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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Is Neill Blomkamp the next 'Hobbit' director? Maybe
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News from Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Jun 18 2010, 3:32pm

Post #1 of 138 (3148 views)
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Is Neill Blomkamp the next 'Hobbit' director? Maybe Can't Post

Neill Blomkamp mugBefore anybody gets crazy, let me be clear that we are not reporting that Neill Blomkamp is the director of 'The Hobbit'. I am not ready to put my name or TheOneRing's name on a story that says this is fact.

However, we did receive a spy report that stated it as cold, hard, unsurprising fact. We haven't been able to get a verification but the tip stated some other information on the side that fits with other info from other sources. A bunch of little pieces of information, some rock solid, some unclear, start to form a big picture that looks like it could have Blomkamp in it. I promise to explain it all if you will keep reading!

MGM and Warner Bros. want Peter Jackson to direct both movies adapted from "The Hobbit." They are trying to talk him into it because his name can carry the films and is an obvious and bankable marketing strategy.

The problem is, Jackson really didn't and really doesn't want to be the director. If he did, he wouldn't have hired Guillermo del Toro and he would already have stepped into the void and taken on the mantle. He leaves LOTR as his legacy and doesn't feel comfortable competing against himself in that same arena. One way or another, if it is PJ vs. PJ, PJ loses.

One of those rock solid sources tell us that he is doing everything he can to serve the film but still not step into that role. He had plans to rarely or never even visit the set with del Toro on the project but even now he still hopes to be a guide rather than an overseer. This will be a lot more likely and possible if he works with a director with whom he has an established relationship. This points toward Neill Blomkamp. The two have a relationship of Jackson mentoring without taking over. They trust each other.

Despite not having a named director, the production is moving forward as if all were well and that info is oozing out from every crack everywhere. I am getting contacted by a lot of people involved in the casting process and it is in full swing. Auditions and all the surrounding busy work is happening with the same team that worked on LOTR.

One less familiar spy told us that some casting decisions have even been made, specifically regarding a dwarf or two. Directors may not have the complete casting control that outsiders imagine but doing that without a director seemed a little strange. Could it be a fib or could there be a director in place? With Comic-Con coming up (including a TORn panel to kick it off Thursday, July 22) perhaps the studio is waiting to have the world's popular culture press gathered in one spot to make its big announcement. That keeps Jackson from breaking the news here at TheOneRing.net as he and del Toro did.

Another new spy claims that shooting isn't scheduled for the end of the year as Ian McKellen and previously mentioned spies have speculated but for the very beginning of 2011. We have been posting Hobbiton-under-construction pictures for months and New Zealand's sometimes crazy weather dictates that you shoot there in the summer so December and January are the right time to begin production. All this points toward the need for a director or perhaps already having one in place.

We also rooted out the Warner Bros. report as part of the Time Warner company report from a few weeks ago. The big wigs speak and inspire hope in investors and share holders and explain how the company is moving forward. Warners spoke of two Hobbit films and even used a graphic in its presentation. (Humorously enough, it was a fan-produced, photoshoped image that has been used on the net for years now that Warners presented as its Hobbit imagry!) The point is, the big boys, the brass, the decision makers, the powerful, the rich and the accountable want this thing going forward.

Those guys are smart enough to know, and its obvious from the rest of the presentation, that when del Toro walked away, they took a financial hit and lost an asset. They value talent and they know they lost some. This is why they are pushing for Jackson but they realize other talent can be less famous and still be worthwhile. Who can make them money?

So now this spy report has come in from somebody claiming, well, lets see exactly what was said. After some offhand details that rang very true, we got to the news nugget:

(I) was given the breakdown details for the film, which included who the director is: Neil Bloomkamp.


Spelling aside, it just fits the bigger picture. On a personal note, I spent some time with Jackson and Blomkamp at Comic-Con last year in an interview room and attended the world and geek premiere of "District 9." While everybody is obligated to speak well of colleagues in such situations, the two of them were seemingly completely at ease with each other and complimented each other. From my first-hand experience, its easy to imagine them wanting to work well together. This was before Blomkamp's modestly budgeted sci-fi film without a single known star set in Johannesburg went on to be a surprise big earner and received a "Best Picture" Oscar nomination. Talent.

