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back to article Hellboy helmsman to direct The Hobbit

Guillermo del Toro, director of Hellboy and Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth, will direct two Lord of the Rings prequels slated for release in 2010 and 2011, the BBC reports. The first will be an adaptation of The Hobbit, the second an "original story" bridging the 60-year gap between Tolkien's first Middle Earth outing and the …

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Paris Hilton

Brilliant choice!

I'm not going to say anything about the three Blade films (except that that's why Snipes got 3 years) but Hellboy wasn't too bad and Pan's Labyrinth is possibly the best film I've seen since the end of the Rings.

I am really looking forward to 2010 and 2011 now.

Paris 'cos she could be a fantasy (God, did I just write that???)

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OMG

The sad part that he will only contribute to LOTR notoriety, not legacy. The sequel is set to be about 60 years between events of The Hobbit and LOTR. Tolkien didn't write anything about that period, so judging from the films where we had magical teleportation going on in The Two Towers (elf army) and The Return of The King (Elrond) I will not be surprised to see Jar Jar Binks and ewoks. Plague upon your house Mr. Jackson.

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Paris Hilton

Thorin sits down and sings about gold etc

Brian Blessed as Thorin, that's my big idea.

"Bilbo's al-aaahhve?"

I'm sorry, I can't do Brian Blessed's voice in text form.

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NB
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@chris simmons

"Paris 'cos she could be a fantasy (God, did I just write that???)"

yes, yes you did, now find yourself a corner to sit in while you think about what you've done.

On topic though Del Toro is an excellent director and I can't wait to see the film!

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@NB

Christ no! don't let him go sit in the corner! With him fantasising about that old slapper, who's going to get the job of cleaning the walls off afterwards?

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El Reg to do porn

Due to the burgeoning demand of potentially lucrative new readership market segments, El Reg will start reporting porn news, effective immediately.

Anyone who disagrees with this policy to see me. Note: I do naked meetings.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually..

I seem to recall the director behind the LOTR trilogy was originally booted from the Hobbit movie against the folks that own the copyright's wishes.

Problem is, the film company still have the film rights for another year or two. I'd expect to see two Hobbit movies surface in the end. Given how good Hellboy was (yes, it had bad parts but as a whole package it worked well in it's genre); how good Pan's Labyrinth worked, I'm not too upset with the choice.

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They have no respect for the author.

"The first will be an adaptation of The Hobbit,"

Could be OK, if done with respect to the original story.

" the second an "original story" bridging the 60-year gap between Tolkien's first Middle Earth outing and the Lord of the Rings trilogy."

NOOOOO!

It is likely to be a ghastly exploitation of the Middle Earth world, with screenwriters trying to imitate Tolkien without his mastery of language and myths. Painful like all added bits of non-Tolkien dialogue in the LOTR films were.

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@Chris Simmons

Del Toro only directed Blade 2 which has many good aspects - the final fight is amazing and how superhuman vampire characters should fight (he had nothing to do with the abortion that is Blade 3)

He also directed The Devils Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth and Chronos which are all excellent. It's an inspired choice.

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IT Angle

Muppets on Hobbits

Yup. I loved the Smurfs. Remember the little critters? So cute. Just like El Reg. Why stop at reporting the news from Bag End (the Shire), when you could give us equally crucial updates about Muppets. And if you Muppets run out of news of Smurfs and Hobbits, then you can always report on critical showbiz stars the Simpsons.

See you in Hell. I said Hell.

Heheh.

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Del Toro?

Here's hoping his influence will inject a bit of extra darkness into it.

I quite enjoyed LOTR but it did come across as a bit of a family friendly romp.

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@Alastair Dodd

I apologise about the Blade reference (I did think it funny that Snipes got a year in jail for each film tho' </irony>).

You're right about Chronos - I'd forgotten that film. I've not seen The Devils Backbone - so I must hit the torrents later and admittedly I only saw it for the first time 3 days ago, but Pan's Labyrinth is one of the greatest, saddest, most poignant and beautiful films I have ever seen: on the strength of PL I do believe the right director has been found for The Hobbit.

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@macrorodent

you mean like Christopher continuing his fathers' work?

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@Vaidotas Zemlys

What magical teleportation? Did I blink and miss something?

As for the sequel, it's got fairly fertile ground to cover between Hobbit and LotR. The beginning of Saruman's corruption, Denethor and Theoden at the peaks of their powers as leaders, Faramir and Boromir also finding their feet as leaders, exactly why Denethor thinks Faramir is a failure, Aragorn falling in love with Arwen and rejecting his birthright, etc..

