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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Del Toro's Smaug
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nobofthepony
Lorien


Feb 1 2011, 1:35am

Post #26 of 246 (7064 views)
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just the INITIAL design [In reply to] Can't Post

From this piece, it seems like they are looking at one of GDT's initial brainstorm sheets. I seriously doubt he would be able to show it off if it was the final design. He and the other illustrators probably drew up a billion designs (like Gollum in LOTR). And then they probably all got together and combined their visions. I have to say that from the description, I'm not too thrilled about this initial design...it does sound like something cartoony out of hellboy. Just my take, but I'm sure those who think GDT is a genius will disagree...


Elladan
Rivendell

Feb 1 2011, 1:36am

Post #27 of 246 (7077 views)
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In truth I rather hope we dont see crazy out of this world designs. [In reply to] Can't Post

The visual style of the original films is something that I hope is maintained where possible. Obviously Smaug didnt exist in those films so that needs to be designed but the trolls, orcs and goblins have a very distinct design and no real reason for them to change other than for the sake of it. Where I hope GDT will have the biggest influence is in the script, the clunky dialogue and perhaps unwise plot revisions.

As far as I know I have only seen 1 GDT film, Hellboy, and to be fair I was not a fan of the design, I have never been an anti GDT person and was all for having him direct the films, but as far as I am concerned I would rather Jackson takes a knife to anything he feels needs it and delivers an impeccable film that visually meets the grandeur and realism of the original trilogy.

As for my idea of Smaug, I have to agree with preferring more natural designs, things that would be feasible in the real world.

Now obviously we cant have a muscle thickness adequate to lift such a large creature of the ground or else Smaug would have 5 miles of muscle under his chest and he would never fit in the mountain, let alone looking formidable. But perhaps we will see a more realistic rigid wing design, unlike the fel beasts, I dont know about you but I have never seen a bird or plane with floppy wings, it makes taking off very difficult indeed.

The whole 6 legs vesus 4 legs thing is also tricky. Realistically speaking yes he should have 4 limbs maximum like all other vertebrates, but perhaps the front legs can have the wings attached in such a way as they wrap around the body when not in use, whilst still providing limbs to support himself.

I like the long thin design as Tolkien drew, however to get enough lift to support such a length more than a counterweighted neck is probably needed, so perhaps we will see a thiner body hugging wing that will run the length of his body to provide additional lift, but not being inconveniant whilst on the ground, this is similar to some species of gliding snake, these would ofc have to be attached to the main wing to provide a continuous wing surface, but when in the air they would be held taught by the uplift they create.

The wings would undoubtably need some kind of support structure. Elongation of the fingers would probably provide this, similar to how bats have evolved, with the remaining few fingers being a short way down the wing at the end of the front leg.

Its difficult to describe but, I guess the front legs would be perpendicular to the body during flight rather than down, but on the floor the 3 wing supporting toes fold back along the length of the arm and body wrapping around it.and rapidly thinning to the thin support wings down the edge of the tail. This folding should still enable a dragon very similar to John Howes famous depiction curled up on the pile of treasure.

anyway feel free to ignore me. Just my vague idea.

btw can anyone remember how many limbs the fel beasts had?


Pittsmen
Rivendell


Feb 1 2011, 1:41am

Post #28 of 246 (7077 views)
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Ha! [In reply to] Can't Post

Look at that beefy Dragon Heart body, someone call Sean Connery.


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Feb 1 2011, 1:45am

Post #29 of 246 (7058 views)
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He definitly has showmanship... [In reply to] Can't Post

You can tell he really gets into his ideas, conjuring up ways to make the grand appearance of his creations spectacular to behold.

"Oh, the cleverness of me."


R11
Lorien

Feb 1 2011, 2:17am

Post #30 of 246 (7148 views)
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Tearing down the foundations? [In reply to] Can't Post

Lets not get carried away here :-). From reading the article it sounds like GDT is very much removed from The Hobbit production at this point, and is uncertain himself how much of what he worked on and how many of his ideas for the films will remain in the final product. I expect his essence and design work will be evident throughout however, just like I'm sure PJ "influenced" him somewhat during the planning stages to ensure a minimum level of consistency with the previous films for continuity's sake (and rightfully so IMO).

That was a great article btw...


ron


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Feb 1 2011, 2:21am

Post #31 of 246 (7047 views)
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That and [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a bit of bad form for people to run down a design they haven't even seen yet.


In Reply To

I find it irritating to hear these people tearing down the foundations of the movie that we have been so fervently following for these past three or so years.


