Posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
One of BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo’s guests this week was Guillermo del Toro, and luckily for Guillermo, he came by on a Tuesday when Mayo’s oft-addled movie-reviewing sidekick Mark Kermode would be out of the way. While they were there to primarily discuss Del Toro’s vampire novel The Strain, Mayo did have a poke and probe into many of Guillermo’s upcoming movies, not least of all The Hobbit. After the break, details on his various cast confirmations, including Hugo Weaving as Elrond, and a good sackful of other del Toro updates, including details on why Hellboy 3 will very possibly not happen, the casting and make-up tests for Frankenstein, a potential TV version of The Strain and more.
Let’s deal with The Hobbit first because, hey, Guillermo has to. When Mayo asked about the proposed ‘bridge film’, Guillermo explained that now the plan was to make just two films, between them adapting the novel and factoring in some subplot material:
There is a whole other chapter, so to speak, which is the comings and going of Gandalf which are dealt with, people that know the lore know that Gandalf was delayed with a crisis… with a character that is very shady called the Necromancer that proves to be Sauron.
Mayo then asked if Andy Serkis is back, which prompted Guillermo to confirm a nice little trio of casting locks:
Yes [and] Ian McKellen is back, [and] Hugo Weaving in the roles they originated in the trilogy.
On the matter of Smaug, Guillermo explained that only now, after eight months of design work have they just “cracked the basic engineering.” He suspects that they will need another six or seven months of application there before Smaug is ready for his close up.
Beyond The Hobbit, Guillermo discussed the possibility of him directing a fourth Blade film – no, because Wesley Snipes and New Line are no longer “on legal speaking terms”; of a third Hellboy, which sadly seems unlikely as Ron Perlman has said he no longer wants to wear the prosthetics, so Guillermo “guesses” it will never happen; and of a feature film of The Strain, which won’t happen as he believes it would require six feature films, so he instead suggests a comic book or TV series, which would have Ron Perlman as the rat catcher Vasily Fet.
As for Jekyll and Hyde, Guillermo let it be known that he will only be producing. For Frankenstein, however, he will definitely be directing. Most surprisingly, he announced that he has already cast Doug Jones in the role of the monster and that make-up tests for the film would be taking place in the next few weeks. Is he planning to shoot it while still in New Zealand?
The smaller updates related to Guillermo’s adaptations of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness and Dahl’s The Witches, for both of which he has long since had completed scripts in hand. Neither, however, has received studio support and not being able to find the funding has prevented either from being made. According to Guillermo, though, securing the cash for them in future will be “a quest” for him, so don’t count either picture out for the count yet.
You can listen to the full show via the BBC’s iPlayer until Monday, at least. Guillermo comes on at around the 1 hour 47 minute mark. Thanks to Ben Key for reminding us to pull our fingers out and actually listen to the interview with his pointing towards the OneRing forums.