Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
New Images From Marvel's Daredevil
Not one but two! It's almost like it's Christmas...
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
20 December 2014
First Look At Jessica Chastain In Crimson Peak
She's dressed to impress
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
18 December 2015
Crimson Peak
16 October 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)
Empire Star Rating
X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Pacific Rim (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Serkis & McKellen On Board For Hobbit
So says Guillermo Del Toro

28 April 2008  |  Written by Olly Richards  |  Source: TheOneRing.net

submit to reddit

Now that the worst kept secret in Hollywood is official, i.e. that Guillermo Del Toro is directing The Hobbit and its follow-up, the director is now free to speak about just what he has planned for the Lord of the Rings prequel. Del Toro took the time to speak to fan site TheOneRing.Net over the weekend and revealed a couple of details.

Most encouraging was that he's got Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis all but signed to return as Gandalf and Gollum respectively. Del Toro told us previously that he wanted all the relevant cast members back, but he now says, "I had the most charming meeting with Sir Ian, and all bureaucracy pending, he’s on board, as is Andy Serkis".

Another thing he also discussed briefly was the second film, which is going to be an almost entirely invented chronicle of the time between The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring. The script isn't written yet, obviously, so Del Toro couldn't give details, but he did say:

"I traveled to New Zealand just a little while ago, and one of the main reasons for going was to sit down and talk about the second film. ‘The Hobbit’, the book, is really one self-contained film, so for the second movie we sat down and worked it out. When we did this we got really excited because this second film is not a ‘tag on’, it’s not ‘filler’, it’s an integral part of telling the story of those 50 years of history lost in the narrative. There will be certain things that we will see from the first movie but from a different point of view, but it will feel like a volume, in the 5 volumes of the entire story. It will not feel like a bridge, I’ve been hearing it called ‘a bridge film’, it’s not, it’s an integral chapter of the story, and I think we’re all on the same page."

There was also one other small point that gladdened our hearts, which had absolutely nothing to do with plot. It was this sentence: "The only thing I will be pushing for more in these films than the other three are full animatronics and animatronic creatures enhanced with CGI, as opposed to CGI creatures themselves. "

The effects in Lord of the Rings were, for the most part, excellent, but no matter how good CGI is, it will never have the charm of animatronics. You can say that animatronics are, on the whole, less convincing than CGI, but really sophisticated animatronics can be just as believable (look at Del Toro's other films) and even less than perfect animatronics have more warmth than slightly dodgy pixel work. A great big robotic Smaug? Bring it on.

For the rest of the interview, direct your mouse to this very spot.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Are You Ready To Enter The Arena?
Sci-fi film about a gladiatorial world
Judge And Bateman Board Extract
Office Space director lines up new film

Your Comments

Back away from the franchise
Del Toro is a terrific visionary director, but two films? Leave it alone. Just make one, then do something else. More

Posted by dodger9uk at 23:03 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

I'm positive, despite being negative on the whole second film bit. and toro will be great, but jackson has pretty much defined it in LOTR, so it seems del toro is a little bit of a waste of talent, or am i being silly? More

Posted by drake22 at 22:37 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Cant Wait
Just the idea of these two guys working together is mouthwatering.Im really glad that hes keeping with some of the original cast so it doesnt feel completly new.I cant wait to find out whos playing Bilbo.I am more excited about this than Indy IV and thats saying something.Its bad that were going to have to wait until 2011 for the first one to come out and if they dont shoot them back to back who knows when the next one will be out. More

Posted by johndaly94 at 21:11 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
I don't have the books to hand, but from memory of The Hobbit, Gandalf refers to 'the Sorcerer' lurking in Mirkwood (following much earlier defeat by Isildur), and then in LOTR refers to him gaining power and returning to Mordor. Thus there is an oblique reference to Sauron in The Hobbit, but no direct link.   The 2nd film may therefore be about Sauron's return to power. Mouthwatering prospect, imho! More

Posted by beancounter at 19:41 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Well, having read the interview, this guy knows what he has to do. The Jackson/del Toro relationship seems certain to cement. As for Serkis and McKellen, well, that's just the icing on the cake. More

Posted by jonedney at 19:31 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
I thought I'd been banned, the knife was pressed up against my throat when it came back on. Lucky timing, or not. Depends which way you look at it. Anyway, token effort to be on topic: Very much looking forward to this, I hope he manages to get some deformed babies in jars in the films somewhere. That would be the business. More

Posted by Bowl of Wrong at 18:33 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Fuck sake empire
Look, I don't care if you have a bewildering obsession with Del Toro and for some reason see him as a totally proven great director (true, Pan's Labrynth was good, but are any of his other films TRULY GREAT??), ...but I know you have accepted the LOTR trilogy as a masterpiece, for which I am greatful for I really believe it is untouchable... so PLEASE don't resort to niggling at details of the greatest ever trilogy just to try and support your boyfriend... not acceptable in my book; leave LOTR a More

