Not surprisingly, today’s tidbits begin with Star Trek Into Darkness. After the jump:

  • Simon Pegg is laughing at your Star Trek fan theories
  • You can count out Danny Boyle for Bond 24
  • Clerks III already has a 70-page outline
  • Andy Serkis talks The Hobbit and Apes
  • A Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sequel is coming 
  • Barbara Hershey will return for Insidious 2
  • Wolverine, X-MenApes, and Percy Jackson go 3D

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Guillermo del Toro Tries To Explain The Hobbit Sequel

I’m not sure about you, but I’m still so very confused about what exactly the Hobbit sequel is and is not. What is the purpose? What story will be told? Guillermo del Toro attempts to clarify matters by explaining to MTV that The Hobbit films aren’t actually two films, but one movie told in two parts.

“The reality is that we stopped talking the first movie and second movie, and we just started taking about the movie – the two episodes, or two parts, as if they were a single piece of narrative,” said del Toro. “We don’t even call it the bridge movie, we just call it ‘The Movie.’ And this is great. When we found what reverberated, and we found it in one of our virtual meetings – we understood. It’s a movie.”

So the first film will tell the first half of The Hobbit, and the second film will tell the other half? Well.. No, not exactly. del Toro says that the second film will lead directly into The Fellowship of the Ring, and admits that even he doesn’t know when the book known as The Hobbit will end and the story bridging to the Lord of the Rings trilogy begins.

“We are finding out,” GDT quipped. “I think Smaug dies in the first movie. So draw your own conclusions.”

And that death occurs in chapter 14 of the 19 chapter novel. So I’m more confused than ever. It appears that the second Hobbit film might contain the last five chapters of the book. Could it be that Jackson, del Toro and crew don’t have enough narrative story for the second film. Remember, the whole idea of a sequel was born out of studio greed (money) and not story necessity. Am I the only one who thinks that spreading the last chapters of The Hobbit into the next film could end messily?

Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro

Earlier today, executive producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro answered questions from fans in an online chat about The Hobbit and its announced sequel. We have the entire transcript available after the jump, but have compiled cliff notes for those who don’t have the time to read the full transcript:

Guillermo has already begun sketching design ideas in his notebook. The plan is to write and start early conceptual designs for the rest of the year. 2009 will be dedicated to pre-production on both movies and 2010 will be the year the films are shot back to back “with a small break to breathe and to reconstruct certain sets and have time to reassess”

No casting has commenced and won’t until the scripts are written. Guillermo insists thay “Unequivocally, every single actor that originated a role in the Trilogy will be asked to participate and reprise it. If Health, availability or willigness become obstacles – and only in that case recasting would be considered.” Ian Holm will be utilized “in some fashion for sure but the difficulty of the role will be better assessed after” the screenplays are completed. del Toro revealed that he also has plans for Ron Perlman in the film, but not as the voice of Smog.

Both movies will be PG-13, shot 2:35:1 aspect ration (as was the Trilogy) on film. There are no current plans to release the movies in 3D. Howard Shore is in talks to return to compose the score. Much of the original production team will be brought back supplemented by choices from del Toro.

Middle-earth will be shot on location in New Zealand with real set construction preferred over green screen. They plan on rebuilding Hobbiton “bigger and even better” in the same location.

As for the special effects, del Toro plans “to mix CGI and PHYSICAL in such a way that your eye wonders which is which- keep you mind busy but NEVER allowing for the weaknesses of either tool to take over. … Imagine a physical creature with a radio controlled muscle / facial system but with partial CGI replacement on the head or mouth, etc and you’ll start to get the idea…”

Guillermo del Toro describes his vision: “The book, I believe, in echoing the “loss of innocence” England experienced after WWI, is a passage form innocence to a darker, more somber state- The visual / thematic progression should reflect that in the camera style, color palette, textural choices, etc.” “I hope that Mirkwood can be pretty scary but not graphic, I hope Riddles in the dark has an element of fear and suspense and to be deeply atmospheric but still allow the ingenious, engaging contest to take place. And Smaug should be all shock and awe when he unleashes his anger so, it will be pretty intense but not gorey.” “The world must feel like the same world [as the one showed in Jackson's films]. The aspect ratio, music, essential established costume and production design trademarks but I would love to bring a lot of new flavours to the table. THE HOBBIT is, in essence, an overture to a massive Symphonic work so main themes are reprised but new modulations and new colors are introduced, thematically and texturally.” “I am all for trying to preserve every idiosyncrasy the novel has- the very things that seem “unfilmable” and that – in my mind- will make it thrilling as a film.”

