Hobbit, the Movies

The movie version of “The Hobbit” is getting under way. Here are some details:

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was named on Thursday to direct two movies based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book “The Hobbit” to build on the blockbuster success of “The Lord of the Rings” series.

Plans to make a two-part precursor to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on Tolkien’s three-volume follow-up to his “Hobbit” story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.

Del Toro, whose credits include “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Blade II,” will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work on both “Hobbit” films with executive producer Peter Jackson, who directed all three “The Lord of the Rings” movies, according to New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

The studios have said that filming will begin in 2009, with tentative release dates set of 2010 for the first film and 2011 for the sequel.

The plans call for del Toro to work back-to-back on “The Hobbit” and its sequel, which will deal with the 60-year period between that story and “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the studios said.

Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” was a pretty remarkable fantasy movie, however creepy and depressing, so he should be OK. Jackson, who did such a good job with the trilogy, will be in charge. That this two-movie arrangement will include not just “The Hobbit” but will cover the 60 years before “The Fellowship of the Ring” is interesting, indeed. I guess that means that filmmakers will be taking on at least part of “The Silmarilion.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bruce

    It’s always nice to have something to look forward to. Bring them on!

  • Bruce

    It’s always nice to have something to look forward to. Bring them on!

  • Joe Mama

    I’m looking forward to it. I wonder what will be the unifying plot line to the second movie. The adventures of Aragorn in Rivendell, Rohan, and Gondor?

  • Joe Mama

    I’m looking forward to it. I wonder what will be the unifying plot line to the second movie. The adventures of Aragorn in Rivendell, Rohan, and Gondor?

  • http://www.the-frame.com Jandy

    Del Toro “should be okay”? He’s probably the only filmmaker working today besides Peter Jackson I’d trust with it. In fact, he’s better than Peter Jackson. I’m ecstatic that he’s on board. Too bad he’s not doing any of the Harry Potter films – he would’ve given Cuaron a run for his money.

  • http://www.the-frame.com Jandy

    Del Toro “should be okay”? He’s probably the only filmmaker working today besides Peter Jackson I’d trust with it. In fact, he’s better than Peter Jackson. I’m ecstatic that he’s on board. Too bad he’s not doing any of the Harry Potter films – he would’ve given Cuaron a run for his money.

  • Pingback: The Hobbit, Uno y Dos » Pursuing Holiness

  • Pingback: The Hobbit, Uno y Dos » Pursuing Holiness

  • Chris

    “Plans to make a two-part precursor to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on Tolkien’s three-volume follow-up to his “Hobbit” story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.”

    Glad to hear about the project, but yikes, who is writing for Reuters these days. Did anyone bother to edit this article?

  • Chris

    “Plans to make a two-part precursor to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on Tolkien’s three-volume follow-up to his “Hobbit” story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.”

    Glad to hear about the project, but yikes, who is writing for Reuters these days. Did anyone bother to edit this article?

  • Chris

    “Plans to make a two-part precursor to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on Tolkien’s three-volume follow-up to his “Hobbit” story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.”

    Glad to hear about the project, but yikes, who writes for Reuters these days? Did anyone bother to edit this article?

  • Chris

    “Plans to make a two-part precursor to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on Tolkien’s three-volume follow-up to his “Hobbit” story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.”

    Glad to hear about the project, but yikes, who writes for Reuters these days? Did anyone bother to edit this article?

  • Chris

    Ooops…gotta watch the double clicks.

  • Chris

    Ooops…gotta watch the double clicks.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’m still waiting for an announcement about the 20-part film prequel to The Hobbit based on the rest of The Silmarillion, especially part 4: Elves Doing Things, part 7: Elf Migration Patterns, part 12: Still Talking About Elves, and of course, part 20, which will just cover the basics of elven linguistics and naming conventions.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’m still waiting for an announcement about the 20-part film prequel to The Hobbit based on the rest of The Silmarillion, especially part 4: Elves Doing Things, part 7: Elf Migration Patterns, part 12: Still Talking About Elves, and of course, part 20, which will just cover the basics of elven linguistics and naming conventions.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    tODD ROFL!!!