Posted by Indran at 18:12 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Fuck sake empire
Look, I don't care if you have a bewildering obsession with Del Toro and for some reason see him as a totally proven great director (true, Pan's Labrynth was good, but are any of his other films TRULY GREAT??), ...but I know you have accepted the LOTR trilogy as a masterpiece, for which I am greatful for I really believe it is untouchable... so PLEASE don't resort to niggling at details of the greatest ever trilogy just to try and support your boyfriend... not acceptable in my book; leave LOTR a More

Posted by Indran at 18:12 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Lordy no...
I was hoping that the two film split might go the way of 'The Hobbit: There' and 'The Hobbit: Back Again'. But this bridge film idea sounds well dodgy. (and it IS a bridge film, it sits in between the hobbit and the LOTR and tells the 'missing story' (sic) of the 50 year gap.) Now I know Del Toro is the man and he definately knows fantasy, but the weakest parts of the old LOTR trilogy were when they strayed from the source material - (The 'is aragorn dead?' storyline in TTT and 'Frodo in More

Posted by Hoylus at 18:06 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: slightly worried
L: HarryHavoc about what purpose the second film will have in it. There is no need just leave is as the hobbit and the 3 lord of the rings film, we dont need another film to show us the progression of middle earth. but glad ian and serkis are back! sp; I know JRRT  wrote tons of material, unfinnished stories, notes to fill in gaps and timelines . So I do not doubt there are enough material to make this midquel pretty canon.   More

Posted by Overmind at 17:31 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

slightly worried
about what purpose the second film will have in it. There is no need just leave is as the hobbit and the 3 lord of the rings film, we dont need another film to show us the progression of middle earth. but glad ian and serkis are back! More

Posted by HarryHavoc at 16:49 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
Del Toro is probably the best director for the job. And learning of this golden tint sounds like it will be good. And this in-betweenquel...sounds interesting. Not sure it will be as good as the Hobbit or LotR though. More

Posted by mafyou at 16:48 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
I felt a great disturbance in the force.  As if millions of voices suddenyl cried out in relief and may never be silenced.   Ooops wrong franchise.  But by lawks an ordy this is the news I've been waiting for.  GO DEL TORO! More

Posted by The Todge at 16:36 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Before this everyone was worried about McKellen not returning but now he has, we can all rest and worry about if Indy will be any good or not. More

Posted by Ricorodrigeuz at 16:10 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
L: Olly Richards Try again now. It's slightly possible that I hit the wrong button and banned almost all of the forum by accident. But I prefer to believe that this is just a rumour and it was in fact just the fault of this gremlin I've just pulled from the system and beaten to death. sp; olly. We've all had one of those days. Their generally known as mondays More

Posted by livewire at 15:45 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
Oh thank God. Sorry about that. Just to be clear, this was in no way completely my fault and I totally understand everything technical and what all these buttons here do. This red one makes the internet go boomy. More

Posted by Olly Richards at 15:12 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
Working for me too. More

Posted by Larry of Arabia at 15:08 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
It's working now thanks More

Posted by Kazuya at 15:04 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
Try again now. It's slightly possible that I hit the wrong button and banned almost all of the forum by accident. But I prefer to believe that this is just a rumour and it was in fact just the fault of this gremlin I've just pulled from the system and beaten to death. More

Posted by Olly Richards at 15:03 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

What the fuck is up with the forum? I haven't been able to log on for days?? More

Posted by Kazuya at 14:58 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Still no forum
...at least I still can't get on it. Back on topic, the idea of Smaug being done in a Jurassic Stylee is certainly a mouthwatering prospect, if it's done well it'll be awesome More

Posted by skeletonjack at 14:58 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
All those having problems accessing the forum, please try it again now. Hopefully it should be working. For all those wanting to discuss the Hobbit news, carry on as you were. More

Posted by Olly Richards at 14:51 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Hey Larry, I am a real person. I guess I'm going to actually have to do some work now then. More

Posted by shool at 14:39 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

can anyone explain the point of the seond Hobbit film please? would they not just film the Silmarillion? More

Posted by pottynoodles at 14:23 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

What am I suppsoed to do until the forum's fixed, speak to real people? More

Posted by Larry of Arabia at 14:18 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

i just let out a little yelp of excitment More

Posted by ilovekaren at 13:40 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Definately looking forward to the Hobbit slightly more aprehensive about the bridging film but good to hear that some of the old cast of LOTR are going to be involved. Oh yeah haven't been able to get on the forum at all this weekend and today as well! More

