Official: Guillermo del Toro Directing The Hobbit and Sequel – Will Jackson Stay Out Of His Way?

Everyone has known for months now that Guillermo del Toro was the director chosen by the powers that be to direct both The Hobbit and the sequel (a new concept film that will take place during the 60 year period between the end of The Hobbit and the events at the begining of The Fellowship of the Ring), but there came word some time ago that it wasn’t 100% official since they were having some problems coming to terms on a deal to lock the director up. Well, it appears those hurdles have been crossed.

It was announced Thursday by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, New Line president Toby Emmerich, and Mary Parent that Del Toro has indeed signed on, and will move to New Zeland for the next 4 years to work on the two films for a 2010 and 2011 release dates respectively. We can all breath a sigh of relief now… The Hobbit is in good hands.

NOW HERE’S A BIG QUESTION:

How much control will Guillermo del Toro have? I’ll be willing to bet this was one of the big issues delaying the official announcement of his agreeing to direct the projects. Peter Jackson helmed The Lord of the Rings… will he allow del Toro (a better director over all in my opinion… although both are insanely gifted) the freedom to make these films as he sees fit with modestly limited interference? Clearly del Toro should listen to the studio and to Jackson in particular… but these are HIS movies now, not Jacksons, and for the most part he needs to be the man in charge now. Will they let that happen?

What do you think? Will Jackson stay out of Del Toro’s way and support him or do you think there could be a power struggle? (Personally, I think the two will work just fine together… but I still think the delay was partially due to Del Toro wanting to contractually make sure he wouldn’t get walked over).

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26 thoughts on “Official: Guillermo del Toro Directing The Hobbit and Sequel – Will Jackson Stay Out Of His Way?

  1. “I hope they can use visual effects to make Ian Holm look younger. It wont really be the Hobbit if hes not part of it.”

    They don’t need to. Remember in the first LOTR, Gandalf said ‘My Bilbo, you haven’t aged a day’. The ring gives it’s owner unnatural long life, and Bilbo doesn’t look any old in LOTR as he does in The Hobbit, so they already have that covered. No worries there.

  2. I’m not putting words in your mouth John. I’m just wondering where this speculation came from since Jackson has never shown any indication that he is that kind of guy.

    And I think it’s more likely that Del Toro was looking at his options after Hellboy 2 because he’s the kind of guy that usually creates his own material to film or puts his mark on a pre-existing property, aside from Mimic of course. He’s vowed to never make that mistake again so he’s only working with people he trusts completely and gets to have his way. This is a guy who can basically chose his next project so I think he knows what he is doing.

  3. John, look at the top of the page. I’ve already addressed the post, I made the first comment. I was then addressing the dialogue that had begun.

    Fair call on the drink driving though.

  4. Hey Jamiem

    What does your comment have to do with this post? Do you agree or disagree with my points and questions? The title of this post isn’t “the history of John’s posts regarding Peter Jackson”

    And yes, when Jackson was wrong with how he manipulated Halo fans during the whole Halo debacle I called him on it.

    With Mel Gibson, I publiclly said in posts and on the podcast he should be in jail, minimum 5 years for getting busted drunk driving.

    Please comment on the post, not on me.

  5. John, you’ve always been slightly antiJackson, admit it. I know you love the trilogy more than just about everything, but when it comes to discussing the man himself you’re always taking a negative approach.

    Just like how with Mel Gibson you always tend to take a positive approach. Which makes no sense coz Mel is a madman and all Jackson ever did was ensure he got all that was owing to him.

  6. Hey Gutpunch,

    I speculate it because this has been Jackson’s baby. It has been his and his vision… I would speculate this no matter WHO it was we were talking about. For him to step back now and let another director take the helm would be VERY hard for whoever is involved.

    And for the record, I’m not the only one who is hypothesizing (and I NEVER claimed it as fact… this site is all about opinion which is what I gave) that the details they were having a hard time with was the issue of control (sites like Salon and other are now speculating the same thing. I think it’s naive to not at least consider that option.

    And yes… I did call Jackson a lying weasle once… a year ago… about another issue… because he was lying in that situation (who doesn’t in this business). But I’ve ALWAYS asserted my respect for him as an artist, including in this post.

    If you want to intelligently debate with me, read my post, don’t put words in my mouth, stay on topic and debate the things I actually said in the post.

  7. John.
    Then why on earth are you speculating that Jackson will somehow try to control the production more than he should? There is absolutely nothing that indicates that this is the case of why they took so long officially announce the director. Why did you come to this conclusion?
    Why would Jackson want a unique visionary like Del Toro if he wanted to control whoever was in the directors chair? These are baseless accusations that seem to be made to rile up the fans for some odd reason.
    And why did I ask “why the hate?” Well you did call Jackson a “lying weasel” did you not?

  8. I think it all depends on how effective of a job Jackson did in setting up the Mythology and the world of Middle Earth in his films. Which in my opinion is very faithful to how Tolkien wrote it so it can act as a blue print for Del Toro to follow when making The Hobbit no matter how he envision the film he has to do within the parameters of the already establish world that Jackson created.