The second film doesn’t have a title yet, and won’t until the script is written. del Toro says “The idea is to find a compelling way to join THE HOBBIT and FELLOWSHIP and enhance the 5 films both visually an in their Cosmology. There’s omissions and material enough in the available, licensed material to attempt this. The agreement is, however, that the second film must be relevant and emotionally strong enough to be brought to life but that we must try and contain the HOBBIT in a single film.” Jackson says “If we wished to write one of the LOTR characters into the narrative of Film Two, we would only do that with that actors blessing, and willingness to take part. Otherwise we’d take the writing in another direction.”

A Blu-ray release of Lord of The Rings is being worked on, but won’t be released this year.

Full transcript after the jump.

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Guillermo del Toro and The Hobbit Sequel

thesilmaillion.jpgSince it was first announced, everyone has been wondering what will become of this supposed Hobbit sequel. For the first time publicly Guillermo del Toro spoke publicly to TheOneRing.net about the planned continuation:

“You know, I traveled to New Zealand just a little while ago, and one of the main reasons for going was to sit down and talk about the second film. ‘The Hobbit’, the book, is really one self-contained film, so for the second movie we sat down and worked it out. When we did this we got really excited because this second film is not a ‘tag on’, it’s not ‘filler’, it’s an integral part of telling the story of those 50 years of history lost in the narrative. There will be certain things that we will see from the first movie but from a different point of view, but it will feel like a volume, in the 5 volumes of the entire story. It will not feel like a bridge, I’ve been hearing it called ‘a bridge film’, it’s not, it’s an integral chapter of the story, and I think we’re all on the same page.”

Popular belief is that the sequel would reference The Silmarillion, a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien’s mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977. The book contained five parts of The History of Middle-earth, but is considered by most fans to be dense and rather boring. So the question is how much of The Hobbit sequel will be an original creation by del Toro, Jackson and Walsh, and how much of it will actually be adapted from such text.

Discuss: What would you like to see in The Hobbit sequel?

Guillermo del Toro: ‘I don’t like Hobbits’!?

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Let me first say, I’m a huge fan of Guillermo del Toro and am very excited to see what he will be able to bring the Tolkien’s universe. That said I found the following quote from del Toro in an article on salon.com, talking about how he’s never had any interest in the Lord of the Rings genre of fantasy… wait, what?

“I was never into heroic fantasy. At all,” del Toro admitted during a 2006 Cannes interview. “I don’t like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits — I’ve never been into that at all. I don’t like sword and sorcery. I hate all that stuff.”

Huh? I’m confused. Why did del Toro sign on for this four-year two film commitment? What made him change his mind about an entire genre which he clearly seems “hate”? Again, I’m pretty sure he will make an incredible movie regardless, but I’m interested to know what happened in the last two years that changed his mind on the genre.

deltorohobbit1.jpg

Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro has OFFICIALLY signed on to direct The Hobbit and it’s sequel. The Hobbit sequel, which is currently untitled will deal with the 60-year period between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will executive produce the project which will be co-financed by New Line Cinema and MGM, with Warner Brothers distributing domestically and MGM distributing internationally. del Toro will have to move to New Zealand for the next four years to work with Jackson and WETA on the back-to-back film projects. Del Toro won’t leave for New Zealand until later this year as he’s still doing post-production work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which will hit theaters in July. If the production begins next year, The Hobbit and it’s sequel could hit theaters in late 2011 and 2012.

