The Hobbit movies have changed a lot during their production — recently morphing from two movies into three — but no change was greater than when Guillermo Del Toro handed over the director's spot to Peter Jackson. This was after Del Toro, celebrated monster-designer and director of Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy, had already spent 18 months designing the creatures and the world of The Hobbit.
We've always wanted to know how much of Del Toro's singular vision wound up in The Hobbit. So we sat down with Jackson and asked him. You can see what he said in the video, or read the highlights below.
[Guillermo] had designed a lot of the movie . . . I looked at his designs when he took over and a lot of his designs are very Guillermo . . . it was very much stuff that you would recognize from Pan's Labyrinth or Hellboy. It was his artistic vision and I couldn't make that movie. I looked at his designs and I said the only person who can make a Guillermo Del Toro movie is Guillermo. It shouldn't be me. I can't put my head into somebody else's idea — I have to generate it from the beginning. So really I redesigned the film pretty much. Some of Guillermo's DNA is in there — there were some things he did that I thought were pretty cool and I've taken bits of pieces of his stuff — kind of altering it and changing it as I saw it. But the film was largely redesigned.
Now I am dying to know what Guillermo Del Toro's original designs for The Hobbit looked like. I hope that those images will be released at some point.