  9. I think it all on depends how effective of a job Jackson did in setting up the Mythology, and the Visual Geography of Middle Earth in his films. Which in my opinion is very faithful to how Tolkien, wrote it in his books so it can act as a blue print for Del Toro, to follow when making. The Hobbit no matter how he envision the film, he has to do within the parameters of the already establish world that Jackson created.

  10. I think it all depends how effective of a job Jackson did in setting up the Mythology and the world of Middle Earth in his films. Which in my opinion is very faithful to how Tolkien wrote it so it can act as a blue print for Del Toro to follow when making The Hobbit no matter how he envision the film he has to do within the parameters of the already establish world that Jackson created.

  11. The important thing is to stay as true to the novel as possible. They did a truly amazing job with the sets/wardrobe/sword craftmanship etc for LOTR.

    I could have done without the love story between Aragorn and that elf chick though.

    Let’s leave love out of the hobbit please, the story is good enough without it. (Unless it’s an incredibly hot hobbit of course, I wonder if they shave their feet)

  12. Hey Alfie,

    The question is… who is the director? Didn’t you once say you will always side with the director?

    Peter Jackson is NOT the director. Del Toro is. In a perfect world I would have prefered Jackson direct… but if he’s not going to do it, Del Toro is in charge and that’s how it should be.

    The Producers NEED to have the final word…. but that should be rare and only exercised if they feel the film is in jepordy. Otherwise, it’s Del Toro’s film

  13. Hey Gutpunch,

    You confusingly said:

    I don’t understand the Jackson hate and paranoia.

    Jackson hate???? What the holy hell are you talking about???? What one negative thing did I just say about Jackson other than he is “insanely talented”? Oh yeah… that’s real hate. Oh, and I also had the audacity to say “Personally, I think the two will work just fine together”

    Get your facts straight and actually READ my post before saying stuff like that

  14. you are right gutpunch…

    i mean why would it be so bad for jackson to have a say?? correct me if I am wrong but he does happen to know a thing or too about making films based in middle earth does he not??

  15. Mostly just being a smart ass here, but…

    Del Toro has to move to NZ for 4 years? Is that like a punishment? It is April 2008, in 4 years it will be April 2012. The movies come out in 2010 and 2011? But he has to stay in NZ a year after the last one is released? Are they holding him hostage until the movies make a profit? Are they making sure he is available for the DVD commentaries? Peter Jackson is being harsh! Maybe someone should have done this with Lucas to ensure the 3 Star Wars prequels didnt suck. Ah well, hindsight is 20/20.

  16. what great news for a friday morning :)

    I agree with Slushie..as long as they keep they sets/cotumes…and especially actors i will die one happy nerd.

    I hope they can use visual effects to make Ian Holm look younger. It wont really be the Hobbit if hes not part of it.

    Some things that will be awesome for sure:
    1.Battle of the 5 Armies (drawves,goblins,men,eagles,wargs,elves…oh my)
    2.Beorn..cant wait to see a 8 foot tall man morph into a Bear and kick some ass (ala Warcraft Druid lol)
    3. Smaug..theres nothing like a big ass talking dragon
    4.Gimli’s Dad ;) LOL

    Words cant explain how excited I am :)

  17. Im very happy about this. Finally a sigh of relief.
    But i’m confused. Wasn’t the Tolkien estate suing to stop the Hobbit movie?
    Did they work that out?

  18. Why are people worried about Jackson? Has he ever shown any indication that he was a control freak? And why would that be a bad thing? Didn’t he direct the most successful trilogy in decades that the wast majority liked?
    Of course Del Toro was hired because of his cinematic vision and I seriously doubt that Jackson would try to fuck with that.

    I don’t understand the Jackson hate and paranoia. This looks like the author is trying to goat people in to believing that the delays of the official announcement where somehow due to Jackson’s need to be more involved? Where the hell does that come from? There is nothing out there that indicates that was the case.
    I think Alfie is nearer the truth than this paranoid thinking.

  19. I agree the delay in negiotiations where likely around the scope del Toro’s directorial powers and the final cut of the film.

    As to the relationship between Jackson and del Toro ideally it will be a collaborative effort with the understanding that del Toro has final say and that Jackson can only make suggestions and recommendations.

    I wonder, given how many units were shooting simultaneously on the LOTR pictures, if Jackson will find his way behind the camera from time to time to direct some sequences.

  20. Jackson is not directing and should therefore keep out of Del Toro’s way. Guillermo will bring his own visionary ideas to the table, which, dare I say it, may be better than Jackson’s..There I said it

  21. oh and while i definitely disagree about del toro being a better director than jackson all I can really say is THANK FUCK IT AINT RAIMI.

    I like raimi a lot but his sensibility is completely wrong fro this material.

  22. the delay was due to del toros four picture deal with universal. they had to make a deal around that before he could sign on properly but they have obviously sorted it out and universal are happy to let him go ahead….

  23. If Peter and Fran are cool with him I’d assume they think they can work with him, something we know they put a great deal of importance in (see Stuart Townsend/Ryan Gosling). They all seem to be good people so they’ll know their roles and boundaries and plan on a co-operative effort.

    btw, I think Jackson is a more proven film maker than del Toro.

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