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    tODD ROFL!!!

  • Anon

    I have no ideas what they will be doing with those 60 years. I rather don’t like the idea of fanfic, but I fear that it must be that.

    The Silmarillion, Dr. Veith, covers a period roughly 6,000-30,000 years prior to the Hobbit, not the 60s years between the Battle of the Five Armies and the War of the Ring.

    Since it is now part of the Western Canon, it might be good to know things like that in the English Department.

    Peter Jackson did horribly with LoTR. The references to the “J-Text” among scholars might clue people in. He can’t do suspense, he hated the Christianity in the substructure, and didn’t like the message, so he cut out key parts, created pointless bits, and was saved by the wonderful artists at WETA and the actors.

    “Dust and ashes out of Elfland” eh, tODD?

  • Anon

    I have no ideas what they will be doing with those 60 years. I rather don’t like the idea of fanfic, but I fear that it must be that.

    The Silmarillion, Dr. Veith, covers a period roughly 6,000-30,000 years prior to the Hobbit, not the 60s years between the Battle of the Five Armies and the War of the Ring.

    Since it is now part of the Western Canon, it might be good to know things like that in the English Department.

    Peter Jackson did horribly with LoTR. The references to the “J-Text” among scholars might clue people in. He can’t do suspense, he hated the Christianity in the substructure, and didn’t like the message, so he cut out key parts, created pointless bits, and was saved by the wonderful artists at WETA and the actors.

    “Dust and ashes out of Elfland” eh, tODD?

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ SD Smith

    I loved the films, but they fell short in a few significant ways, in my view.

    I think Jackson excelled at the physical portrayal elements of the film (realistic looking fantastic images), and he understood and expressed the evil characters deeply and well. But he didn’t appear to understand the light, the good, the beautiful, the way Tolkien did. See Faramir. Maybe this is due to his heart which is not, to my knowledge, regenerated. Maybe he’s just comfortable in his zombie-film milieu (which he was established in).

    Now Guillermo del Toro takes over, and he does not appear capable of improving that negative, since his background appears to be similar. But maybe it will improve.

    I had hoped for some one with more imagination for light.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ SD Smith

    I loved the films, but they fell short in a few significant ways, in my view.

    I think Jackson excelled at the physical portrayal elements of the film (realistic looking fantastic images), and he understood and expressed the evil characters deeply and well. But he didn’t appear to understand the light, the good, the beautiful, the way Tolkien did. See Faramir. Maybe this is due to his heart which is not, to my knowledge, regenerated. Maybe he’s just comfortable in his zombie-film milieu (which he was established in).

    Now Guillermo del Toro takes over, and he does not appear capable of improving that negative, since his background appears to be similar. But maybe it will improve.

    I had hoped for some one with more imagination for light.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Anon, I KNOW what the Silmarilion covers. You don’t need to be snide and presuming my ignorance. I may be ignorant on some subjects, but not that! In the Silmarilion’s vast sweep, it does include the Hobbit/LOTR period, if only in a few paragraphs. I’m hoping the new movie builds on the scant material of those preceding 60 years, but I agree that it will probably be more like fan fiction.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Anon, I KNOW what the Silmarilion covers. You don’t need to be snide and presuming my ignorance. I may be ignorant on some subjects, but not that! In the Silmarilion’s vast sweep, it does include the Hobbit/LOTR period, if only in a few paragraphs. I’m hoping the new movie builds on the scant material of those preceding 60 years, but I agree that it will probably be more like fan fiction.

  • S. Bauer

    Is it a sin to wish the parousia might have to be delayed?

  • S. Bauer

    Is it a sin to wish the parousia might have to be delayed?

  • http://www.timbaron.com Tim Baron

    It brings me joy that Del Toro is working on this. His work on Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth was incredible. Other than Jackson, I can’t think of a better director who would be perfectly suited for this endeavor.

  • http://www.timbaron.com Tim Baron

    It brings me joy that Del Toro is working on this. His work on Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth was incredible. Other than Jackson, I can’t think of a better director who would be perfectly suited for this endeavor.


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