The Hobbit films

The Hobbit films

Infobox Film
name = The Hobbit

image_size =
caption =
director = Guillermo del Toro
producer = Mark Ordesky
writer = Screenplay by:
Guillermo del Toro
Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
J. R. R. Tolkien
narrator =
starring = Ian McKellen
Andy Serkis
music = Howard Shore
cinematography =
editing =
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
New Line
(North America)
released = December 2011
("The Hobbit")
December 2012
(Film 2)
runtime =
country = New Zealand United States
language = English
budget = US$300 million
gross =
preceded_by = ""
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0903624

"The Hobbit", based on the novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien, is in development for release in December 2011 and a sequel in December 2012. The films will be directed by Guillermo del Toro, with "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy director Peter Jackson serving as executive producer and co-writer.


:"See also: Development of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy"
Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh expressed interest in 1995 in filming "The Hobbit", which would be part one of a trilogy (the other two would have been based on "The Lord of the Rings"). [cite book | author = Brian Sibley | title = Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey | publisher = HarperCollins | date = 2006 | location = London | pages = 313-16 | id = ISBN 0-00-717558-2] Frustration arose when Jackson's producer, Harvey Weinstein, discovered Saul Zaentz had production rights to "The Hobbit", but distribution rights still belonged to United Artists. The studio was on the market, so Weinstein's attempts to buy those rights were unsuccessful. Weinstein asked Jackson to press on with adapting "The Lord of the Rings". [cite book | author = Brian Sibley | title = Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey | publisher = HarperCollins | date = 2006 | location = London | pages = 323-25 | id = ISBN 0-00-717558-2] New Line Cinema eventually produced "The Lord of the Rings", and their rights to film "The Hobbit" were set to expire in 2010.cite news | author = Benjamin Svetkey | title = 'The Hobbit': Peace in Middle-Earth? | work = Entertainment Weekly | date = 2007-10-04 | url =,,20036782_20037403_20142132,00.html | accessdate=2007-10-05] In September 2006, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, owner of UA, expressed interest in teaming up with New Line and Jackson to make the prequel. [cite news | author = Stax | title = MGM Eyes Hobbit, T4 | work = IGN | date = 2006-09-11 | url = | accessdate=2007-08-17]

In March 2005, Jackson launched a lawsuit against New Line, claiming he had lost revenue from merchandising, video, and computer games releases associated with "". [cite news | title = Director sues over Rings profits | work = BBC News Online | date = 2005-03-02 | url = | accessdate=2007-08-17] Jackson felt the lawsuit was minor, and that New Line would still let him make the film. New Line co-founder Robert Shaye was annoyed with the lawsuit and said in January 2007 that Jackson would never again direct a film for New Line, accusing him of being greedy. [cite news|title=Jackson ruled out of Hobbit film|work=BBC News Online|date=2007-01-11|url=|accessdate=2008-09-30] MGM boss Harry Sloan halted development, as he wanted Jackson to be involved.cite news | author = Dade Hayes, Dave McNary | title = New Line in Warner's corner | work = Variety | date = 2008-02-28 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-29] By August, after a string of flops, Shaye was trying to repair his relationship with the director. He said, "I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in "The Hobbit"." [cite news | author = Patrick Goldstein | title = THE BIG PICTURE: New Line's midlife crisis | work = Los Angeles Times | date = 2007-08-10 | url =,0,7800308.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews | accessdate=2007-08-17] The following month, New Line was fined $125,000 for failing to provide requested accounting documents.