Those who believe he can only make documentary-style splatter films with clever curse-word filled dialog are selling the young talent very short.

In short we know from lots of sources:
1. Jackson doesn't want to do it
2. He wants somebody he trusts and can be sure of
3. Casting is happening now
4. Pre-pre-production is happening now
5. MGM and Warners need a talent in place yesterday
6. The platform for making a big genre splash announcement is approaching
7. The schedule fits with rumors from many sources
8. Many spies are sounding similar notes
9. One tells us they have seen the film breakdown with Blomkamp directing

So is Neill Blomkamp going to direct "The Hobbit"? Could be. My personal opinion is that this information is correct.
If you have further information about this or anything related please e-mail our news team at Spymaster@TheOneRing.net or me at MrCere@TheOneRing.net.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Jun 18 2010, 10:09pm

Post #2 of 138 (1289 views)
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This would be a very good choice. [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter wanted him to do Halo and trusted that he would do it right. As to the quality of D-9, well it should have taken the golden guy (In my less than humble opinion. I liked it a lot more than Avatar. Brilliant direction start to finish.

He needs to grow a beard thoughEvil

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.

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(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Jun 18 2010, 10:11pm)


Oscarilbo
Lorien


Jun 18 2010, 10:11pm

Post #3 of 138 (1284 views)
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Wow... Its exactly what I imagine when I read GDT`s breaking news! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope this is true. I Think he would be a fantastic Director, and of course... He would use a different style, not District`s 9 style. Altough I think we would see shaking camera shots and everything, wich is a more PJ-like style in my opinion.

We`ll see what happens...

"The World is Changed, I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air"

(This post was edited by Oscarilbo on Jun 18 2010, 10:16pm)


R11
Lorien

Jun 18 2010, 10:44pm

Post #4 of 138 (1255 views)
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Some people may call D9 [In reply to] Can't Post

Only a splatter fest. But there was a lot of heart underneath that exterior. And a nice study of the human (and unhuman) condition. I'd like to see him get the chance myself.


ron


macfalk
Valinor


Jun 18 2010, 10:52pm

Post #5 of 138 (1229 views)
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I had serious troubles liking District 9 - [In reply to] Can't Post

To be honest, I didnt like it at all. But if PJ himself could bring LOTR to life the way he did with his modest film CV before that, perhaps Blomkamp can too.

But please, the "documentary-style" has to be canned for The Hobbit!!!!!!


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Jun 18 2010, 11:26pm

Post #6 of 138 (1236 views)
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It's not like we have a choice right? [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked District 9 mostly because the meat bag explosions made me laugh, maybe it'll work out. It's my guess they probably need a younger guy who will follow what has already been established and not feel the need to make too many changes, if any....plus they won't have to fork over a GDT sized salary. Wink

Photobucket

Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...

(This post was edited by Pipe Dream on Jun 18 2010, 11:28pm)


Malveth The Eternal
Lorien

Jun 18 2010, 11:30pm

Post #7 of 138 (1168 views)
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Basically... [In reply to] Can't Post

If Neill Blomkamp is given this film, I'll stop thinking about it & never watch it. It just kills any interest I might have in ever seeing it. My interest will remain on seeing what GDT came up with - designs, concepts etc. The rest - who cares.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/CarrotField/257960949766?created


Sunflower
Valinor

Jun 18 2010, 11:31pm

Post #8 of 138 (1292 views)
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Once again, mmmmmm-MONEY will triumph. [In reply to] Can't Post

