
I remember that I was very nervous that Peter Jackson would ruin the LOTR movies, but they turned out to be better than my wildest hopes. I expected them to be absolutely terrible. I know some Tolkien fans don't care for the movies, but despite their flaws, I am so grateful to have them. I view the films as a separate work from the books and I think they're fantastic. That said, I will always cherish the books as THE original work and will never forget the original versions of all the parts the movies altered. I don't think I'll ever completely make peace with Elves appearing at Helm's Deep, or their treatment of Faramir in TTT, but I'm willing to overlook it as "poetic license" and feel these changed events are a minimal detraction from what otherwise are great films that bring LOTR to life in a way that I never thought possible.

I'm willing to give Guillermo Del Toro the benefit of the doubt. He directed Pan's Labyrinth, which I thought was an incredible movie, and the Hellboy series, which I haven't seen but everyone loves. In addition, the screenplay is actually being written by Peter Jackson as well as the women who wrote the original LOTR films, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. I imagine that they will have a tremendous influence on how the final film turns out. Del Toro also has the precedent set by the original films to live up to.

After watching the Appendices to the LOTR films, it seems like Peter Jackson is way too much of a control freak to let someone ruin all that he accomplished in the original films by turning out a less than stellar version of the Hobbit. Del Toro seems to be more of a "mood" director than anything. I'm assuming that the feel of the Hobbit may be a little different than the feel of LOTR was, but I hope the quality of the LOTR films is retained.

That said, I don't expect to be blown away by the film version of the Hobbit. I think it's going to be a harder story to translate to film than LOTR was, when you think about it. Even if Del Toro does a fantastic job, it isn't going to be like the LOTR films, I suspect. The story just provides difficulties that are going to be a real barrier to a successful translation to screen.

First off, the whole tone of The Hobbit is different. It is less serious, there are fewer and more distantly spaced major events, and you have to somehow accommodate the fact that there are FIFTEEN main characters, all but two of which are dwarves. I think Gandalf and Bilbo will need to be especially compelling in the film rendition of The Hobbit to carry the film. There is no way a casual viewer is going to be able to differentiate between or care too much about 13 dwarves who for the most part look and act the same, with the notable exceptions of Thorin and Bombur. I mean, they may flesh out the personalities of certain Dwarves, but in the book most of them were quite nondescript.

At the same time, I am totally stoked about finally being able to see Beorn, the kingdom of Thranduil, Smaug, the Lonely Mountain, the riddle game, and I am also desperately hoping that they will go into the events at Dol Guldur somewhat.

-- Edited by The Secret Fire on Monday 10th of August 2009 12:41:14 AM

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