When Peter Jackson took over what was then just two, measly Hobbit films from Guillermo Del Toro, no one seemed to be all too surprised. The latter director worked on the film for about two years before handing Jackson’s baby back to him and went on to unsuccessfully pursue At the Mountains of Madness, before successfully completing production on Pacific Rim, as Jackson headed back to Middle Earth. But with years of work and a screenplay credit still attached, the question remains how much influence he will have on the final film. Speaking with Jackson, i09 has provided an answer, which can be read below.
[Guillermo] had designed a lot of the movie . . . I looked at his designs when he took over and a lot of his designs are very Guillermo . . . it was very much stuff that you would recognize from Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy. It was his artistic vision and I couldn’t make that movie. I looked at his designs and I said the only person who can make a Guillermo Del Toro movie is Guillermo. It shouldn’t be me. I can’t put my head into somebody else’s idea — I have to generate it from the beginning. So really I redesigned the film pretty much. Some of Guillermo’s DNA is in there — there were some things he did that I thought were pretty cool and I’ve taken bits of pieces of his stuff — kind of altering it and changing it as I saw it. But the film was largely redesigned.
So, it sounds like a mixed bag. While I’m curious as to what Del Toro’s original designs looked like, it’s no surprise that Jackson scrapped much of it to go in his own direction. It must have been painful to let all that work go, but hopefully we’ll see a very basic Del Toro influence in the final films. In the end, both directors seemed to make the right choice as Jackson surely would have been so heavily involved in Del Toro’s vision.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on December 14th and The Hobbit: There and Back Again will hit theaters a year later on December 13th, 2013, while Del Toro’s Pacific Rim lands in between in the summer and then the currently untitled third Hobbit film will finally arrive in summer 2014.
Are you excited a small bit of Del Toro’s vision is left in the film? Are you happy Jackson went his own route?
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