The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, April 25, 2008

Guillermo Del Toro is directing "The Hobbit"

Now this is excellent, excellent news. Rewatched "Lord of the Rings" this week, and am even more convinced it is one of the high-marks in the history world cinema. And I'm not a "Rings" fan, and I resent the all-white cast with the only dark skin belonging to evildoers. So you know I MUST be impressed.

Interesting background. Robert Shaye at New Line brought in Peter Jackson to do "Rings" and then apparently used the standard wonky bookkeeping to deny him some of the profits. Jackson protested, and Shaye tried to embarass him publicly. Then Shaye made a mistake: he tried to prove he didn't need Jackson to make a smash, and made "Golden Compass" which tanked domestically. That and other mistakes led to the death of New Line as an independent entity. Now, then...New Line clears the legal rights for "Hobbit" with the Tolkien estate, and lures Jackson back to the fold--as executive producer. Shortly after this, Shaye leaves New Line.

My guess? Jackson said: "sure, I'll save your asses. The price is that you can Shaye. I'll never work with that bastard again." And they gave Shaye the boot, while letting him save face by leaving a few weeks later for unspecified reasons.

God, I love intrigue. Anyway, "Hobbit" will be two films. The first will tell the story of Bilbo, and the second will bridge the time between the Hobbit and "Fellowship of the Ring." I cannot wait.


Anonymous said...

That sounds great Steve. I thought the Rings films were great as well.

On the subject of your irritation with the lack of "other than white" characters...the story DID take place in an old (mythical) England. Not a lot of black folk around I would guess. Having black characters in ancient England (other than mercenaries from other countries) would be as silly as the whole Tarzan concept in Africa.


Brother OMi said...

It's funny, i predicted the part about Del Toro who killed it with Pan's Labyrinth. he was the best choice after Jackson.

i did not see the second part coming..