April 27 2008

Hobbit Gets A Director; Speed Racer Looks Interesting

Guillermo Del ToroGuillermo Del Toro is going to to direct The Hobbit. This already makes me exponentially more excited for this project than I was for The Lord of the Rings.

The only thing that is tempering my excitement some is that this is a two picture deal covering The Hobbit and… it’s sequel? True, there was a 60-year gap between the original novel and The Fellowship of the Ring, and somehow New Line Cinema feels they can bridge this gap. Yes, there is a fifth book by J.R.R. Tolkein (kinda), called The Silmarillion, but it deals with the history before what we already know. As far as I know, he did not create in bridging texts for the stand-alone novel in the trilogy, so it makes me a bit nervous what might be in that one.

Del Toro is a fascinating choice for these films, and I am excited to see what sort of vision he brings to the films. Will he devolve Gollum some to reflect the time difference? The spiders should be fun. I am most excited to see how he handles Smaug, the dragon. (I am betting even money he asks Ron Perlman, a fave actor of his, to do the voice, and I would have no objections.) I have heard Ian McKellen will be returning as Gandalf, though that is rumor at this point. His age shouldn’t be a problem as Gandalf was always supposed to look elderly without it ever really being specified just how old he “looked”.

The only problem with this choice is that Del Toro tends to have “a look”. If you are unfamiliar with his work, he directed Blade II, Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. He has a very definite look to his lighting and camera angles, but I think they will work for this film.

The director will be moving to New Zealand for four years to shoot the films back-to-back, and work with Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, who is serving as producer on these two films.

Meanwhile, the music video for the theme for the Speed Racer movie showed up on MySpace.

Go Speed Racer Go Music Video

Yes, this film looks silly as all get out, but it also looks to be fun. I am glad to see the Wachowski brothers doing a fun film this time out. I think they got caught up in the Matrix trilogy and really didn’t know where to go with it. They did redeem themselves with me when they did V For Vendetta, a movie I professed a deep love for not once, but twice.

I know some will be shocked I am interested by a movie that is so wildly over-the-top, but as I’ve said before, so long as the film sticks to its own rules, I have no problem with it. Since physics have been clearly tossed out the window for this project, as they should be, then let total car mayhem ensue, fine by me. If they tried to imply that real world physics applied and then tried to do these race courses, then my brain would shut down in the theater and I would sit in the corner, drooling all over myself as my brain cells slowly died from stupidity.

All that aside, I do plan to see it as they really seemed to have captured the look and feel of the original series. If it does well, rumors are already circulating of a sequel, so hopefully it will be good.

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