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EXCL: Del Toro on Hellboy II and The Hobbit

Source: Edward Douglas
April 21, 2008

Clearly, one of the most memorable highlights of this year's New York Comic-Con was Universal's presentation for Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army, where Guillermo, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and a good portion of the film's cast--Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Luke Goss--showed up to present a new extended trailer for the movie that shows a lot more of Hellboy's fights with Prince Nuada, his henchman Mr. Wink and the Golden Army. When the lights came up after the trailer was shown, the panelists were surrounded by nine of the wild and amazing creatures from the film's Troll Market scene including Mr. Wink himself, some of which you can see in our New York Comic-Con Gallery.

ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! had a chance to talk with Guillermo a little before the panel about how progress was going on the second "Hellboy" movie, the prospects of making a potentially bigger third movie as well as where he was at with The Hobbit. Even though there are still a few legal issues to work out, which he thinks will allow an announcement in as little as four or five days, Del Toro is not taking challenges of making The Hobbit lightly, since the two movies that would act as prequels to Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype!: What we've seen so far has looked amazing. What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in terms of getting what we saw on set last year to your original vision and what we've seen in the trailers?
Guillermo del Toro: I think time, unfortunately. Technically, we have the resources… money and time, because realize that we were very fiscally responsible with the budget, but also the movie got moved a month up from August to July, so that's a huge challenge.

CS/SHH!: So how far along are you on getting the movie done?
GDT: We're 50% into the effects. We have to deliver approximately 600 FX completed before the movie opens and we have delivered around 400 or something. I'm confident we will.

CS/SHH!: I've spoken to a few directors, and we've spoken about this, but one of the problems even when you have a bigger budget, the vision always gets bigger, so does that pose a problem?
GDT: We're like the girl who thinks she's thin and trying the tightest pants possible, and the spillover always occurs.

CS/SHH!: If you have a chance to do a third "Hellboy" movie, do you expect you'd have to have an even bigger budget to do it?
GDT: The third movie involves the end of the world, so I suspect it would be bigger.

CS/SHH!: Of course, there's been a lot of talk about "The Hobbit" lately, but you have so many projects on the slate either in development or attached to. Are you ready to get involved something like that which is so big and time-consuming? Do you have other directors you want to line up to make these other movies?
GDT: Yeah, well I'm very conscious that doing "The Hobbit" demands four plus years of my life where I will not do anything else as a director, and as far as producing is concerned, I think we have a good year and a half of pre-production, so I can always be available but concentrating on "The Hobbit."

CS/SHH!: Do you think you'd get involved with Peter on the writing of that?
GDT: We are still talking about how to go, but I will be involved with the writing, yes.

CS/SHH!: What's the most daunting thing with taking on a project of that size besides the time involved?
GDT: There's the scope, and the learning curve, because the amount of things I've gotta learn. I fell in love with "The Hobbit" but I'm marrying an entire mythology. It's like meeting the family of a girl you're going to marry… you get them all, and I fell in love with "The Hobbit" and now I'm familiarizing myself with not only the trilogy--the trilogy I only finally read--but every single thing I can read that Tolkien generated about Middle Earth or about him I'm reading, and in terms of the visuals. In order for the two movies to seamlessly involve into the trilogy, I have to literally put myself through the biggest "making of" ever assembled. I'm going to watch all the dailies of "Fellowship" and I'm going to watch most of the dailies of "The Return of the King." I'll watch as much material as I possibly can take, the camera reports... everything. By the end of the second ("Hobbit") movie, you have to be able to have evolved towards "The Lord of the Rings" and feel that it's a complete continuation.

CS/SHH!: Do you think you'll ever be able to go back to doing something like "The Devil's Backbone"?
GDT: Yeah, I'm writing one, but every time I say something, people think it's the next project, so I don't want to confuse anyone.

CS/SHH!: But do you think you'd be able to go back and do a smaller movie like that again?
GDT: Not only do I think so. I must do so. I have to do it. The fact that I'm doing two big movies in a row, or in this case three, I'm going to come out of there not wanting to do something big. I'm going to want to do something small and crazy.

(As we'd find out at the panel later that "small and crazy" thing might be his exploration of childhood and horror which he's been working on for a few years, something called "Saturn and the End of Days," about a young boy named "Saturn" watching the Rapture and Apocalypse on the way back and forth to the grocery store. Essentially, he wants to explore how the end of the world might be viewed while someone is just going about your everyday life doing errands. "Nothing big happens except the entire world is being swallowed in a vortex of fire," Del Toro told the rapt audience of his fans at the panel. "It's a small movie, but I assure you that one I am just doing that I know that if everything fails and everything goes wrong that I'll be doing a small movie that I fully control and that no one else will do for sure.")

Hellboy II: The Golden Army opens on July 11 and look for more of our interviews with the movie's cast in the next few days.




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