July 1, 2008

Flying Role for Mexican Director

IT WILL be a case of There and Back Again for Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro, who plans to commute every two weeks between New Zealand and Los Angeles.

The Mexican director, best known for Hellboy and the Oscar- winning Pan's Labyrinth, is working with Hobbit executive producer Peter Jackson and his Wellington Wingnut and Weta production teams on the four-year, two-film project.

Del Toro said work on the adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit and a sequel was in the very early stages. Pre-production work would start in late July.

"We have had a chat where we sketch out what we think of the two movies, but there's no writing. There is note taking. There is breaking down the novel."

In an interview published on hollywood.com, del Toro said he would commute between Los Angeles and New Zealand.

"I open the conceptualisation shop in August. I travel to Weta to start doing some more research and development and I'm going to be going to New Zealand every two weeks or so."

Del Toro said no actors had yet been cast for The Hobbit despite media speculation that Atonement star James McAvoy could play Bilbo Baggins and rumours that Lord of the Rings actors Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis had signed up for the movie.

"We have not locked into a name because we cannot lock into a name until we write the screenplay. It's not about viable, it's not about box office . . . we'll cast whoever seems to fit the pages."


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