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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Does GDT even like Tolkien?
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Gungnir
Registered User

Apr 25 2008, 7:19pm

Post #1 of 35 (783 views)
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Does GDT even like Tolkien? Can't Post

Hi everyone - first time I've posted here in literally years and it's all changed from last time I looked but some of you may know me from TORC (sorry!) and may know that I've been posting there since early 2000, off and on. I was very much a supporter of PJ and I loved his films, for the most part.

However I am less than happy about the choice of GDT to direct The Hobbit (and it's sequel, Bilbo Baggins - The Wilderness Years, but the less said about that, the better). Not because I don't rate GDT as a good director - he is an excellent director. The reason is this - he is on record as saying that Tolkien 'left him cold; in this interview -
http://www.elmundo.es/encuentros/invitados/2006/10/2192/


Quote

Del Toro said:
¿Hasta que punto ha influido en usted la obra de Tolkien?
En nada. Yo apenas pude terminar "El hobbit". Curiosamente, a mí el género de la fantasía, nunca me ha llamado. Creo que los cuentos de hadas son en sí mismos un género diferente. La fantasía heróica, por lo general, me deja frío. Me interesa más la obra de terror de Robert E. Howard que sus novelas sobre el musculoso Conan. Aunque hay dos escritores de fantasía que me parecen sublimes: Clark Ashton Smith y Lord Dunsany.




Quote
My Translation
To what extent has the work of Tolkien influenced you ?
Not at all. I could barely finish "The Hobbit". Curiously, that kind of fantasy, never called out to me. I think that fairy tales are in themselves a different genre. Heroic fantasy, in general, leaves me cold. I am more interested in Robert E. Howard's work of terror than his novels about the muscular Conan. Although there are two writers of fantasy that I think are sublime: Clark Ashton Smith and Lord Dunsany.


I know that more recently he has made some conciliatory remarks about Tolkien but then, when there is a multi-million dollar directing job at stake, that's hardly surprising. Am I being cynical? Perhaps. But then my first choice of director for a film of the Hobbit would not be someone who said in an interview that he could barely finish the book and that type of fantasy leaves him cold.

I remember reading PJ's original 20Qs session on AICN on the day it went up and being absolutely stoked for the films - and not being disappointed in the results. I read GDT's interview here and all I feel is deflated and suspicious.


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Apr 25 2008, 7:24pm

Post #2 of 35 (427 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

what he did not say back then was that when he gave up on LotR, he was only 11 years old, so that was understandable. And I was much older when I gave up my first attempt to read it, so I think you can't hold that against GDT.

Now he has read everything from and about Tolkien he could get, from what I know, and fallen in love with Middle-earth.

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Gungnir
Registered User

Apr 25 2008, 7:27pm

Post #3 of 35 (398 views)
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Yes, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I read the quotes about him having read 75% of Tolkien's written work. I didn't see any quotes from him saying that he 'loved it'.


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Apr 25 2008, 7:30pm

Post #4 of 35 (383 views)
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Why [In reply to] Can't Post

should he agree to spend four years of his life and have a lot of stress to make something he doesn't love? He may not have worded it exactly so - at least not where you could read it - but his enthusiasm is telling another story, IMO.

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


labadal
Rivendell


Apr 25 2008, 7:53pm

Post #5 of 35 (363 views)
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I think he does like Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

I read that he had read most of Tolkien's work but he may not be a huge fan of it all. I think that if he is devoting several years of his life to making a Tolkien book into a movie he must like it.

Take what you can, give nothing back!


Unspoken_Request
Bree

Apr 25 2008, 7:59pm

Post #6 of 35 (345 views)
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I read something along those lines. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't remember where, but it was a few weeks (months) ago. He said he had read the Silmarillion and that he really liked it very much. From what I recall (fuzzy memory), he really liked the mythology behind it all. He also said he appreciated much more the LOTR this time around.

I'll add something. PJ is not much into high fantasy (see his dislike for magician spells).

I also read in these articles that GDT always liked mythological stories. Maybe he doesn't like Dnd, Conan or Willow-type fantasy, but if he consider ME as a mythological recreation of earth (as it should be), he can easily be comfortable with it.

BTW, have you seen Pan's Labyrinth? There's clearly a fantasy aspect to this film.