Smaug as a Wyrm sounds about right to me. It is clear GDT did his homework and knows far more about the subject than the average fan, perhaps even more than Tolkien himself (at least from a design perspective).

It seems as well, from the article, that G was planning a suspense building reveal rather than having Smaug crash onto the scene like some horrible Godzilla remake. (Incidentally, the slow reveal worked to great effect in Cloverfield (and the original Godzilla (Gojira) for that matter).)


Hamfast
Rohan


Feb 1 2011, 2:58am

Post #32 of 246 (7019 views)
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Thanks for the link to this article [In reply to] Can't Post

Very interesting to read not just because of The Hobbit related info, but an interesting insight into GDT and future projects. I sincerely hope "...Mountains of Madness" gets made.....and Frankenstein too !


Eruonen
Valinor


Feb 1 2011, 3:55am

Post #33 of 246 (7090 views)
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I have to agree with your sentiments...at least from what little we know. [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not saying GDT could not have pulled off a successful Hobbit, but, I am not sure I would enjoy it to the degree I am expecting due to the possible distractions in artistic interpretation and style. It may have worked...we will never know...but I feel more confident with PJ's interpretive sense. Just my opinion.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2011, 4:02am

Post #34 of 246 (6989 views)
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Differences [In reply to] Can't Post

It's really interesting to see what I assume to be deep veterans of these forums actually disagree to such an extraordinary extent where they have otherwise been fairly consistent on other issues during my short tenure here. Just an observation. Some are deeply disturbed by the thought that Guillermo del Toro might could have ended up implementing his different ideas. Others are just as deeply disturbed by the thought of Peter Jackson throwing out Guillermo del Toro's influence in the interests of honoring realism and the books.

My personal thoughts are that "different," like change, simply for its own sake is wrong. Reboots, character deconstruction, deeply flawed heroes, and what has basically become snuff films in stories of major characters and icons of our time (Newt in Alien 3 - what a total trashing of the heartwarming maternal story from the far superior Aliens, Ripley in Alien 3 - more waste, James T. Kirk in Generations, Picard's family in Generations - gratuitous snuff of the moving "Family" episode, Data in Nemesis, Superman, and now one of the Fantastic Four) simply for the sake of sensationalism has made for a terrible, terrible trend of storytelling cliché. Ironic, since the intent of this trend was to move away from cliché. It's become like a drug addiction where contemporary storytellers can't get their thrills without death - literal character assassination - where character development used to reign. Death isn't development. It's final. No character learns from their own death because that's the end of the line. When you're dead and gone, you're certainly not growing and improving as a person or a character. It lacks imagination, and we are cheated. Manufactured difference for its own sake in a story is the death of story. I welcome the return of honest storytelling.


nobofthepony
Lorien


Feb 1 2011, 4:53am

Post #35 of 246 (7078 views)
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I'm thinking GDT got bounced.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah...after reading the entire article and hearing some of these bizarre ideas (roll-up trolls? Trees that match Tolkien's sketches? Thorin wearing thorns because his name sounds kind of like thorn? Dino-smaug?)...I'm thinking the studio saw this stuff and realized it was a major departure from the trilogy and therefore "not a sure thing."

It sounds like he was getting too impressionalistic, and Tolkien created a real world. There might be some leeway by saying that the retold story actually takes place in Bilbo's imagination and he remembers and retells it...an idea that is somewhat interesting. But I'm sure the studios want more of the trilogy, not something that out of left field. I bet the studios put pressure on PJ to bounce GDT to get a green light.

Can't say I'm disappointed. I don't like any of those ideas. Once again I'll say that I don't think GDT understands the source material. Or if he does understand it, he has no respect for it. Middle Earth isn't an impressionalistic dreamscape - it's our world, a long time ago. Didn't GDT also say he was going to work baroque-era machines into the plot at some point? It seems like he was just working in his usual touches and not caring whether or not it fit the world he was working in or not...

It will all come out eventually. They should make a feature film about the making of the Hobbit once the two films have their run...


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Feb 1 2011, 5:04am

Post #36 of 246 (7029 views)
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Let's not get carried away with the speculations... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's difficult to comment on those designs without seeing anything, it might have worked, it might have not. How much of GDT is still in The Hobbit we'll probably find out only years after the movies came out.


