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June 6, 2010 11:00 PM   Subscribe

Director Guillermo Del Toro has announced that he will no longer be directing The Hobbit, and has made a follow up statement today. Speculation is rife as to what he might work on next, having given up that massive commitment. Some are speculating, based on this AICN interview promoting the movie Splice, that going forwards with his adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness may be on his mind again.
posted by Artw (61 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Link to the AICN interview here: Mr. Beaks Presents A Lively Little Chat With SPLICE Producer, Guillermo Del Toro!
posted by Artw at 11:09 PM on June 6, 2010


I'm sad to hear that Del Toro is no longer attached to The Hobbit. I thought he was a genius choice to make the films if Jackson wasn't going to take the helm. His sense of realistic fantasia is spot on for such a project. I understand his frustration and choice to back out -- the process has dragged on far too long and is being impeded by business interests rather than artistic need.

This leaves the question of who actually will direct The Hobbit open and unanswerable for now.

If Del Toro were to make a Lovecraft film, I'd be first in line to see it. I don't go to the theater often for films, but would love to let GDT run my brain through a cthuliod sieve. He could probably do justice to the material.
posted by hippybear at 11:21 PM on June 6, 2010


As perverse as it may seem, I'd really like to a Del Toro version of a comic book movie, although one of the less over-saturated comics like DC's Deadman or The Demon, both of which I think would lend themselves well to his unique vision. Also being less well known than most other comics there really isn't a huge fan base to have to placate, which seems sometimes to have much more of an influence on these types of movies than the film makers may want to admit.
posted by motown missile at 11:22 PM on June 6, 2010


"...really like to see a Del Toro version...". Jesus.
posted by motown missile at 11:22 PM on June 6, 2010


They'd best stop fooling around. McKellen isn't getting any younger.

McKellen's attached, right? Please?
posted by adipocere at 11:24 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


McKellen's attached, right? Please?

If can James McAvoy can replace Patrick Stewart then logically Gandalf in The Hobbit should be played by the dude from Superbad.
posted by Artw at 11:29 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


YespleasegodAtTheMountainsOfMadness!
posted by New England Cultist at 12:30 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a Tarvuist I must protest at the popular media's ongoing portrayal of the holy octopus Oobu as some kind of interdimensional monster. Yes, he lies dreaming - of sharing his tasty ink and shrimps with you and offering a comprehensive curriculum of swimming lessons.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:47 AM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow. Theonering.net is still going strong. I remember stumbling upon it when it opened up, greedily sucking from it all the news I could get of the upcoming LotR movies. Passionate, passionate fans.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:48 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


As perverse as it may seem, I'd really like to a Del Toro version of a comic book movie

He's done two: Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

I'd like to see him produce a series for HBO or Showtime of Garth Ennis's Preacher.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:50 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Only semi-related: Fear of a black hobbit, in which the author dredges Stormfront's subforum on fantasy literature to discover that white supremacists love Tolkien's works.
posted by Harald74 at 2:10 AM on June 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


The waiting... the waiting for Moutains of Madness.... it's driving me insane! THE STARS MUST FINALLY BE RIGHT! ftagn! ftagn!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:08 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sweet, I really enjoyed the Hellboy movies, the first of which had some pretty Lovecraftian themes/villains. Would love to see what Del Torro could do with an actual Lovecraft story. In fact as much as I enjoyed the LOTR films I think I'd rather see him make ATMOM than The Hobbit.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:10 AM on June 7, 2010


Only semi-related: Fear of a black hobbit, in which the author dredges Stormfront's subforum on fantasy literature to discover that white supremacists love Tolkien's works.

Ok my brain just sploded... that's both hilarious and horrifying.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:18 AM on June 7, 2010


I've recorded a number of Lovecraft audiobooks and worry about trying to visualize some of these works. The prose is so much a part of the horror... Without that cadence and vocabulary wouldn't we just wind up with a generic creepy dark skulkfest? There's only so much cutting-away just before getting a good look at a scene that one can stand.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:37 AM on June 7, 2010


You'd think after all these years, AICN would have fired Perez Hilton's web designer....
posted by schmod at 5:31 AM on June 7, 2010


The prose is so much a part of the horror

I know it often horrifies me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:33 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


adipocere: McKellen's attached, right? Please?

Artw: If can James McAvoy can replace Patrick Stewart then logically Gandalf in The Hobbit should be played by the dude from Superbad.


