Guillermo del Toro On Starting Hobbit Preparation

Director promises new creatures, family film.

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At the Saturn Awards, where the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films gave Guillermo del Toro a lifetime achievement award, the director shared his first thoughts on The Hobbit. Things are still early in pre-production. "Barely started," Del Toro said. "We have had preliminary chats. We have had a chat where we sketch out what we think of the two movies, but there's no writing. There is note-taking. There is breaking down the novel. There is a lot of work already being done on our part but real pre-production will not start until late July." That means Del Toro will be dividing his time between Los Angeles and New Zealand for the rest of the year! "I'm going to be going every two weeks. We start preconceptualizations both in New Zealand and L.A. I open the conceptualization shop in August. I travel to Weta to start doing some more research and development and I'm going to be going to New Zealand every two weeks or so." Those creatures may have more in common with Pan's Labyrinth than Peter Jackson's trilogy. Del Toro will honor the already established creatures, but The Hobbit has some new ones filmgoers have yet to see. "To give you an example, Shelob is a spider but the spiders of Mirkwood are completely different." Tonally, fans can except the same intensity as Peter Jackson's films and del Toro's previous work. "I feel that obviously being faithful to the source, I would love for this to be a movie that can be enjoyed by fathers and sons, by mothers and daughters. I would love in that sense, but very often when you use the word family film, it can conjure watering down things. I'm trying to recreate on the screen the feeling I had when I was 11 in my bed reading the book, how excited I got, how great I thought it was. That's what I'm trying to honor."

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