I'm also surprised by the quote saying he had a hard time finishing the Hobbit. This contradicts everything he said around here. Is it possible that there was a mix up between LOTR and the Hobbit during this interview?


Xoanon
PTB


Apr 25 2008, 8:04pm

Post #7 of 35 (378 views)
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He does indeed love Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

He may not be able to quote you word for word, or read it every year like some of us do. However the man has a passion that is truly intoxicating. And when he decides to go after something, he does it full heartedly..if thats a word..

No worries


Michael Regina
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orcbane
Gondor


Apr 25 2008, 8:40pm

Post #8 of 35 (311 views)
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I would say he does now [In reply to] Can't Post

His admission early on of putting Fotr aside after an attempt to read it had me wondering too, though I appreciated his honesty. But that was because I assumed he'd done so as an adult. He was 11. I grew up in a Tolkien-fan household and was raised almost with the stories but also failed at least twice trying to read it, at about age 11 and 13. It was too dense or slow, or something and I just couldn't enter. But time passed and I tried again and I finished Fotr in one night and waited for 9am so I could ride my bike to the store and buy TTT.

At some point it just grabs you and never lets go. Have you ever given the Trilogy to someone in the hope they get the illness too ? Maybe PJ did that with GDT.

I am also very glad for the new perspective and potential for surprises. Originality I believe is only second to the Spirit of Tolkien living in the work.



An Ent juggling spikey things ?


bettybalin
The Shire

Apr 25 2008, 8:45pm

Post #9 of 35 (299 views)
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LotR as a kid [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, I attempted to read it as a kid as well, and hated it. I was a very judgemental and impatient seven year old. (I guess some might say precocious, but honestly, it was probably closer to b*tchy) I remember thinking something to the effect of "geesh, someone likes the sound of their own voice," and going off and reading David Eddings instead. I did enjoy the hobbit, but just could not get through LotR as a kid. Luckily my parents had a huge fantasy library, so I was never hurting for something to read.

I actually take a lot of hope from his statement. He's making a very non-polished and real statement, and admiting he was a kid sci-fi/fantasy geek like the rest of us. Most of hollywood have no exposure to their material until they are considering a job (how many actors are gamers or comic book geeks?)


(This post was edited by bettybalin on Apr 25 2008, 8:46pm)


Curious
Half-elven


Apr 25 2008, 11:06pm

Post #10 of 35 (307 views)
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Here's a similar quote from GDT disparaging hobbits. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
First of all, hasn't anybody noticed that del Toro has repeatedly said he doesn't like Tolkien, and that he never finished reading "The Lord of the Rings"? Here's what he told me in Cannes in 2006, when I asked him about the influence of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis on his own work: "I was never into heroic fantasy. At all. I don't like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits -- I've never been into that at all. I don't like sword and sorcery, I hate all that stuff."

From an interesting analysis questioning whether Peter Jackson is turning into George Lucas. Follow the link and you can listen to a podcast of the original interview.

Warning, some bad language in the links.


hatster
Rohan


Apr 25 2008, 11:09pm

Post #11 of 35 (250 views)
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though his assertion that he prefers horror over heroics [In reply to] Can't Post

as his reason gives me more pause than his actual dislike of it, I am encouraged that his more recent appraisal was of Tolkien's work as mythology. I think that seeing it as mythology rather than either pure fancy or heroics or (worse) the stuff of horror is a very very good thing. If there was one over arching flaw in the trilogy movie it was that it often lost itself in the horror and the heroics (not to mention the junkiedom of Frodo) while it left the sense of mythology to be beautifully, but only partially expressed by props. And he did more than simply tag it as mythology, in the quote I have in mind, he had already begun to feel the many tangled roots of its mythology. If only because of that, I think he may do a better job than PJ alone at doing the stories justice.

I have lost the dwarves and I have lost the wizard, and I don't know where I am; and I don't want to know, if only I can get away.


Curious
Half-elven


Apr 25 2008, 11:29pm

Post #12 of 35 (269 views)
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It's worth listening to the podcast. [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the url:

https://ecf.ilnd.uscourts.gov/doc1/06704949072?magic_num=32456108&de_seq_num=93&caseid=211258

I think what he really didn't like was LotR, but he did like fairy tales.