I’m extremely excited to see what del Toro will be able to bring to the Lord of the Rings universe. No screenplay has been set for the epic prequel, but it is expected that the Lord of the Rigns scripting team of Jackson, Walsh and Philippa Boyens will work on the two screenplays in collaboration with Del Toro. I hope he Guillermo given a chance to make the project his own. At the same time I am disappointed that this will cannibalize Guillermo for the next four years, as I know he has so many great films in him itching to come out.

Discuss: What do you think now that it is official that Guillermo del Toro will be directing The Hobbit?

hobbit.jpg

Residents of Middle-Earth should pop some Advil, as already-troubled New Line Cinema has been sued by the Tolkien estate, which seeks $150 million plus in damages in the mega-lawsuit. Peter Jackson‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy did over $6 billion in world-wide receipts, but the estate claims that not a drop of gross profit participation has come its way. Moreover, the suit seeks further damages and, here’s the real killjoy, the right to take any other J.R.R. Tolkien works (i.e. The Hobbit films) elsewhere.

The estate released the following statement via its U.S. Counsel, Bonnie Eskenazi, practically writing the word “ludicrous” in the sky for all of the films’ and books’ fans to sigh at…

“New Line has brought new meaning to the phrase ‘creative accounting.’ I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator’s heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don’t get a penny.”

This huge “penny” hangs over last month’s once-optimistic news that fanboy favorite and Peter Jackson friend Guillermo del Toro was nearly a lock to direct both Hobbit flicks simultaneously. All of this after New Line and Peter Jackson settled their own notorious disagreement about boatloads of LOTR money back in December.

However, del Toro has more recently expressed doubt that the films are a sure thing, while playing up his multiple, rad spinning plates like Frankenstein, his H.P. Lovecraft pet project At the Mountains of Madness, and even Marvel’s Dr. Strange. What is going on over at New Line, I mean, really. This suit could not have come at a worse time, what with Business Week even suggesting that Warner Bros. fold the studio altogether.

Source Link: Variety

Elijah Wood Talks The Hobbit

Elijah Wood Talks The Hobbit

While on a trip in New Orleans, a scraggly psychic informed me that my moderately large eyes leave me perceptible to pranks and evils. If they were a little larger, I wonder, might I have been cast in The Lord of the Rings and now basking in millions? Elijah Wood, taking a break from his steady animated voice work, tells MTV that he would “love to” be involved in the recently greenlit “mystery meat” film thought to bridge The Hobbit to the LOTR trilogy.

“Nothing was really written with Frodo involved in it. That was sort of an ancillary tale outside of ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I can’t imagine that they [screenwriters Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens] would write great reams of information regarding my character,” he said of necessary invention outside of Tolkien’s established canon. “But if he [Frodo] should show up, it would actually be the perfect way to revisit because it could be small enough that I could go back and have a nice sort of reunion with the memories that I have of the experience.”

Whether the “sequel” following The Hobbit is the ferry that binds all remains speculation, as New Line Cinema has not confirmed specifics since the deal was made in December for Peter Jackson to executive produce both movies. Wood, however, apparently knows the dilly, and it resides in his email account.

“I haven’t spoken to [Peter Jackson] directly about it [but] I’ve e-mailed him, and as far as I know the two films that they’re doing, one will be ‘The Hobbit’ and another will take place between the 60 years that happened between ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” the once and future Frodo enthused to MTV News, possibly confirming rumors that the second planned film would not be a Part II, but instead a narrative bridge.”

And how does he feel about this joyous reunion between Jackson, New Line and Tolkien? Well, he’s giddy with pride, anticipation and opinion.

“It’s a great triumph [that Peter is involved.] I think that’s really important that the same team that worked on the [earlier] films [work on 'The Hobbit'], the same effects team, that it be shot in New Zealand. I think that it’s important that Ian McKellen is cast as Gandalf, just so that there’s a synergy between the films,” he insisted. “I think people want it to exist in the same world. So at least now we are assured that it will be done through that same lens, which is great. It’s exciting.”

No info or opinions from the Radio Flyer star on the 3D rumors. I couldn’t imagine McKellen not being included under Jackson’s eye, and it’d be cool to see Frodo pop up as well, almost expected.

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