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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:08 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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From Cominsoon.net

On inspiration and Dragons:

Quote:
Currently at the beginning of pre-production on The Hobbit, del Toro discussed his process of gathering ideas, or "feeding his brain," in order to conceptualize his own vision of Middle Earth unique from where Peter Jackson went in his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy…

"I find you have to discipline yourself to write in the morning, and then watch and read in the afternoons stuff that seems relevant, even in a tangential way. For example, reading or watching World War I documentaries or books that I think inform 'The Hobbit,' strangely enough, because I believe it is a book born out of Tolkien's generation's experience with World War I and the disappointment of being in that field and seeing all those values kind of collapse. I think it's a turning point that you need to familiarize yourself with. I'm starting. Peter Jackson is such a fan of that historical moment and obsessive collector of World War I memorabilia, and he owns several genuine, life-size working reproductions of planes, tanks, cannons, ships! He has the perfect obsessive reproductions of uniforms of that time for armies of about 120 soldiers... each. I asked him which books he recommended… because I wouldn't be watching 'Krull' or 'The Dark Crystal,' I need to find my OWN way into the story. That's the same way I did 'Pan's Labyrinth' or 'Devil's Backbone,' by watching stuff you wouldn't think about.

"All my life I've been fascinated by dragons. I was born under the Chinese sign of The Dragon. All my life I'm collecting dragons. It's such a powerful symbol, and in the context of 'The Hobbit' it is used to cast its shadow through the entire narrative. Essentially, Smaug represents so many things: greed, pride… he's 'the Magnificent,' after all. The way his shadow is cast in the narrative you cannot then show it and have it be one thing, he has to be the embodiment of all those things. He's one of the few dragons that will have enormous scenes with lines. He has some of the most beautiful dialogues in those scenes! The design, I'm pretty sure that will be the last design we will sign off on, and the first design we have attempted. It is certainly a matter of turning every stone before figuring out what he looks like, because what he looks like will tell you what he is."


and on Wargs:

Quote:
When pressed by a fan during the Q & A regarding the Wargs' appearance in The Hobbit, del Toro seemed like a child dying to spill the big secret he has but forcing himself to show restraint, joking that "Warner Brothers has a sniper right here in the theater."

"There will be different sensibilities involved in this movie than there were in the original trilogy. First of all, because we have the travelogues in 'The Hobbit' which goes to places and variations on races that were not addressed in the trilogy. My belief on the 'Wargs' issue is that the classical incarnation of the demonic wolf in Nordic mythology is not a hyena-shaped creature. It is a wolf. The archetype is a wolf, so we're going to go back to the slender, archetypical wolf that is, I think, the inspiration for Tolkien. Listen… if we were having a drink two years from now I would spill the beans, because I'm a pretty easy guy about spilling the beans, but I can't in this instance I can't because it's three years from now... believe me, I am jumping up-and-down inside this fat body!"

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:17 pm 
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Very cool information, Alatar! Thanks for posting it!

Are the wargs in The Hobbit ridden by orcs, or do they work on their own? There would be an obvious handwave there that Saruman specially bred his wargs so they could carry orcs. As I recall, that was the whole reason they altered the shape, to make the riders plausible.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:34 pm 
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I'm very reassured by GDT's comments: his preference for returning to ultimate sources, his appreciation for 'long shadows' and archetypal symbolism, his understanding of the need to summon Tolkien's demonic, lean wolves out from ancient Germanic Mirkwidhr. This is a director with a much bigger intellectual toolbox than PJ, and he might, ironically, wind up making a far more highbrow film out of the 'children's book.' I actually trust GDT to restore the ancient grim dignity of Durin's Folk which PJ subsumed under belches and pratfalls.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:52 pm 
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I very much hope so, solicitr—PJ would probably have done much more damage with the "twee" aspects of The Hobbit.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:33 am 
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Despite my overall confidence, I'm a little worried that Guillermo will try too hard to create a "different" look for Smaug. I mean, he's pretty much the iconic Dragon. We have Tolkien's own many pics to draw from, which are heavily based on the typical Welsh dragon. Probably my favourite artwork for Smaug is John Howe's "Death of Smaug"



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Take one look at the Faun from Pan's Labyrinth. That was del toro's vision as done by his artistic team, DDT. I think Smaug will look wonderfully ancient, maybe even a bit creaky, and definitely greedy.

By the way, how does one pronounce "Smaug"?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:41 pm 
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The "au" rhymes with "cow," Kams.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:44 pm 
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Thanks, Prim. Does that pronunciation change at all when it is accompanied by breathing fire??? ;)

Alatar, the Death of Smaug image is a far-away shot. I'm more interested in the closeups of the snout, the jewel-encrusted belly, and how the worm will move around on the treasure pile.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:13 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
I'm very reassured by GDT's comments: his preference for returning to ultimate sources, his appreciation for 'long shadows' and archetypal symbolism, his understanding of the need to summon Tolkien's demonic, lean wolves out from ancient Germanic Mirkwidhr. This is a director with a much bigger intellectual toolbox than PJ, and he might, ironically, wind up making a far more highbrow film out of the 'children's book.' I actually trust GDT to restore the ancient grim dignity of Durin's Folk which PJ subsumed under belches and pratfalls.


But just imagine 13 comic relief midgets :rofl:


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