Forgive me, everyone, please, but I can't help but think back to the myriad reasons why Del Toro left the project. He of course never specified what all of those were, but he hinted strongly that the MGM situation was not the only reason. Before we laud the possible appointment of Blomkamp, we need to seriously consider what these reasons might have been, and wonder what another director might do when faced with those issues, which are not going to go away, but will likely beocme even more serious. (You can't help but wonder, also..well, the cynic in me can't help wondering....if Blomkamp would exactly fit the money-hungry Suits' need for new premium "product" because, unlike Del Toro, who (maybe, just maybe?) proved "difficult" and "not a team player" on such issues as 3-D and animatronics instead of CGI and other "creative" issues, Mr. Blomkamp is a complete newbie who can be pushed around very easily, and would happliy give into whatever the studio demanded, including post-production cuts and other tinkering with the final product, say, for cost-cutting purposes. (they must slso be looking at the bargain-basement budget of the FX on D9 and thinking with Blomkamp on board, they will easily be able to get TH in with LOTr quakity at a reduced budget. THEY CANNOT. All the money has to be up there on screen for the world to see. TH cannot be a bargain-basement production.

)If he bows to unrelenting studio pressure on the 3D issue, you've lost me right there. The 3D issue was one of the reasons I guess Del Toro left, and on that issue I have changfed my mind 360 degrees. I was initially cautiously for it, but in light of how it has IMO changed Hollywood for the worse in the 6 months since Avatar, I am now against it. There has been a wholesale cheapening of product and a film being in 3D is now the cheif marketing tool the studios use, not the3 film itself. (I wil not ouruse this issue ad neaseum, don't worry.Tongue)

Unlike Del Toro, who has a history of being stubborn and fighting for the quakity of his work (as per Mimic and PL), Blomkamp would be an easy pushover. One of the reasons I lauded the appointment of Del Toro so much 2 yrs ago was not only b/c I'd been a fan of his for the past 4 yrs, but b/c I knew the climate of Hollywood had changed from 2000, the height of the indie era, even back then. And we needed a director who would not be duanted by studio pressure over any issue, and that theere would be the need to fight for the integrity of the final product That issues would indeed arise.

And this was BEFORE the Great Recession.

Don't get me wrong, I love Blomkamp and was one of the enthusiastic posters about D9 last fall, but even as much as I believe he has the potential, he is too inexperieced. He ha snot yet found his voice. One film is daunting enoughm but TWO? It would be like asking the Steven Spielberg to direct the entire "Indiana Jones" trilogy (written as 3 films) after he debuted with The Sugarland Express. As good as Blomkamp already is, you do NOT find your coneatic "voice" on such a big and high-profile project. You need to already have developed your feature-length "voice", and the depth of your vision. And what goes for you, goes even more for yoir CREW.

Likewise, I would not have wanted the Peter Jackson of "Dead Alive" to direct LOTR--he had to get that expansion of vision like "HC in first.

We had a big enough issue with Del Toro not being familar with not only TH, bit Tolkien as well. He had to go to "Tolkien school", and spent many months familarizing himself with everything Tolkien wrote. This will affect the future qality of the films. Would LOTR have been as good if PJ and crew did not have not only the complete knowledge and command and PASSION for the project that many, many months of preperation had not given him. You just CANNOT throw in a replacemernt director just to meet deadlines into a project like this. Del Toro was in the perfect place as a directort to begin filming. Knowledge, intellect, creative fire: poor Blomkamp will have none of these things. How much time will he have to "go to Tolkien school"? Will he be able to make the innumerable changes to the scriot while filming that the project will need so that it is PERFECT? ( hard enough propositon as it is, with this 2-film story expansion.)

If he was drafted, I would feel genuinely sorry for the poor guy. He would secretly be terrified, as much as he'd be exhilerated. And PJ CANNOT babysit him. it has to be YOUR product, YOUR vision on film. (I imagine he would want to put his stamp on the film too, not just stick to Del Toro's script. especially as a newbie.)

(see this Nkii Finke story on Warner Brothers and their new scripts policy: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com
(see today;s story: "Where's My Script? Studios Crack Down..." etc. Reading the Comments tothat story is also informative, as several appear tp have been written by actial scribes...it sheds a lot of light on the wat not only WB but other studios are now operating. And TH is being made in this climate.)