On December 18 2007, it was announced that Jackson would be executive producer of "The Hobbit" and its sequel. New Line and MGM will co-finance the film, and the latter studio will distribute the films outside North America – New Line's first ever such deal with another major studio. [cite news | author = Michael Fleming | title = 'Hobbit' back on track as twin bill | work = Variety | date = 2007-12-18 | url = | accessdate=2008-10-02] Each film is budgeted at an estimated US$150 million, [cite news | author = Borys Kit | title = Del Toro doubles up for 'Hobbit' | work = The Hollywood Reporter | date = 2008-01-27 | url = | accessdate=2008-01-28] which compares to the US$94 million budget for each of the films in Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. After completion of the merger of New Line Cinema with Warner Bros. in February 2008, the films were announced as scheduled for release in December 2011 and 2012. Producer Mark Ordesky will return to supervise the prequels. [cite news | author = Anne Thompson | title = Shaye kept New Line afloat | work = Variety | date = 2008-03-06 | url = | accessdate=2008-03-07] Jackson explained he chose not direct because it would have been unsatisfying to compete with his previous films.

Guillermo del Toro has said he was a fan of Jackson's trilogy and had discussed directing a "Halo" film with him in 2005. Though that project stalled, they kept in contact. In a 2006 interview Del Toro was quoted saying "I don't like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits, [...] I hate all that stuff". [cite news | url = | title = Conversations: Guillermo del Toro | work = | date = 2006-10-12 | accessdate=2008-06-04] After he signed on to direct in April 2008, Del Toro posted on "" forums that he had been enchanted by "The Hobbit" as a child, but found that Tolkien's other books "contain [ed] geography and genealogy too complex for my prepubescent brain". In taking the job of director, Del Toro was now "reading like a madman to catch up with a whole new land, a continent of sorts – a cosmology created by brilliant philologist turned Shaman". The director also posted that his appreciation of Tolkien was enhanced by his knowledge of the fantasy genre and the folklore research he had undertaken while making his own fantasy films.

Pre-production began around August 2008, with Del Toro, Jackson, Walsh, and Philippa Boyens writing the scripts. [cite news|url=|author=Nicole Sperling|title=Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens join Guillermo Del Toro penning 'The Hobbit'|work=Entertainment Weekly|date=2008-08-19|accessdate=2008-08-20] Del Toro is collaborating with Jackson, Walsh and Boyens via videoconferencing, and flying every three weeks, back and forth from Los Angeles, California (where some of the designs are being done) to New Zealand to visit them. [cite news|author=Michael Fleming|title=Guillermo Del Toro booked thru 2017|work=Variety|date=2008-09-03|url=|accessdate=2008-09-06] Del Toro spends his mornings writing, and during the afternoon he looks at material related to Tolkien to help him understand the writer's work. Specifically, he has watched World War I documentaries and examined Jackson's memorabilia, including working reproductions of planes, tanks, cannons, ships and uniforms (as Del Toro believes Tolkien's experiences in that war impacted his stories).cite news|author=Max Evry|title=Guillermo del Toro on The Hobbit and Frankenstein||date=2008-10-05|url=|accessdate=2008-10-05] He will finally move to the country in early 2009. [cite news|title=To Hellboy and back|work=Sydney Morning Herald|date=2008-09-04|url=|accessdate=2008-09-06] Filming is slated to take place throughout 2010 in New Zealand, and Del Toro will renovate the Hobbiton sets in Matamata.cite news | title = Jackson and del Toro Talk The Hobbit! | work = | date = 2008-05-25 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-25] For his part, Jackson has kept the Rivendell scale model and the Bag End set (which he has used as a guest house) from the trilogy. During the middle of the shoot, there will be a break which will allow Del Toro to edit "The Hobbit" while sets are altered for the second film. [cite news|author=Carl Cortez|title=Guillermo del Toro escapes 'Labyrinth' and ends right back into 'Hellboy'|work=iF Magazine|date=2008-07-09|url=|accessdate=2008-07-14]