Posted by vernieboy at 13:26 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Forums knackered for me too. Great news about this casting though. More

Posted by shool at 13:24 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

yeah its been dead for me for days. help me Olly, my life is in shatters :( More

Posted by kumar at 12:47 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Yep forums knackered for me too. Great news on the casting. I'm very interested in what will go on in the second film as well. Fingers crossed they can get everyone back on board. More

Posted by Fanboyslayer at 12:44 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

hmmm
Great to have the cast back on board and I like the whole animatronic idea. Not sure sure about this "integral" follow up thingy though. If it's completely new then it can't really be integral can it? Forum is also still banjaxed for me -at home and at work. More

Posted by Scruffybobby at 12:42 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

the forum is just blank for me as well. nothing happens. interesting about the animatronic angle... i can not see how that will work with the dragon unless they use it cleverly like in jurassic park. so close ups of the head etc are animatronic but shots of the thing flying are CGI. that would work nicely. would help the actors react better as well. More

Posted by boove at 12:36 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

the forum is just blank for me as well. nothing happens. interesting about the animatronic angle... i can not see how that will work with the dragon unless they use it cleverly like in jurassic park. so close ups of the head etc are animatronic but shots of the thing flying are CGI. that would work nicely. would help the actors react better as well. More

Posted by boove at 12:26 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Dead as a parrot
Olly, the forum's totally dead for me too. You can probably see it as the error is: "Variable is undefined: 'IPBlockedMessage' /forum/session.asp, line 38" which probably means it's IP specific. But it's been dead for most of us (me included) since Friday, and we can only communicate on the Have Your Say bits. Cheers, Rikkie More

Posted by rikkie at 12:26 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

...apart from Bilbo of course. More

Posted by Felix at 12:25 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Yep, forum is knackered for me too. What other characters from LOTR feature in The Hobbit then? More

Posted by Felix at 12:24 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

At last
I'm so happy at the prospect of del toro directing the hobbut he has the same weird imagination that jackson has so it'll be fun them to working together. I'm glad that he wants to bring back Ian Mckellen and Andy Serkis and all of the actors who played the parts in rings he has the right idea and with enough freedom and money i think that he will make the films absolutely brilliant and rightful prequels to the rings i am already anticipating these films highly, so at the mo bring hel More

Posted by dave_0989 at 12:21 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Forums knackered for me too. Great news about this casting though. More

Posted by shool at 12:20 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Forums still knackered for me too!...I More

Posted by lukeyboy at 12:19 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Forums still knackered for me too!...I More

Posted by lukeyboy at 12:18 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Great News but the Forum still dead
I'm having similar issues. i.e. I can't get to the forum. Please help. will donate 50p if necessary More

Posted by livewire at 12:17 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
L: shawshank prisoner the forum's still dead!! t shouldn't be. We put a load of 50p pieces in the meter and it's working fine here. There are new posts in there today, so I'm not sure why it's not working for you. More

Posted by Olly Richards at 12:00 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

An animatronic Smaug won't work! That's the whole point of CGI, realism! That's why 10-20 years ago LOTR wasn't possible to make as SFX realism wasn't up to the job. Ref: Animatronic Yoda to CGI Yoda. More

Posted by steveg66 at 11:58 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

the forum's still dead!! More

Posted by shawshank prisoner at 11:48 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

Hmmm
So this 2nd Hobbit film is not based on any of JRR Tolkiens work then? Hmmmm . The books worked fine without a 2nd Hobbit book, so all this looks like to me is the movie studios trying to cash in. Either that or trying to dumb the series down so certain audiences can make the link between The Hobbit & LOTR. (in the same way that Schindlers Ark became Schindlers List in case certain audiences thought it had something to do with Indy and Raiders....) More

Posted by Karl Crutchley at 11:40 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

I didn't doubt McKellen and Serkis would return, the latter person is already staying in New Zealand to shoot Jackson and Spielberg's Tintin, so he'll be staying on Kiwi mo-cap stages for a while. More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 11:39 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

el gordo will deliver. no doubts about it. More

Posted by stone25 at 11:20 on 28 April 2008 | Report This Post

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The 10 Best Games Of The Year
2014's top pixel-pushers duke it out for the number one slot

Dan Stevens: The Breakout Star Of 2014
We congratulate The Guest star on his year to remember

The 15 Most Memorable Character Deaths Of The Year
2014’s RIP honour roll

Review Of The Year: 10 Best Soundtracks Of 2014
The scores and OSTs to add to your playlist

Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Review Of 2014: The 15 Best Cameos Of The Year
Our favourite one-scene movie-stealers

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)