It's not exactly hard to recognize a Guillermo del Toro movie, particularly if it's part of the fantasy genre. The filmmaker has a defined aesthetic that is most notable in creature design and mystical worlds. Naturally, this could have had a significant effect on The Hobbit. Before Peter Jackson made the decision to return to the director's chair, del Toro was the man set to helm the J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation and in addition to working on the script he also spent months working on pre-production. Then, however, MGM went bankrupt and del Toro made the decision to move on and find a new project to make (he eventually settled on the upcoming Pacific Rim, which will be in theaters next summer). But what about all of the designs and work that he did on The Hobbit? According to Jackson, just about all of it was scrapped.
The New Zealand filmmaker recently sat down for an interview with i09 and revealed that while some of del Toro's work on The Hobbit is still sprinkled throughout the upcoming fantasy movie, for the most part it was replaced. "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," Jackson said. "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." He continued by saying that he then took it upon himself to redesign the film, but that it wasn't a complete redo as he still included some of del Toro's "DNA." Said Jackson, "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."
As much as I love the look of del Toro's movies, I do think that this was the best move Jackson could have made. Not only is it important that he is making a film that he designed himself, there's also something to be said for keeping continuity in style with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That said, with any luck at some point del Toro's designs will be made available for public viewing and we'll get the chance to glimpse at what could have been.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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