There have been a lot of rumors flying around about the upcoming Guillermo del Toro directed, Peter Jackson produced, two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic book, The Hobbit. Everything from casting rumors - Daniel Radcliffe, David Tennant or James McAvoy to play Bilbo? - to word of a third, "bridge" movie being made the would link the two Hobbit films to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Just as quick as these rumors surface, del Toro himself has been there to dispel them. And that has happened again recently when rumors surfaced that The Hobbit would be in 3D. By way of TheOneRing.net's forum, del Toro himself has let fans know just what is true and what isn't, including confirming who will be the Director of Photography for The Hobbit:
"As a co-writer and director of this film (who works with the design teams, costume teams, creature teams, VFX teams every day of the week), let me be very clear one more time: we are not talking about 3D, we are NOT writing the screenplay for 3D right now- we are hiring my DoP Guillermo Navarro to shoot the film and we are not discussing 3D with him either or with WETA digital or WB or anyone else. That should be a little less sidestepping, I hope.
If after AVATAR the market may change and demands are put upon us, etc that is in the future. But if such things happen and we start discussing 3D down the line, I'll let it be know here at TORN because that's the proper way of doing things. But make no mistake- I've been living in NZ for almost a year now and we have not been discussing 3D. When we do, I'll make sure your source finds out. Thank You, Guillermo."
On top of labeling the 3D rumors as untrue, del Toro also popped into another part of the forum to deny certain casting rumors that have been floating around (Tom Cruise has even been rumored as a possible Bilbo Baggins, after he made a trip to New Zealand for a meeting with del Toro recently), as well as giving his thoughts (read: praise) about James Cameron's Avatar:
"...is dead-on about the imminent conversion of film into an expanding 3-D field - at least in most blockbusters and I know of, at least, 4 or 5 major filmmakers preparing 3D films right now. Some of them seriously artistic and ungimmicky!! I've seen AVATAR and I was absolutely blow away by it!! I myself expect to explore 3D soon enough- it is the future, just not my immediate future. And no- neither David Tennant nor Tom Cruise are Bilbo and we are not redesigning Gollum."
I notice that del Toro leaves Mr. McAvoy out of the discussion. Is it a sign that the actor is in the running, or did it simply slip his mind? Interesting...
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Will James McAvoy play Bilbo Baggins?"][/caption]
I'm really glad that the 3D rumors about The Hobbit have turned out untrue (keeping in line with most of the other rumors about the project). When 3D is used right (i.e. in a non-gimmicky way), it can totally immerse you in the world of the movie, and I'm sure if it WERE to be employed for The Hobbit, that's exactly what would happen. But I would like these movies to be a proper prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, shot in the same format (and yes, I realize 3D movies can be seen in 2D as well, but the shooting style is often still "3D gimmicky").
It's interesting to note that Guillermo Navarro is going to be the Director of Photography for The Hobbit, which will give it a bit of a different look and feel to the LOTR trilogy (which had Andrew Lesnie as the Cinematographer). Navarro has worked with del Toro since the start of his feature-length filmmaking career with Cronos, and has worked on other such projects as Jackie Brown, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and Spawn.
The script for The Hobbit Parts 1 and 2 is still being worked on, and we're a long way away from the actual release (well over 2 years), so the amount of rumors and speculation is not only understandable (because of the anticipation for it) but inevitable. Until we get a bit closer to the finished product, we can expect even more of these rumors, and it's nice to see the director taking time out of his hectic schedule to keep us informed.
What do you think about what del Toro has said? Are you glad The Hobbit movies won't be in 3D?
Part 1 of The Hobbit is scheduled to hit theaters in December, 2011, with Part 2 following a year later in December, 2012.