Some of this was already sketched in by JRRT, so it's not like they're completely starting from scratch. And JRRT couldn't write dialogue or characters anyway, so there's no reason a decent scriptwriter (see Pan's Labyrinth) shouldn't do a pretty good job of it.

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Coat

Re: Thorin sits down and sings about gold etc

"Brian Blessed as Thorin, that's my big idea."

Dunno about that, but he'd be a shoo-in for the part of Beorn. Better still forget about Ian McKellen and have him play Gandalf. Even with my misgivings about the movie I'd part with my hard earned to see *that* :-)

Trouble is, every time I think of Brian Blessed I think of him playing King Richard in the first Blackadder series. Gawd, the man is a hero

"Chiswick! Fresh horses!"

... it's the one with the gold ring in the pocket.

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@LOTR notoriety

The biggest contributor to LOTR's notoriety is Tolkein's atrocious writing.

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Round Green Door-tastic choice.

Hellboy is an ace film, and Pan's Labyrinth is wonderful. If he can bring some of that to The Hobbit, all well and good. Not sure about a sequel idea, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Jackson and Del Toro.

>SAY TO BARD "SHOOT DRAGON"

I never got any futher than that, as Bard invariably couldn't be arsed shooting Smaug and Bilbo got fried.

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@joe cooper

Try learning English, or any other European language, the letters do fit together, and then suspend your imagination...oh, sorry, you work for M$ don't you?

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@smallbrainfield

did you ever try : SAY TO BARD "ENTER BBC TALENT SHOW" and then win easily?

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@Chris Simmons

"you mean like Christopher continuing his fathers' work?"

Of course I don't mean him. He is not trying to write sequels to his father's books, he justs edits the posthumous papers with minimal added glue (and explains his decisions - there is a lot of that in the afterword of "Hurin's Children"). I am under the impression he is negative about the film projects, and no wonder.

Anyway, if someone were qualified to write a Hobbit sequel, it would be Christopher Tolkien.

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Oh God

Not more LoTR crap? The books are an abomination unto literature.

"Frodo takes step, feeling the soft mud rise bewteen his toes and cling to hairs on his Hobbit feet. He starts to sing and ancient Hobbit mud song:

The mud between my toes,

It grows, yes it does.

Clinging to the hair,

heavier than air...."

[Continue for 3 chapters]

"The Hobbits reach an inn, then begin to sing an ancient Hobbit inn song:

Oh sweet inn sad by this old road,

Let us in as we are wetter than a toad..."

[Continue until the reader rips their own eyes out in order to stop the pain]

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@Macro

Sorry - I know Chris' work is very good - I was being too facetious.

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Happy

@ Graham Bartlett

There was no shining portals, but only magical teleportation explains presence of the elf army in Two Towers and Elrond in The Return of the King. Think, the army and Elrond could only come the way the Fellowship came, and the size of the Fellowship was chosen to improve the speed. So either elves followed the Fellowship, or they used teleportation. Neither of the elves were present in the books. Only small company of Rangers with Elrond sons came, but this was after the battle in Two Towers. These were two the most obvious idiotic discrepancies, I will not mention others. Mine's the coat with Elven runes spelling out Tolkien fanboy in Quenya:)

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Anonymous Coward

@Macrorodent

"Anyway, if someone were qualified to write a Hobbit sequel, it would be Christopher Tolkien."

Why not Christopher Walken?

That'd be good.

Well, *I* think it would be.

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The Sequel

I don't think there's anything to worry about regarding this new 'sequel' to The Hobbit. I hate to say it, but when Roddenberry died, the Star Trek franchise got a lot better.

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Tom
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re: Walken

Agreed. After "Weapon of choice", it's obvious the man can do anything.

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Filling the gap?

The Hobbit is a very different sort of book.

There's certainly plenty of story for a second movie, either offstage in The Hobbit or lightly-sketched background in Lord of the Rings.

It'll probably be worth is for the DVD extras.

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@ Vaidotas Zemlys

Tolkein wrote plenty about the intervening period. There's:

Sauron returning to Mordor from Dol Gudur & rebuilding Barad-Dur

Aragorn & Arwen meet & fall in love

Aragorn & Gandalf search for Gollum

And The fall of Saruman

amongst many other things

Mines the Exquisite Radiant Anorak with +5 Wil but -150 Cool...

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Boffin

Inspired choices

You've got it all wrong.

You need Quentin Tarantino directing, with Samuel L. Jackson as Thorin.