Finally, as much as the prospect of Blomkamp doing the job of babysitting Del Toro's vision with PJ's crew might excite some people, I am anyhing but excited. I still think the films have lost an irreplaceable amount of quality snd prestiege. Nothing cann replace the films that would have been produced with Guillermo Navarro, Del Toro's Oscar-winning DoP, for example. A Blomkamp working with Andrew Lesnie, for example. cannot help be for me an inferior. product.

I stand by my contention from last week that we have lost something that cannot be replaced no matter how much the miney-hungry studios want to, and for me, the films will never have the same quality a and magic.

Some may dispute this and say, "Well, you have to give someone their chance," for me, that opinion would work on any other project, but not this one. We forget: this will liely be THE defenative film version of TH, a book that, least we forget, is much more of a beloved world literary classic than LOTR ever was, and has notr been filmed in the 75 years it has been around.

This is still a sad thing for me, as I happen to be one of the people who did NOT want Jackson to direct or even babysit, outsdie of writing the script. Which he'll have to end up doing now, no matter who directs.

Let those who want the films to be made *at any cost*, becuase gee, this project is TOO BIG TO IGNORE and has to be made, and have sunnier dispositions about the whole thing, chime in and carry on...but I feel a right to have the cautious skeptical POV heard at least once.

(Message to WB: you are treating TH like Harry Potter and you already have it all wrong. This is NOT Harry Potter...)

And now I yield the floor to those who may feel differently. But I hope I have broight up some issues that merit honest debate....if the studios indeed have a mole reading this site and want to guage opinion.


(This post was edited by Sunflower on Jun 18 2010, 11:41pm)


Nerwen
Bree


Jun 18 2010, 11:43pm

Post #9 of 138 (1170 views)
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Any clues from Neill himself? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I'm not familiar with any of his work, so I can't really have an opinion. But I trust PJ and if he thinks Blomkamp would be a good choice, then he probably will be. I'm not really worried about what styles he has used before or whether he's young or experienced or whatever... but what I am wondering about is - does he know the book and love it? Whoever directs these two movies must be passionate about Middle-earth and the story, not just see it as an interesting project or a good opportunity to add something cool to their resume. So those of you who have followed the press around D9 and his other projects - has he ever mentioned LOTR/The Hobbit/Tolkien? How does he feel about fantasy in general?

"We shall be bruised and battered to pieces, and drowned too, for certain!" they muttered. "We thought you had got some sensible notion, when you managed to get hold of the keys. This is a mad idea!"


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Jun 18 2010, 11:53pm

Post #10 of 138 (1172 views)
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Somehow it seem appropriate that R11 likes D9 ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.

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Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jun 19 2010, 12:05am

Post #11 of 138 (1167 views)
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my initial reaction was discomfort [In reply to] Can't Post

but that's just due to the fact that I want GdT directing, and I'd gotten used to the idea, so anything else just doesn't feel right

but Neill Blomkamp is one of the better options that have been put forward, if you ask me
I did like D-9, and while I hope it's not the same as D-9 I think he could pull it off
but as Sunflower brought up, I don't want the film's director to bend too easily to what the studio says

well, we'll see, I can still hope for Fran directing Wink


You can only come to the morning through the shadows


weaver
Half-elven

Jun 19 2010, 12:27am

Post #12 of 138 (1162 views)
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Link for those like me who don't know much about him... [In reply to] Can't Post

District 9 isn't my kind of film, so I have very little familiarity with Neill B. -- so I went hunting and found this site:

http://www.mahalo.com/neill-blomkamp

In the video clip, he talks a bit about working with Peter and Fran....

My husband and kids all saw District 9 and loved it, and they all have different ideas about what makes a film good -- if they all like something, it's usually a good sign...

So, I'm intrigued by this possibility I guess!

Nice detective work, MrCere!

Weaver




MrCere
Sr. Staff


Jun 19 2010, 12:51am

Post #13 of 138 (1255 views)
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Woah woah woah [In reply to] Can't Post

First I am quite confident that del Toro didn't leave due to the 3D issue because there wasn't time or money budgeted to do 3D at all. It was going to be a 2D movie.