KingofAncients
The Shire


Feb 1 2011, 5:16am

Post #37 of 246 (7032 views)
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I got the same feeling... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree. After reading the article on GDT, I definately got the sense that he was trying to "change" too much to fit his personal artistic agenda. I think it is a rational theory that there is more to GDT's departure than was released. I have to admit I would understand and executive decision in this case, I doubt very much that the "mainstream" audience and "Tolkien fans" a like would be very appreciative of any significant discontinuity with the original trilogy. Of course this is speculation on my part but, I have to say that I personally did not like the sound of the "transformations" that GDT had in mind, I felt they sounded like a fairly drastic departure from the original Trilogy's, atmosphere, design, color pallete, themes and concepts. I am interested to see how much GDT actually contributed to the script, because I think if anything was kept from his work it would most likely be in the original script he is an excellent story teller. I personally do not appreciate as much as others his artistic bent; his creatures, although interesting in Pan's Labrynth and the Hell Boy movies, are to flamboyent for my tastes.

"Stout men and lordly they are, and the Riders of Rohan look almost as boys beside them; for they are grim men of face, worn like weathered rocks for the most part, even as Aragorn himself; and they are silent."

(This post was edited by KingofAncients on Feb 1 2011, 5:21am)


Pete
Bree


Feb 1 2011, 5:17am

Post #38 of 246 (7051 views)
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If Smaug looked anything like this... [In reply to] Can't Post

Double-bitted axe.

...I'd be severely disappointed. A unique silhouette is one thing, but iconic is entirely another.



(This post was edited by Pete on Feb 1 2011, 5:17am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 1 2011, 5:53am

Post #39 of 246 (7052 views)
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I'm with you Macfalk. . . I don't like the idea of Smaug being a deformed T-rex Serpent hybrid [In reply to] Can't Post

with wings like a battle axe. I was hoping for the dragon to have a powerful build, to look like he could munch the Fell Beasts of The Nazgul to mulch in a fair fight, even without the use of his dreaded and fatal breath. I don't know folks. . . I don't know.

In Reply To
Smaug’s front legs looked disproportionately small, like those of a T. rex.

No thanks!


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


duats
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2011, 6:05am

Post #40 of 246 (7006 views)
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Is it possible [In reply to] Can't Post

That "T-Rex arms" is an exaggeration? Perhaps all the author meant was that the forearms are just alot smaller than the back legs (like a T-Rex). According to Del Toro, the arms were made smaller in order to capture hand gestures in tight frames with Smaug's face. If the arms were really as small as a T-Rex's, I'd think these hand gestures would be pretty hard to see.

Smaug from the animated Hobbit film had pretty small forearms too:

http://t3.gstatic.com/...7EVc9sW2SsoA&t=1

As for those who are against the serpent-like body, I don't know what to say. Thanks to Kangi's awesome footer, we can clearly see that JRR Tolkien himself intended Smaug to have a long, slender body like a snake (or wyrm).

It fits the character too, considering how his name literally means "to squeeze through a hole" (or something along those lines). And well, that's what snakes do. Those sneaky creatures.

I just want something unique. I don't want a Fell Beast with a new head and color scheme. Something following the basic design in Kangi's footer would be ideal, in my opinion.


(This post was edited by duats on Feb 1 2011, 6:08am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 1 2011, 6:14am

Post #41 of 246 (7041 views)
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An ideal pairing is turning into a rock rubbed up against a hard place. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was hoping for the best of both worlds. That Peter & company would tamp down some of Del Toro's more outlandish and grotesque tendencies in design. . . Whilst Del Toro's warg issues would bring us a warg more in keeping with what Tolkien described, and that Del Toro's more liberal sensibilities about displays of flame related powers, would help make certain that the enchantments Gandalf performs in the film are kept in perfect alignment with what Tolkien wrote about them, rather than diminished or deleted to suit Peter's tastes. I hope that all remains true. Yet I am beginning to have fears of the worst of both worlds. . . Del Toro's bizzaro versions of Middle-Earth Denizens, and the magic of Gandalf just as neutered in comparison with his book feats as was the case with LOTR, but made worse by the fact that his magical displays in The Hobbit are more relevant. Smaug as a huge winged serpent. . . I don't know, folks. Smaug should be one of the most powerful looking creatures ever to emerge on the cinematic screen. I will be so dissapointed if he ends up looking. . . highly vulnerable.

And duats, I agree that the animated Smaug's forelimbs were rather small, but they also looked helluv powerful. Like if he ever managed to get you beneath them. . . Wheeew! And there is that line in the book where Smaug says his claws are as spears. That is a serious comment, implying that he is able to use them as formidable weapons.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

(This post was edited by AinurOlorin on Feb 1 2011, 6:17am)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Feb 1 2011, 6:33am

Post #42 of 246 (6997 views)
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Missing the head [In reply to] Can't Post

Is this shape more like a dragon or an axe?