"Just what is your motherf**king problem, Gandalf? You gotta wand up yo' ass?"

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Inspired choices

That was what was in the suitcase. The Precious. Now it can be told.

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Tolkien: bard or butcher?

I'm sure I don't need to remind the folks here that Tolkien was a linguistics professor, and as such his greatest accomplishment with The Hobbit and the LotR trilogy was the development of the elvish and dwarvish languages, not the story - which was a butchering attempt at authoring a rich story.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Middle Earth, but as an author Tolkien sucked; for me, it was his attention to detail in the out-of-story notes (ie. family trees, back stories, language development, and similar) that was his greatest achievement. I don't think many would argue that his good friend and author-competitor, CS Lewis, was leagues ahead in his story telling capabilities.

The fanboys need to settle down. Guillermo is a wonderful choice to helm the next two Middle Earth movies - his artistic direction is nothing short of stellar.

And, speaking of CS Lewis, Prince Caspian looks like it should also be an amazing movie.

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@ Vaidotas Zemlys

Regarding how quickly the elves and Elrond got to Gondor: the company took a circuitous route, particularly when cutting through Moria (and being subsequently waylaid there). My Middle Earth geograhy is a bit rusty, but IIRC the is a road north up past the gap of Rohan west of the mountains all the way almost to the Shire - did Thingy The Brown use it when he met the company with a message from Saruman in FoTR? With hard riding perhaps the elves could make it in a matter of a fortnight...?

Anyway, my main objection to Peter Jackson's L0TR movies (apart from gratuitous CGI overload) is the dumbing down of the books to appeal to the lucrative pre-teen market, and the millions of dollars worth of merchandising opportunities. Given the fact that The Hobbit already *is* a childrens story, here's hoping there's not too much scope for that sort of thing to happen here!

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Why the invented material

When the entire Silmarillion is crying out to be made into a series of films for years to come?

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@@Macrodent Re: Christopher Walken

The way Isildur looked at it, this ring was your birthright. He'd be damned if any orcs gonna put their greasy green hands on his boy's birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this ring up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the ring. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the ring to you.

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Re: Why the invented material

And I'd be crying out if it was.

To paraphrase the Emperor Joseph:

"My dear Tolkein, don't take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many elves, that's all."

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Go

The Hobbit's ALREADY reads like a movie

For those who have not read it lately, the Hobbit ALREADY reads like a movie script. (It reminds me of Pet Semetary in the way it reads.)

The depth isn't really there, but the story just moves along, one thing after another.

Shouldn't be much to change or edit. Just follow the book... It seems easy enuff to me.

Oh and I theink Guillermo is a great fit for it..

John from North Pole

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Re: Inspired choices

"You need Quentin Tarantino directing, with Samuel L. Jackson as Thorin."

KILL THORIN ... With one well placed blow Thorin pops a cap in your ass.

Dialogue by Walken would be great, but not as great as him appearing in it. Maybe as Gandalf but Brian Blessed would be great too.

However we can't have a Hobbit movie with Leonard Nimoy singing the theme tune !

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Should be better than a NZ shlock horror director

Having seen all of Del Toro's work to date I'm hopeful he'll make a better job of it then Peter Jackson did on LOTR. If you spend years claiming you're going to be faithful to the books you should at least BE faithful to the books and not cut bits, change bits, insert new bits, etc like he did.

I wonder who he'll cast Ron Perlman as? Del Toro uses him in almost every film he makes. Beorn perhaps?

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Huh, who cares?

The elf on elf sex in the Hobbit was crap compared to The Lord of the Rings anyway.

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Paris Hilton

Whether or not Tolkein sucks as a writer,

as a world creator, he was fantastic and these extra movies hopefully will show that. Just please god, no Tom Bombadil !

Paris, even though shes not a writer...

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Hackson

Peter Jackson already destroyed one of Tolkien's books, does he need to put his grubby little mitts on this one, too? Looking at the rampant liberties he took with the story in LOTR, this stands to be yet another disgraceful, dumbed-down adaptation. I can't wait for more dwarvish hilarity like drinking contests and inexplicable Scottish accents.

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Anonymous Coward

@OMG

You obviously never read any of the extensive Appendix of LOTR that listed loads of things that take place between the 60 year period.

1. Aragorn's life.

2. Gandalf's activities - along with those of the Elves and Saruman

3. Sauron's moving from Dol Gulder back to Mordor; Mordor's resurgence and the subsequent battles.

...

On the subject of the new Director, having seen Pan's Labyrinth, I can only expect great things.

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