But what I really want to know is about this statement:

"but he hinted strongly that the MGM situation was not the only reason."

What? Where? I didn't ever read anything of the sort and if there are GDT quotes like that I really, really want to see them! Pretty please!


I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

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R11
Lorien

Jun 19 2010, 1:03am

Post #14 of 138 (1102 views)
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Brother Kangi [In reply to] Can't Post

Please explain.....


Alassë
Registered User

Jun 19 2010, 1:08am

Post #15 of 138 (1235 views)
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I don't want the hobbit to be made anymore [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't bear the thought of this wonderful book being wrecked. I really loved District 9, and Neill Blomkamp is a fantastic director, but I just think pursuing this once GDT left is silly. We're going to end up with a film that is significantly weaker than LotR, and that's going to ruin the enjoyment of the original trilogy. One of the reasons PJ and co produced such fantastic films is that fully immersed themselves for years in Tolkien's world- any director stepping in at the last minute here is not going to have the background or passion for these books. I'm concerned that these films are becoming more about making money, as opposed to delivering something we'll all enjoy. I don't want LotR turning into Harry Potter or Twilight.
this whole situating is very worrying Unsure


R11
Lorien

Jun 19 2010, 1:23am

Post #16 of 138 (1115 views)
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So much drama [In reply to] Can't Post

 


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 19 2010, 1:26am

Post #17 of 138 (1084 views)
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Hmmm... I might like this choice. [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved District 9 and it would be very interesting to see how Neil Blomkamp handles Hobbits.

sample


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Jun 19 2010, 1:34am

Post #18 of 138 (1103 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

it is R11(your handle here) a capitalized vowel followed by a whole number. D9 fits the same pattern. OK my brain just does this kind of thing every once in a while. It is how I earned my M.O. degree. Oh that is "Master of the Obvious" if you are unfamiliar with itEvil

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.

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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Jun 19 2010, 1:41am

Post #19 of 138 (1134 views)
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Boy I want the Hobbit made and quick [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a killer script, the world's best graphic crew, & PJ's WingNuts all waiting.......................................................Oh and Gandalf is waiting for Godot in OZ.
So to paraphrase a statement made here in Beautiful Downtown St. Paul Minnesota...Film Baby Film.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.

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Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jun 19 2010, 1:47am

Post #20 of 138 (1075 views)
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My brain too. [In reply to] Can't Post

That's why I get so many blank stares from my violin students . . . Evil


Elven
Valinor


Jun 19 2010, 1:49am

Post #21 of 138 (1120 views)
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Its an interesting idea ... [In reply to] Can't Post

A mentorship starts with with a bond of trust and both PJ and Neil B have been well rewarded by their working partnership and its obvious in D9 - its a good start.

My hope is that if it be that Neil B takes on this project, or for any Director who takes up the Hobbit, that they feel comfortable stepping into second hand shoes and can make them their own comfortable fit. I think the wound from GdTs departure is still a bit raw for me, but the show must go on, and I trust two things - that Peter will choose who he feels is the best to lead this project forward - and secondly, if it doesn't work out with that person PJ will sense it immediately and find someone else. He's not backwards in coming forward in that area - he's replaced people before. I think if it is Neil B, I can see why he would have chosen him for this project, but I also feel that it has put pressure on the films to get a Director as quickly as possible, and I hope that hasn't compromised the 'best Director possible' for the 'most available Director' under the circumstances. If PJ thinks Neil is the Best and Available - then I trust his decision.

Nice article MrCere, thankyou! Wink

Cheers
Elven


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jun 19 2010, 2:12am

Post #22 of 138 (1136 views)
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Here's something I found [In reply to] Can't Post

but since it's from Wikipedia and doesn't appear to have a source (unless I'm just not seeing it) I don't know how accurate it is

here it is:

Upcoming sci-fi project
Blomkamp recently received the greenlight on a new sci-fi film, due out sometime in 2011. This upcoming film is not a District 9 sequel, which has been confirmed by Blomkamp himself. Peter Jackson will not produce this project, instead it will be Blomkamp's first solo film. Production on the film is set to commence in mid-2010.


