Del Toro Talks ‘Hobbit’, ‘Frankenstein’ Tests [UPDATED!]
Posted by Brian on 06/10/2009
Update: Del Toro confirmed that Andy Serkis, Ian McKellan, and Hugo Weaving would return in the roles they originated. When asked about the supposed bridge film, Del Toro said the plan was to make just two films, between adapting the novel and subplot material. “There is a whole other chapter, so to speak, which is the comings and going of Gandalf which are dealt with, people that know the lore know that Gandalf was delayed with a crisis… with a character that is very shady called the Necromancer that proves to be Sauron.” [LISTEN TO INTERVIEW (Del Toro comes in at 1hr 47min)]
Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson share more than a few things in common. But whereas it was Jackson’s lifelong dream to direct King Kong, it is Del Toro’s dream to resurrect Mary Shelley’s timeless monster, Frankenstein. “Frankenstein is my lifelong dream, one of the primal books in my life, one of the primal monsters in my own mythology,” he said. “I’m hoping I get to do that [movie] very, very much.”
Speaking with Radio 5 Live’s Simon Mayo, Del Toro confirmed that Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) will take the role of Victor Frankenstein’s monster in his remake of the original story. “We’re doing make-up tests for the monster. In a few weeks we’re going to shoot a test for the monster.” Del Toro is in no rush to make the film, which is definitely a good sign. “I’m not in a hurry. I want to test it, develop it perfectly. If I shoot it five years from now, six years from now, it’s fine by me. You have one shot in your lifetime at these things and I don’t want to do it the wrong way.” Might we finally see the definitive Frankenstein tale? If anyone understands monsters better than Del Toro, please let me know.
In terms of the huge pressure of following up Jackson’s billion dollar, award-winning franchise Del Toro says he feels no pressure. “If I live the experience like that I would go insane. I don’t know if there’s a compartment in my brain that just doesn’t register those things. I feel an enormous responsibility but not to the results, either by Oscars or box office. I have an enormous responsibility to a book I adore and to a legacy of a world. Creatively I feel very responsible and very daunted, but honoured, doing this.” Del Toro and Jackson seem perfect together. Two geeks in Heaven with all the toys at their disposal.
Guillermo Del Toro is currently in heavy pre-production on the two Hobbit films which, if kept on schedule, will appear Christmas 2011 and 2012. Last week, he told MTV he was “very close” to announcing the cast, including the film’s main character Bilbo Baggins.