(Kit Rae Black Legion Battle Axe)


duats
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2011, 6:42am

Post #43 of 246 (6990 views)
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Personally [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see what's vulnerable about a gigantic serpent.

Snakes are powerful creatures in their own right. Increase them to the size of a dragon, and you're looking at quite a threat. And that's without adding limbs and wings into the equation.

And they're not just strong. They're quick and elusive. Smaug doesn't need strength alone. He needs speed.


(This post was edited by duats on Feb 1 2011, 6:44am)


duats
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2011, 6:45am

Post #44 of 246 (6987 views)
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That's essentially what I was picturing [In reply to] Can't Post

Great photo, SirDennisC.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Feb 1 2011, 6:47am

Post #45 of 246 (6995 views)
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I just don't see it [In reply to] Can't Post

The article covers a period of about two years. Unless I read the article wrong, the bit about his designs for Smaug (and plated ball trolls) was from before he moved to New Zealand. It would have been completely reasonable, if not expected, for him to bring designs that went beyond the limits established by LOTR.

It seems to me, again from my reading, that the article says nothing about how his designs evolved during his time in NZ. It is very likely that after the script took shape, and through the process of collaboration with PJ et al, that they arrived at designs quite different from his initial ideas.


Hellmistress
Lorien


Feb 1 2011, 7:22am

Post #46 of 246 (7011 views)
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GdT's artistic agenda? [In reply to] Can't Post

Um, well of course he makes films to suit his artistic agenda. All filmmakers do, including PJ. And one must not forget that these films do not 'belong' to us, or PJ, or GdT, or anyone else but Tolkien. They are not real. They are based on fantasy novels, TH being specifically for children. If it is different from PJ's version, then I'm happy to give it a go. And as for 'flamboyant' creature design... for goodness sake, dragons, trolls, elves, hobbits, wargs and the like do not exist. They are imaginary things, and as far as I'm concerned I'm willing to see anyone's take on these creatures. The treatment of PJ's vision as the only one because it is more 'real' is as erroneously declaritive as saying that 'the "mainstream" audience and "Tolkien fans" alike would be very appreciative of any significant discontinuity with the original trilogy'. To be frank, who cares? I surely don't. I loved PJ's take on the trilogy, but it isn't the only viable one, and to be honest, if TH was being made by anyone else free of PJ's influence, then I doubt there would be so much dissent.

HM



In Reply To
I agree. After reading the article on GDT, I definately got the sense that he was trying to "change" too much to fit his personal artistic agenda. I think it is a rational theory that there is more to GDT's departure than was released. I have to admit I would understand and executive decision in this case, I doubt very much that the "mainstream" audience and "Tolkien fans" a like would be very appreciative of any significant discontinuity with the original trilogy. Of course this is speculation on my part but, I have to say that I personally did not like the sound of the "transformations" that GDT had in mind, I felt they sounded like a fairly drastic departure from the original Trilogy's, atmosphere, design, color pallete, themes and concepts. I am interested to see how much GDT actually contributed to the script, because I think if anything was kept from his work it would most likely be in the original script he is an excellent story teller. I personally do not appreciate as much as others his artistic bent; his creatures, although interesting in Pan's Labrynth and the Hell Boy movies, are to flamboyent for my tastes.



macfalk
Valinor


Feb 1 2011, 7:30am

Post #47 of 246 (6963 views)
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Voronwe you are so right [In reply to] Can't Post

Those particular quotes gives me nightmares.


In his journal, I spied many creatures with no precedent in Tolkien, such as an armor-plated troll that curls into a ball of metal plates. Del Toro said that it would be boring to make a slavish adaptation.

Even the major characters of “The Hobbit” bore del Toro’s watermark.

Wait, what? By that quote alone, I conclude that GDT was definately the wrong choice for this movie. I hope that PJ will clean up the mess


ps:milknut, ah, thanks Cool



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

(This post was edited by macfalk on Feb 1 2011, 7:37am)


Milknut
Rohan

Feb 1 2011, 7:34am

Post #48 of 246 (6939 views)
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MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Milknut
Rohan

Feb 1 2011, 7:36am

Post #49 of 246 (6971 views)
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Well, that's actually a different meaning of the word [In reply to] Can't Post

"Bore" as in the form of the word "bear," meaning that his artistic style was evident just in looking at them.

That said, it's still true; PJ all the way!!!


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Feb 1 2011, 7:38am

Post #50 of 246 (6973 views)
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The ideas were starting points, and may have changed [In reply to] Can't Post

People sometimes change their minds, no?


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Feb 1 2011, 7:40am)

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