You can only come to the morning through the shadows

(This post was edited by Oiotári on Jun 19 2010, 2:13am)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jun 19 2010, 3:07am

Post #23 of 138 (1129 views)
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PJ has an uncanny nose for talent. [In reply to] Can't Post

If he thinks someone who appears untried to the wider world actually has the goods to direct - or animate or do whatever in the movie industry - then I'm inclined to believe him.

I just wish we'd get some confirmation and a 'go'!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Woodyend
Gondor


Jun 19 2010, 3:16am

Post #24 of 138 (1110 views)
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I have never seen a single movie he has made. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit will never compare in quality with LOTR. I have a feeling I will just set there watching endless special affects in a movie that has no heart. Well that’s my biggest fear.

May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!
~~~~~~~~Gandalf~~~~~~~

Listen. Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!


Sunflower
Valinor

Jun 19 2010, 4:15am

Post #25 of 138 (1178 views)
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WARNING: Long and Rambling post ahead. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tongue
Had to go away for a while, but now that I;m back I want to address first your comment MrCere.

How do you know for certain that WB was not pressuring TH to be filmed in 3D? I'm sorry, but being "quite confident" is not the same as "knowing for sure." TH has no official budget at all, the final budget for the film cannot be determined until after there is an official greenlight. I know, with the scripts (supposedly) in, there must be some idea already, but until after the greenlight is given, there would be an even better idea. And we will not know until then how much money WB is putting up, how much WB is ponying up, and how much if any PJ can or will be asked to contribute (quite a possibilty in this abysmal penny-pinching climate.)
My memory of exact posts is dim, but if Del Toro had anything defenite to say on the subject, I'll bet he posted it no later than early March. If I am wrong and Del Toro posted a statement *after March 1st* that said that TH was DEFENITELY NOT going to be filmed in 3D, then I stand corrected.

However, the number of concrete news stories, and the number of Del Toro's posts, both fell drastically beginning right around March. That is when the Big Silence began, on all fronts, (except for a few vague statements that "in a few days" we'd see some moving forward on the MGM front which turned out to be a big fat lie) and when, I am sure, the processes that led to Del Toro's departure, whatever they were, began accelerating in earnest. March, in retrospect, seems to have been the turning point.

The reason why I gave the March date is this: I believe that the success of Avatar had a very big impact on the way WB viewed their expectations for TH, possibly chnaging their POV in a very short amount of time, and we need to look at this fact. Jeff Bewkes's mind may have changed on the subject in a VERY short amount of time--like, say, the week the global box office for Avatar broke the 2.5 billion mark. And that was for ONE film. Now, if TH films were released in 2D, there would be no way the studio could charge the inflated 3D ticket prices that 3D films get, which would drastically impact the box office. True, there would probably be a last-minute post-production 2D to 3D transfer for IMAX (I'm sure they felt like they'd look like idiots if they didn't at least try this) but other wise they'd have to suffer lower box office. Yes, there are only 200+ IMAX theaters in the world and outside the US, where the films would be mostly shown in 2D anyway, this would not be an issue. But the U.S. IMAX theaters, with their fantastic repeat business for Avatar, contributed a lot to the US take and made the difference whern it came to studio bragging rights.

And bragging rights matter very much these days, since they dramatically affect a studio's stock price and market share, and if the above press release didn't make ot all the more dramatically clear, the only thing the studio appears to care about is making as much money as possible and FAST. Before March, TH was the hottest franchise in town. Now, with an Avatar sequel coming, as big as it is, monetarily speaking, it isn't the BIGGEST anymore, not by a long shot. The past year, and think 2 yrs, (not counting this yr with Avatar';s success, this will count for this year), WB is the biggest earning studio in Hollywood. This yr and next, they'll likely keep that title, with the last 2 Harry Potter films coming out. But other than TH. there is no huge epic mega-budget blockbuster franchise on the table and they are in a state of panic. I'm sure they'd like to have something to come out in 2012 or later that makes as much or more than Avatar, so thst they'll still be #1. And how better to do that than have TH in 3d?