Del Toro interprets "The Hobbit" as being set in a "world that is slightly more golden at the beginning, a very innocent environment" and the film would need to "tak [e] you from a time of more purity to a darker reality throughout the film, but [in a manner] in the spirit of the book". He perceives the main themes as loss of innocence, which he likened to the experience of England after World War I, and greed, which he says Smaug and Thorin Oakenshield represent: Bilbo Baggins reaffirms his personal morality during the story's third act as he encounters Smaug and the Dwarves' greed.cite news|author=Joe Utichi|title=Guillermo del Toro - RT's Dinner and the Movies Interview|work=Rotten Tomatoes|date=2008-07-11|url=|accessdate=2008-07-12] He added "The humble, sort of a sturdy moral fibre that Bilbo has very much represents the idea that Tolkien had about the little English man, the average English man", and Thorin and Bilbo's relationship would be the heart of the film. [cite news | author = Shawn Adler | title = Director Guillermo Del Toro Answers Your ‘Hobbit’ Questions | work = MTV Movies Blog | date = 2008-07-02 | url = | accessdate=2008-07-02] The Elves will also be less solemn.

Del Toro met concept artists John Howe and Alan Lee, Weta Workshop head Richard Taylor and make-up artist Gino Acevedo to keep continuity with the previous films, and he will also hire European comic book artists to complement Howe and Lee's style on the trilogy. He has also considered looking at Tolkien's drawings and using elements of those not used in the trilogy.cite news | author = Shawn Adler | title = Guillermo Del Toro Answers 'Hobbit' Fans' Questions About Returning 'Rings' Cast, Religion And More | work = | date = 2008-07-02 | url = | accessdate=2008-07-02] As Tolkien did not intend for the One Ring to be evil, as revealed in "The Lord of the Rings", Del Toro will address its different nature in the story, but not so much as to draw away from the story's spirit. Del Toro will redesign the Goblins and Wargs, while the Mirkwood spiders will look different from Shelob. Del Toro felt the Wargs had to be redesigned because "the classical incarnation of the demonic wolf in Nordic mythology is not a hyena-shaped creature". Del Toro also wants the animals to speak, so Smaug's speech will not be incongruous, though he explained portraying the talking animals will be more about showing people can understand them. Smaug will not have a "snub Simian [mouth] in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch", and Del Toro notes that such is the attention given to him that he will be the first design begun and the last to be approved.

Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis (who played Gandalf and Gollum, respectively), have met Del Toro, and ideally, he wants every actor (including Ian Holm, who played the old Bilbo in "Rings") to reprise their roles,cite news | author = Shawn Adler | title = Guillermo Del Toro Addresses 'Hobbit' Fans' Concerns, Talks Possible Casting | work = MTV | date = 2008-04-28 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-30] although he acknowledged some may be unable to because of health problems. All thirteen Dwarves and Beorn will appear. He would consider having Holm narrate the films. Doug Jones, who appeared in Del Toro's "Hellboy", its and "Pan's Labyrinth", is interested in playing Thranduil, King of Mirkwood and Legolas' father. [cite news | author = Brian Jacks | title = Doug Jones Eyes Elven King Role For ‘The Hobbit’ | work = MTV Movies Blog | date = 2008-06-30 | url = | accessdate=2008-06-30] Similarly, Hellboy star Ron Perlman is a person whom del Toro has "something in mind for".

Del Toro and Jackson have a positive working relationship, where they will compromise on disagreements to the benefit of the film. Del Toro believes he will be able to shoot all of the films himself, [cite news|author=Shawn Adler|title=Guillermo Del Toro To Fly Solo On ‘Hobbit’ Directing Duties, Says No To Peter Jackson Assist|work=MTV Movies Blog|date=2008-10-08|url=|accessdate=2008-10-08] although Jackson noted he had similar hopes for filming all of his trilogy, and has offered to help as second unit director. Del Toro will shoot the films in the trilogy's 2.35:1 aspect ratio, rather than his signature 1.85:1 ratio. Del Toro added he shares Jackson's passion for scale models and background paintings,cite news|author=Patrick Kolan|title=Guillermo Talks The Hobbit's Effects|work=IGN|date=2008-08-19|url=|accessdate=2008-09-27] though he wants to increase the use of animatronics; "We really want to take the state-of-the-art animatronics and take a leap ten years into the future with the technology we will develop for the creatures in the movie. We have every intention to do for animatronics and special effects what the other films did for virtual reality."cite news | title = Guillermo del Toro Chats with TORN About ‘The Hobbit’ Films! | publisher = | date = 2008-04-25 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-26] Some characters will be created by mixing computer-generated imagery with animatronics, and some will solely be created with animatronics or animation. Gollum will be entirely digital again, as Del Toro noted "if it ain't broke, why fix it?"