I also liked the part where he trained a raven to be his pet!


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 26 2008, 1:17am

Post #13 of 35 (241 views)
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I have a link where Compa_mighty [In reply to] Can't Post

http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_threaded;post=89511;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC; posted on GdT's absorbing everything done by Tolkien that he can lay his hands on. I've met many people who adamantly dislike fiction/fantasy, but have been enlightened when they saw the films and have subsequently read the book(s).

I think the same goes for GdT. I have faith in his sincere enthusiasm and dedication to this project mainly because I trust that Peter Jackson would never let anyone become involved who didn't (1) embrace the world and works of Tolkien; and (2) would jeopardize the years (12 at least) he's devoted to these films. If Peter's confident in GdT's participation and contribution, that's good enough for me.



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


Bombatones
The Shire

Apr 26 2008, 1:35am

Post #14 of 35 (232 views)
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Why not ask him yourself? :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

He's made himself available through TORn, which I think is pretty awesome.

And I think it's a valid question. I wondered about that myself before reading his post on his blog about how he's become quite entranced with Middle-earth, even beyond LotR and The Hobbit. He seemed to grok the depth of the history of Middle-earth, and that set my mind at ease somewhat.


Hellmistress
Lorien


Apr 26 2008, 1:38am

Post #15 of 35 (230 views)
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GdT [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me tell you something about Guillermo del Toro - if he doesn't like a project, he doesn't do it. Period. He is one of those rare film directors/writers/producers who puts his money and his efforts where his mouth is. He took years to get Hellboy to the screen, and he resisted any efforts by the studios to force him to do various things (cast Vin Diesel, have HB turn red when he got angry ... that sort of nonsense). He is also enormously dedicated to what he does - for example, he ploughed his fee back into Pan's Labyrinth just to get it made.

If he is doing these films it is because he loves the subject matter. It's as simple as that. And he is an authority on mythology ... a geek when it comes to art, literature, history ... his library is famous for its eclectic contents. Have you seen his notebooks? I can't wait to see what he has in mind for these films. He is also gobbling up everything he can find in relation to Tolkien, and seeing as he has a photographic memory, I think we can be pretty confident that he will absorb Tolkien's world to our satisfaction and translate that knowledge and vision into something beautiful and haunting, just as Peter Jackson did.

HM

The Doug Jones Experience


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Apr 26 2008, 5:32am

Post #16 of 35 (194 views)
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Look at me [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've met many people who adamantly dislike fiction/fantasy, but have been enlightened when they saw the films and have subsequently read the book(s).



My first attempt to read LotR failed exactly because I never liked fantasy. And I was in my early thirties back then, not eleven! But out of curiosity about the movies I finally gave it another try and finished the books in five days, then watched the first two movies (RotK wasn't out then) - and look where I am today ... Wink

And I completely agree with what you said about PJ and GDT.

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Forger
Registered User

Apr 26 2008, 9:14am

Post #17 of 35 (205 views)
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Guillermo [In reply to] Can't Post

Guillermo read Tolkien's work at thirteen, or somewhere around that age. As many have said, I don't believe he would spend four to five years working on two films and sifting through Tolkien's work if he didn't truly love the material he was working with.


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Apr 26 2008, 11:10am

Post #18 of 35 (254 views)
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*Some relavant & enlightening LINKs* [In reply to] Can't Post

DEL TORO ON FAIRY TALES

GDT On Fairy Tales, part 1
http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/...ry-tales-part-1.html

GDT On Fairy Tales, part 2
http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/...ry-tales-part-2.html

GDT On Fairy Tales, part 3
http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/...ry-tales-part-3.html

GDT On Fairy Tales, part 4
http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/...ry-tales-part-4.html

GDT's Journey to Middle Earth
Friday, April 25, 2008
http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/...to-middle-earth.html

Guillermo del Toro Chats with TORN About ‘The Hobbit’ Films!
April 25th, 2008 by xoanon
http://www.theonering.net/...ut-the-hobbit-films/

• Mr. GDT elaborates on his vision for ‘The Hobbit’
http://www.theonering.net/...sion-for-the-hobbit/

• Interview - Cinematical: http://www.cinematical.com/...t-still-negotiating/

• Del Toro interview: 'The Hobbit': 'We are all in sync and eager to move forward' – EW.com: http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/...del-toro-hobbit.html