Besides, how will a 2D Hobbit look on all those new 3D TV's that people are already beginning to buy to play their Avatar Blu-Rays on? (We've already gotten a taste of the careful, loving attention that WB is putting forth to marketing TH as something different than HP or Avatar. *cough*.)

And forgive me if I maintain the notion that there weren;t powerful forces within WB after March that were arguing that a 2d Hobbit would be a futile "swimming against the Hollywood tsunami" of 3D. And therefore counter-productive.
And that's just WB. How did the hedge fund mmanagers who took over control of MGM in late March feel abouit this issue? You can bet that the Avatar box office and 3D ticket prices were the ONLY things their mon-movie busines eyes saw and understood....

That out of the way, let me say that from my knowledge of Del Toro (nowhere near Hellmistress's of course), but just as a fan of almost 5 yrs who has readt just about everything written in English about him, let me say that he is a passionate artist who fights for what he believes in and the biggest fights he has had with studios and other corporate entities in his projects tend to be scriptoral issues. The 2 prime examples of this are his debut film, Mimic, and Pan's Labyrinth. (Notice that he has said that whoever is chosen to direct, he will be :continuing to work on the scripts." I thought they had been turned in and supposedly approved of by January? Was there some outstanding major issues with the 2nd script? He clearly is intending to see that his vision is still honored. Not having worked on a Tolkien adaptation, which tneds to further evolve organically during filming, how could he be referring to that? There must be some other difficulty.)
For details on the agonizing experience he had in making "Mimic", his debut film, see Peter Biskind's book "Down And Dirty Pictures." . (Pg 250-255.) (I just re-read that and it made me sick all over again.) He wanted Mimic to be the masterful blend of action, mystery, lyricims and ideas that his 2nd film, "Cronos", was. Watch Mimic and then Cronis and compare the two. You'll get an idea of what Hollywood wanted to shove down his throat and his own vision. DT feels s strongly about this that last year he was STILL fighting Harvey Weinstein to get the origional version of Mimic released on DVD instead of the piece of crap that is the current version.
As to the PL fight, that was with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2006. I forget if it was during first screenings or the beginning of Oscar season, DT got world very early on that AMPAS was blown away and that it was a shoo-in for BFF nom. But they had a HUGE issue with "the little girl dying" and asked why the ending could not be changed. At one point, during a meeting with AMPAS officials, according to an interview he gave, one prominent member of AMPAS told himpoint-blank, "You know that you're going to lose the Oscar", implying flat out that if Ofelia died, he wouldn't win. Of course,. DT did not care what anyone thought, Ofelia's death and redemption--her Christ-like refusal to shed innocent blood--was the whole point of the film, and he did not back down.

So I am surmusing that in addition to the 2nd script possibly having been sent back to DT for revision by a studio that, after March, suddenly maybe wanting as "kid-friendly" a film as possible, there were other business issues on the table. I very HIGHLY doubt that PJ and G were atcreative odds over anything, and whatever DT wanted, PJ tried to present to the studio. DT's fight was with the studios, not PJ.

So let me throw out an example. If it were a script issue (one of the "many and varied" reasons DT said he had for leaving) what would be the Mimic and Ofelia-like issue he had with the script? There could be several.

What does DT feel the most passionately about, and what does he talk about a lot? What would he battle WB about for sure? Monsters. Let me throw out one throry: one little factor thst he'd be fighting the studio about. This would be one of many issues he'd have over the script. but it could be a promient one.

Let me throw out the possibilty of: Smaug. It's one of the few things he was talking enthusiastically about early on so you know how close it was to his heart. (God, just saying "was"--rips MY heart out...). What if Smaug was indeed introduced up close and personal only in the 2nd film, and WB was very unhappy about the way DT wanted us to see him? Before Avatar, they probably didn't care how dark the films were. But waht if the films got very dark (or at least semi-"adult") in the 2nd film (follwing the "whimsical to darK' character development trajectory") and DT's plans for Smaug were deemed too "non-mainstream"

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