Following Peter Jackson’s good news that the first part of The Hobbit was still on track to hit theaters in December 2011, director Guillermo Del Toro has provided some updates on the movie to the folks over at TheOneRing.net. Del Toro begins by saying that “About ONLY 3 actors returning [from The Lord of the Rings]: I think the emphasis on “only” is what slant the news the wrong way…Both PJ and I chime in on things ‘as they are at the moment’ and, of course, things change.” Ian McKellan has already said he’s returning and Del Toro says he can’t imagine anyone but Andy Serkis playing Gollum. This means that my letter-writing campaign to get Judi Dench to play the role has been pointless.
Del Toro also says, concerning the production, “THAT we have not stopped. As I have reported in the past, we are scouting, designing (my last 3 hour meeting with Weta was this morning) and will not stop. BUT the greenlight and thus commencement can only be granted by the studio.” He explains, “until there are two scripts delivered and budgets and schedules to support them we will be all under a yellow light of development.” In the meantime, Del Toro is still location scouting, designing, testing the animation on Smaug, editing previz, and the many other demanding tasks that are inherent in directing such an epic cinematic undertaking.
Unfortunately, Del Toro’s only going to get busier as time goes on and while that means production on the movie is humming along, it also means we’ll be hearing from him less. However, as he says at the end of his letter, “…fear not- I will drop in as much as possible, as always.” We’ll be sure to report on it whenever he does.