• Interview - Guardian: http://film.guardian.co.uk/...s/0,,1955212,00.html


OTHER INTERVIEWS:

• Interview - AVclub: http://www.avclub.com/content/node/57606

• Interview - Greencine: http://www.greencine.com/...n=view&articleID=388

• Interview - IFmagazine: http://www.ifmagazine.com/...ure.asp?article=1636

• Interview - CountingDown: http://countingdown.com/...s?feature_id=3368843

• Interview - HorrorDirectors.com: http://www.horrordirectors.com/guillermodeltoro.html

• ING Video Interview
The Hobbit Movie Interview - Guillermo del Toro Talks Hobbit
http://uk.movies.ign.com/...o_hobbit_042008.html





The Labyrinth
http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/

Del Toro Films
http://www.deltorofilms.com/

Guillermo del Toro - Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_del_Toro

Guillermo del Toro – IMDB (for casting details):
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0868219/

Del Toro Films Discussion Forum:
http://www.deltorofilms.com/forum/


LINKS TO KEEP UP BY on THE HOBBIT:

The Hobbit (2010/11) - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/

The Frodo Franchise - Hobbit/LotR blog
http://www.kristinthompson.net/blog/

TORn Front Page
http://www.theonering.net

Der Hobbit Film – Fan site
http://derhobbit-film.de/indexengl.shtml

The Hobbit Film: Links - mahalo.com
http://www.mahalo.com/The_Hobbit_(Film)


BLOGS:
The Hobbit: The Official Movie Blog
http://www.thehobbitblog.com/

The Hobbit - News and gossip surrounding the hobbit movies:
http://the-hobbit-movie.com/

**Tribute: Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling, WWII Pilot MIA, by Gramma & DoN**
Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Elven
Valinor


Apr 26 2008, 11:24am

Post #19 of 35 (159 views)
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Great set of links!! Thankyou!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thankyou so much for posting the links Daughter of Nienna!
Awesome!!

Cheers and Thanks
Elven x


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



(This post was edited by Elven on Apr 26 2008, 11:25am)


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Apr 26 2008, 11:46am

Post #20 of 35 (163 views)
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*bookmarks* [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, DoN! That's a great and very useful collection of links!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Gethsemane
The Shire


Apr 26 2008, 4:03pm

Post #21 of 35 (150 views)
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the love of growing things [In reply to] Can't Post

i wouldnt worry about it tbh, peter wasnt exactly a confessed tolkien fan at the beginning of the lotr movie conception, but he became one and more importantly surrounded himself with people who were and still are fans. And most importantly thats the very same team coming together to bring you and I the next two movies in the tolkien universe.

it's good to have an end to journey towards, but it's the journey that matters in the end

(This post was edited by Gethsemane on Apr 26 2008, 4:04pm)


Curious
Half-elven


Apr 26 2008, 8:44pm

Post #22 of 35 (126 views)
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Is the Salon podcast in your list of links? [In reply to] Can't Post

I gave the url earlier in this thread. It's not a podcast about The Hobbit, but about Pan's Labyrinth, but hobbits and fairy tales and Narnia and sewer exploration and pet ravens did come up.


mwirkk
Rohan


Apr 26 2008, 11:33pm

Post #23 of 35 (102 views)
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Very nice! :) [In reply to] Can't Post

This should be the seed of its own thread. Or even, the start of a collection of resources somewhere on TORN Links.

-mwirkk :)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Apr 27 2008, 12:19am

Post #24 of 35 (114 views)
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A link to his latest post here. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello by del Toro.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Apr. 21-27 for "The Uruk-hai".


mwirkk
Rohan


Apr 27 2008, 12:25am

Post #25 of 35 (96 views)
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Hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

That does not seem to match my recollection of the legend of it at all, that I remember from watching PJ's interviews telling the story of how they came about. I thought the whole point of his and Fran's pursuit of the project, going from one studio to another pitching the idea, was that he *was* a fanatic about it, and had been since a young man. Sure, he had other projects he loved as much if not more, like King Kong and his horror genre, but it's not like it was somebody else's project and he was brought in from the outside to collaborate.

-mwirkk :)

(This post was edited by mwirkk on Apr 27 2008, 12:34am)

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