Eighteen months ago, Guillermo del Toro had a 10-year-plan. His life was mapped out, and it had nothing to do with JRR Tolkien’s lovingly rendered cartography of Middle-earth.
“I was calmly laying out the next decade of my life when The Hobbit appeared,” he laughs. “I was preparing all these things and all of a sudden The Hobbit shows up and takes over my life.”
Make no mistake: The Hobbit is his precious. Del Toro knows more than anyone that this diptych could – should – define his career.
And so the director has been busy building a world that not only honours JRR Tolkien’s book and Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy but will emerge assuredly, triumphantly, his own.
Our very own cuddly character, Jamie Graham, snuggled up to Del Toro at his Wellington base of operations, and talked exclusively about the biggest films of next decade.
The Hobbit has taken much longer to design than your other movies…
It took almost a year. Which for me is very, very long because normally I take about a third of that time to design movies like Hellboy. And if you actually take into account we have three or four times the number of artists… [chuckles].
We produced hundreds, literally hundreds, of drawings; dozens and dozens of maquettes; dozens of material tests. It’s epic. And we are still going to be designing into production…
Next: Scripting the film