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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:46 pm 
of Vinyamar
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There's even a Question from Arathorn Jax in there!

MTV News recently sat down with del Toro and brought along a whole host of fan questions on "The Hobbit" (as well as some of our own). The Mexican director talked about why Peter Jackson told him to lose weight, which "LOTR" stars might be returning and how Tolkien's personal faith will influence the project. (And don't forget to head over to the MTV Movies blog for even more answers from del Toro.)

Q: In the past year, I've spoken with Viggo Mortensen, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Orlando Bloom, and all of them say they want back in. Who should wait by the phone? — MTV News

Del Toro: They said that? I'm a f---ing fan of all of them! The thing is that here and there in the book, in the existing book, there are places to have them almost casually, in secondary roles that are not that important but that would be incredibly enhancing as cameos go. But it is the second movie that is the treasure trove of possibilities. I believe the second movie will be present as an opportunity of enthusiasm and creation. I frankly look forward to that one so much. I really want us to prove that we have a solid concept for that, but the promise of that land is absolutely mind-boggling! I can't wait to mount on the horse and ride, and I hate horses!

Q: When can we hope to hear the title of [the second "Hobbit" film]? — Blueman

Del Toro: When we know where we are going to take it. We are going to have the big pow-wow about story and script, and start those processes officially after taking notes and readings and talking. Then we'll know. Funnily enough, I think the title is incredibly delicate on the second film because it will immediately tell you what it is. It cannot be "The Hobbit 2" because that sounds like "Electric Boogaloo"! [Laughs]

Q: You've repeatedly mentioned your desire to include Ian Holm, but given a lot of circumstances, it seems unlikely to me that he would return for all the action. Would you use him as a narrator, or in a framing device? Something like him reading "There and Back Again" to young hobbits? — MTV News

Del Toro: If Ian Holm is able and willing and in health and in disposition, I would love more than anything to use him. ... I think a lot of people don't take into account the inevitable physical exertion that making two movies back-to-back entails.

So that said, I think that there are many possibilities to keep Ian Holm involved in the movie. I will be as tricky as I can to keep him involved. A narration would be one resource I would absolutely embrace. But as I said before, I believe he created a beautiful, memorable character. He owns it, and we have to honor that. If there is any recasting for the younger part and so forth, it will permeate that decision and affect it. At the end of the day, the answer is we will keep him as involved as humanly and physically possible.

Q: What's the best advice Peter Jackson gave to you about this process? — MTV News

Del Toro: To lose weight! He said to me, "Lose weight, man, because you are not going to survive it if you are that fat!"

Q: Tolkien was a man of deep faith. Do you foresee exploring any theological or spiritual themes in making "The Hobbit" movie ? — K. Cassidy

Del Toro: I believe "The Hobbit" is a narrative that contains characters that are very symbolic of certain human traits. Obviously, pride and greed are easily found in Smaug the Dragon. Then the humble, sort of a sturdy moral fiber that Bilbo has very much represents the idea that Tolkien had about the little English man, the average English man. The dwarves represent other qualities, the elves represent other qualities and, like, in any fairy tale or fantasy narrative that is worth it, all these characters conform to a view of the world that is spiritual, ethical and moral. I think that this morality, this spiritual tale, will play a [large] part in the movie.

Q: I am wondering if you have given any thought to ways you might incorporate some of Tolkien's insights via his paintings and sketches? — Arathorn Jax

Del Toro: I think Tolkien has a great sense of design in his paintings. He has this fusion between medieval illuminations, art nouveau and art deco. It's a very strange fusion. Obviously, there is a guideline there to be followed — up to a point! I do intend to use some of the cues that he laid out that were not used in the trilogy. They will be another influence [I use]; they will not be a dogma just to follow verbatim.

Q: Can we expect that parallel events, such as the siege of Dol Guldur and the meeting of the White Council, events alluded to but not seen in “The Hobbit,” will occur in your second film. In other words, is there anything you can definitively point to and say, “Yes, that is in my outline?” — Gustavo Braga

Guillermo del Toro: I am not at liberty to answer. There is a sniper aiming at my head. But I WILL smile enigmatically. Good question!

Q: In the WETA chat, someone asked if you would consider Ron Perlman as the voice of Smaug. You indicated that you had another actor in mind but then added, “but I have other plans for RP.” Beorn? — One

Del Toro: I will not say anything right now because I think the reality is that until we write the script, it would be a crime to precast the movie. We got to see where the pages take us and then say, ‘Yep, this is it.’ If you pre commit yourself and don’t do it, it’s a disaster as opposed to doing it the logical way. I hope he’s in it. If he’s not in it, I know we will still be friends. Only if there is room for them, will I bring them forth. [Note: del Toro had a wicked smile on his face throughout this answer]

Q: The only frame of reference most movie goers have for the dwarves is Gimli in the Peter Jackson films. The character design there relied heavily on form obscuring body armor and facial prosthetics. But the dwarves in “The Hobbit” are ‘traveling light’ and by stealth for most of the film. You are going to presumably have THIRTEEN actors needing some freedom to bring their characters to life. Any thoughts on how the production/costume/make-up design of the dwarves may be dialed back? — Champaign Carl

Del Toro: Listen, the dwarves are such an important thematic component of this film. I think, for example, that Smaug’s greed and arrogance is an extension of Thorin’s own. I think the change that operates in the dwarves and Thorin when they finally achieve their goal is so important that we cannot have the luxury of having them simply as supplemental characters. I think that there are three starring roles in the entire film: Thorin, Gandalf, and Bilbo — while the whole time the shadow of Smaug looms large. The whole thing, the whole quest is permeated by his shadow.

But to answer properly, these characters will be fully realized from head to toe in the movie - all thirteen of them.

Q: Is Thorin your favorite dwarf? Do you have one among the thirteen? — MTV News

Del Toro: Yeah, Thorin. You know, I always go back to the final moment between Thorin and Bilbo and I think that’s such a wonderful, moving, incredibly humane moment. That relationship for me the most important relationship in the film, in a strange way. All the other things are there but I think if you wanted to have an emotionally relevant story, that is it; the story of somebody creating an alliance and then the breaking of alliance on ethical principles. I think that’s very powerful.

The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End

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