We know pretty much everyone in the world except a few drones at Defamer HQ can't seem to wait for noted genre waffler Guillermo del Toro's take on The Hobbit, previously reported as a pair of films he'd make over several years in New Zealand with producer Peter Jackson at his side. But last night at the LA Film Festival, where his Hellboy II will premiere Saturday night, del Toro kicked Middle-Earth off its axis by hinting that he wasn't beholden to a second film at all. Not only that, but he confessed an antisocial streak suggesting he might kill the project just to watch it bleed.
And while we think that fantastic idea is a second film in itself, read on to see why Tolkien geeks and studio suits alike may be shuddering this morning.
"We believe there is a second movie," del Toro said during a discussion at the Majestic Crest. "If there isn't, there will not be. If we find it, we will shoot it, but by God, if we do not find it, we will not shoot it. I am anxious to shoot the book, and I'm willing and able to dedicate myself to shooting the [second film]."
Not very reassuring, we don't think — especially for MGM, which needs the prestige and profit of a Hobbit two-fer, like, yesterday. It's trickier than it sounds, though; the second film, which would apparently bridge the gap between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, can only draw on the novels to which Jackson holds the rights. The rest of the background or ancillary literature (and there's a lot) is off-limits. "In the four books that are in the domain of the copyright, there are appendices and ideas and things that can be traced without risk," del Toro said. "But I have to be careful not to overstep. We believe there is a way to create this film and make it interesting, but it's too early."
Whatever. With del Toro or without him, there's too much at stake not to shoot both films, but either way, the filmmaker later alluded to how difficult he'd love to make things for the establishment. "Look, if I hadn't been a filmmaker, I would have loved to be a bank robber," he said. "I hate institutions. I hate banks. I wish they'd burn to the fucking ground. I hate lawyers. I hate anyone who fucks us every day and wants us to thank them. I used to want to plan bank robberies. I was fascinated by Rififi or any bank-heist movies. You give me Ocean's 11 or Rififi or whatever you want — as long as they're fucking a banker.
"And in my mind, those [robberies] would be creative endeavors, you know?" he continued. "They would need to plan them like a movie shoot, and they would organize a crew, and they'd probably make more money. I do have antisocial impulses, especially toward institutions, but I channel them toward my movies. People who like my movies would agree." Great! We look forward to seeing what he does with his flamethrower.
[Photo Credit: Jeffrey Wells]