Del Toro considered the sudden introduction to Bard the Bowman and Bilbo being unconscious during the Battle of the Five Armies to be "unorthodox narrative choices" and noted these "should be protected as much as humanly possible since thissic very idiosyncracies are the ones that allow it to retain its unique identity – and that distinguish it from LOTR." [cite web|author=Guillermo del Toro|title=Deux centavos|publisher="" forum|date=2008-05-02|url=;guest=3666153#94786|accessdate=2008-10-01]

econd film

MGM expressed interest in a second film in 2006, set between "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". [cite news | title = Hobbit, Crown, Panther News | work = IGN | date = 2006-11-14 | url = | accessdate=2007-08-17] Jackson concurred, stating "one of the drawbacks of "The Hobbit" is [that] it's relatively lightweight compared to "Lord of the Rings"... There [are] a lot of sections in which a character like Gandalf disappears for a while. From memory – I mean, I haven't read it for a while now – but I think he references going off to meet with the White Council, who are actually characters like Galadriel and Saruman and people that we see in "Lord of the Rings". He mysteriously vanishes for a while and then comes back, but we don't really know what goes on."cite news | author = Steve Daly | title = Action Jackson | work = Entertainment Weekly | date = 2006-09-22 | url =,,1538494,00.html | accessdate=2007-10-05] Jackson was also interested in showing Gollum's journey to Mordor and Aragorn setting a watch on the Shire. [cite news|author=Eric Vespe|title=Quint and Peter Jackson talk THE HOBBIT and a potential return to low budget horror!!!|work=Ain't It Cool News|date=2008-10-08|url=|accessdate=2008-10-08]

After his hiring in 2008, Del Toro confirmed the sequel would be about "trying to reconcile the facts of the first movie with a slightly different point of view. You would be able to see events that were not witnessed in the first." The second film's story will depend on how many actors can reprise their roles. He also noted the story must be drawn from only what is mentioned in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings", as they do not have the copyright to "The Silmarillion" and "Unfinished Tales". [cite news|title=News of the Week|work=Sci Fi Weekly|date=2008-07-07|url=|accessdate=2008-09-30] Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, said he would like to show how the Wizard was corrupted into becoming an ally of Sauron. [cite news | author = Glen Ferris | title = Christopher Lee On The Hobbit | work = Empire Online | date = 2008-06-04 | url = | accessdate=2008-06-04] However, Lee stated he would not be comfortable flying to New Zealand at his age. [cite news|author=Elisabeth Rappe|title=Looks Like Christopher Lee Might Not Return to Middle-Earth|work=Cinematical|date=2008-07-13|url=|accessdate=2008-07-14]

Del Toro also added (before writing began) that if they could not find a coherent story for the second film, they may just film "The Hobbit" as one or two films, though he noted "The Hobbit" is better contained in a single film and kept brisk and fluid with no artificial 'break point'." [cite news|author=Guillermo del Toro|title=2 centavos|publisher="" forum|date=2008-05-26|url=;guest=3666153#101653|accessdate=2008-10-01] Since then, he has hinted the part of the story following the battle with Smaug may be left until the second film, while "lead [ing] right into "The Fellowship of the Ring". [cite news|url=|title=‘Hobbit’ Films Will Be One ‘Continuous Journey,’ Promises Guillermo Del Toro|author=Shawn Adler|work=MTV Movies Blog|date=2008-10-07|accessdate=2008-10-08]


External links

* [ "The Hobbit": The Official Movie Blog]
* []
*" [ The Hobbit] " and [ Film 2] at the Internet Movie Database

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