That's disgusting. I couldn't care less for the X-Men bit, but mentioning Superbad and The Hobbit, or even Gandalf for that matter, in the same sentence is inexcusable. Now, seriously, what about Simon Pegg?? Or Meatloaf
posted by zombieApoc at 5:42 AM on June 7, 2010


I'd really prefer it if Del Toro did some new, original works rather than any sort of adaptation. The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth may not be perfect, but they're good, and they feel like very personal movies. I can't imagine doing something like The Hobbit, which would always be in the shadow of the Lord of the Rings movies, would garner him that much personal satisfaction as an artist. He's a gifted enough creator that he can tell his own stories, and should be doing just that.
posted by picea at 5:48 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can´t he do a combination? The Hobbit at the Mountains of Madness? And for God´s sake, get Gilbert Gottfried to play Smeagul.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:21 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


going forwards with his adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness

Oh please, oh please, oh please...I've been waiting for this for like 5 years now.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:32 AM on June 7, 2010


I'm sad about Del Toro leaving The Hobbit too. Roger Ebert made the interesting observation that the announcement he was off the project came just a week after he stated publicly that he wouldn't film it in 3-D.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:33 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope this thing never gets made. The Hobbit is so different in tone from LotR - it will need to be wrenched so far from what it is in order to turn it into the movie that will return the investment and make the new billion dollars - it might as well be a different story.

I adored Jackson's movies - but they still totally botched some pretty vital things. How will they (or someone else!) do when being forced to alter the structure and tone from the outset, while also incorporating enough foofaraw from Silmarillion and whatever to pad out two full movies?

Many scenes in the Hobbit work great in the fairy-tale style book, but aren't going to translate into the dark war epic that the movie will be. The wine barrel? The riddles? Tricking the trolls? When they replace these things with appropriately ACTIONY beats the end product is going to be a mess.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:54 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've recorded a number of Lovecraft audiobooks and worry about trying to visualize some of these works. The prose is so much a part of the horror... Without that cadence and vocabulary wouldn't we just wind up with a generic creepy dark skulkfest? There's only so much cutting-away just before getting a good look at a scene that one can stand.

They'll be fine as long as they are sufficiently chthonic, eldritch, cyclopean, rugose, squamous and gibbous
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:06 AM on June 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd love to see the Preacher too, BitterOldPunk. And I'd love to see the Del Toro version of At the Mountains of Madness, which is the kind of creepy atmospheric thing I believe he would do well. I think the environments Del Toro would create would be suitable cyclopean and non-euclidean to reduce the average viewer to a gibbering [noun].
posted by Mister_A at 7:15 AM on June 7, 2010


To hell with at the mountain of madness. Love the Toro but the movie is going to be all snow snow snow. What we really need is a sprawling epic trilogy based on The Call of Cthulhu. Flesh out all the expeditions that are only barely mentioned. Build some serious dread before hitting us with the big Door. ZOMG the door y'all. There be squids beyond.
posted by Smegoid at 7:19 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


NEEDS MOER UNKNOWN KADATH.
posted by GuyZero at 7:32 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I couldn't be happier. I love Del Toro, and the idea of him being stuck in the Jackson/Tolkien universe made me very sad. He's a much better fit for AtMoM, even if I wanted to adapt that, someday.
posted by brundlefly at 7:44 AM on June 7, 2010


Which is incredibly unlikely, I realize.
posted by brundlefly at 7:44 AM on June 7, 2010


I love Tolkien, but it certainly doesn't surprise me in the least that white supremacists love him too. I mean, there's so much in there about the dilution of noble blood (and a little hint of that makes it into the movies-- recall Elrond's line about how the 'blood of Numenor is all but spent'); the evil men tend to be from the south (where the stars are different); the orcs are swarthy, the keen eyes of the good characters are grey, all that whitebread nonsense. Upon my first adult re-reading of the LOTR series I was actually kind of shocked to see all of that in there.

I agree with the poster above that opined that the movies were good despite crucial deviations from the books. If they must deviate from the books, maybe a bit of correction for the patriarchal and white-oriented revisionist fantasy would be in order.

Also, I did see a rumor that Alfonso Cuaron has been approached for the directing; I think this would be a great idea, if only for the fact that his Harry Potter film is the only one that is even watchable.
posted by norm at 7:52 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see him produce a series for HBO or Showtime of Garth Ennis's Preacher.

ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:42 AM on June 7, 2010


Salon dot com had a recent piece about who would possibly replace Del Toro.

Definitely tongue in cheek (to the point of lame in some cases) but it got me thinking about a name that's not on the list: Terry Gilliam. I know it could never happen and probably wouldn't work, but there would be that those magical few ideas he would give us that I wish I could see.

Which is pretty much what I would have been expecting from a Del Toro hobbit, as well.
posted by Trochanter at 8:44 AM on June 7, 2010


I'm gonna get a tattoo: Born to Not Proofread.
posted by Trochanter at 8:45 AM on June 7, 2010


Del Toro should do Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville, or better still, all three of the Bas-lag series.
posted by dhruva at 8:59 AM on June 7, 2010


Why you should be happy Del Toro left The Hobbit
posted by homunculus at 9:09 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


As perverse as it may seem, I'd really like to a Del Toro version of a comic book movie

He's done two: Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.


Make it three. GDT also directed the admittedly forgettable Blade II.

Although I would've loved to see what del Toro could've done with Tolkien's mythology, I'd really like to see Cuaron get a crack at it too.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:12 AM on June 7, 2010


I'm still hoping for a Disney version of Unknown Kadath. C'mon, it's perfect; a young man on a quest, exotic locales, action sequences, talking cats, and even a couple of wacky sidekick ghouls! Visual style sort of like "Atlantis", but, you know, not sucking quite so badly, pls.
posted by The otter lady at 9:22 AM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heh. Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame) was of course the production designer on Atlantis, and it's very much in his style.
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blade II was forgettable, but it's no Blade 3.
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on June 7, 2010


Patrick Duffy was awesome in that.
posted by Mister_A at 9:49 AM on June 7, 2010


They'll be fine as long as they are sufficiently chthonic, eldritch, cyclopean, rugose, squamous and gibbous

One of S.T. Joshi's Annotated Lovecraft collections taught me that cyclopean is a specific kind of stonework. Lovecraft wasn't just throwing in another word with monstrous connotations.
posted by Zed at 9:51 AM on June 7, 2010


Not all the time, anyway; it's arguable that some of his uses were meant to connote that particular kind of stonework, but he also used it to just mean "huge." I only mention this because I've just been re-reading him, and he described some monster or other (probably Cthulhu) as "cyclopean."
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:38 AM on June 7, 2010


In the specific use Joshi noted, it was explicitly referring to the stonework (it was describing a stone wall in "The Call of Cthulhu", if I recall correctly.) But it's really easy to believe HPL didn't limit himself to that usage, and I shouldn't have implied that was the only way he used it.
posted by Zed at 10:45 AM on June 7, 2010


Lovecraft just described stonework a lot. It's one of his things.
posted by Artw at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2010


stonedwork, amirite?
posted by GuyZero at 10:57 AM on June 7, 2010


I heard they already cast Vin Diesel to play the lead in ATMOM.

VIN: Kiss my Euclidean ass, you cyclopean horrors!
posted by Mister_A at 11:01 AM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Will Smith: "Shoggoth? Aw, hell no!"
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


"You want unspeakable horrors? Have you heard my new album?"
posted by GuyZero at 11:20 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It could be just like The Gate!
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


all that whitebread nonsense. Upon my first adult re-reading of the LOTR series I was actually kind of shocked to see all of that in there.

Given that Tolkien was explicitly trying to create a mythology for Britain, which you may have noticed is historically a bit on the pale side, I'm not really sure why this is shocking exactly.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:51 AM on June 7, 2010


Well, the orcs, at least, were decidedly less than pale, and a lot of folks have written angry essays that infer from this that Tolkien was a racist. I think that's going a bit far, but there does seem to be a current of "Jolly old England sure was a bit more pleasant before we had to worry about the underclasses" running through his work.

To my mind the best criticism of Tolkien's class issues (I don't think he was an outright racist) is Michael Moorcock's "Epic Pooh," which I think hits the nail on the head, although I don't agree with his take on Lovecraft (or Richard Adams, for that matter).
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:05 PM on June 7, 2010


Terry Gilliam

Oh, god no. I love me some Terry Gilliam as much as the next person, but given his track record with getting movies completed, him attempting The Hobbit may leave nothing but a smoking crater in the universe where Hollywood used to be.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:54 PM on June 7, 2010


I'll argue that the LOTR movies are good because they deviated from the books, which have long episodes of the story told over endless bowls of pipeweed.

Why you should be happy Del Toro left The Hobbit

A classic example of letting comic fanboyism get in the way of good movie criticism. I love Mignola but his art and his particular approach to narrative doesn't translate well to film. (See some of the animated comics that come with the animated Hellboys for example.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:22 PM on June 7, 2010


One of S.T. Joshi's Annotated Lovecraft collections taught me that cyclopean is a specific kind of stonework.

Monsters can be stonework!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:31 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Amazing Screw On Head was great!
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll argue that the LOTR movies are good because they deviated from the books

I think in that regard they were, at best, a wash. They absolutely streamlined some characters and their motivations, and tightened some structural things that needed tightening, and cut away a fair amount of garbage. But they also utterly botched (or neglected entirely!) a few scenes that gave a narrative resonance and character resolution to the whole damned thing - Sam wearing the ring and the scouring of the Shire, most egregiously.

They did those movies better than I could have hoped for, but they were not without dumb mistakes and hugely missed points.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:48 PM on June 7, 2010


Alan Moore's H.P. Lovecraft-inspired comic series Neonomicon is set to debut later this year, but series artist Jacen Burrows recently dropped some knowledge on the cyclopean horror that readers can expect.

...well, that first picture clearly has some big stone blocks in it.
posted by Artw at 11:39 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Unspeakable Oath returns!</
posted by Artw at 12:05 AM on June 8, 2010


5 Directors Take on The Hobbit (and Fail)
posted by Artw at 8:24 PM on June 10, 2010


Sir Ian Tweets us a Hobbit update.
posted by homunculus at 8:17 AM on June 13, 2010


The Hobbit Now Has Built Sets, But Still No Director
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on June 17, 2010


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