Guillermo Del Toro was recently in New York City as part of the New Yorker Festival and our good pal Anthony Moody from Indalo Productions caught up with him to talk all things Hobbit! In this first part of the interview GDT talks about his writing duties with PJ, Tom Bombadil and the possibility of a THIRD Hobbit movie(?!). Stay tuned for the second part of this interview next week! More follow later next week as well!

Transcription for by Elven – Deleece C

Anthony: Great! This is Anthony Moody interviewing Guillermo del Toro for the

Guillermo: Great view!

Anthony: Fantastic view! We’re in the Penthouse Suite at the Royalton Hotel and ah ..

Guillermo: The Chrysler Building

Anthony: [continued] The Chrysler Building and Rock Centre …

Guillermo: … Quetzaqoatl (The Movie) ..

Anthony: That’s right, Quetzaqoatl – exactly – that’s colossal – exactly – I love it. So last we heard, the writing process had officially started ..

Guillermo: Yes!

Anthony: And if I may quote you, you said “It keeps transforming and changing and it is the most beautiful writing experience of my life, I’m enjoying it tremendously.”

Guillermo: Yeah!

Anthony: What’s the latest?

Guillermo: That’s the whole truth!

Anthony: [laughs] Well that’s good!

Guillermo: Well right now, I’m travelling to New Zealand next week. We have laid out a full set of cards – 3 x 5’s – and there is I think a good template for what we’re tracking in the two movies. You know, there’s a lot of stuff obviously [smile in his voice] that I could but I shouldn’t talk about – [Anthony laughs “of course”] I apologize for having to be coy about this thing. Normally, I am just completely absolutely open about the process. But, I think The Hobbit is a movie where, or movies, that where you have to be cautious – and I think that what we can reveal – (that) that’s the layout. Peter – we’re working on both fronts, they’re working on some of the load, I’m working on some of the load of the writing, and we’re going to meet there, and we’re going to come out with a much bigger document than what we have now. Our hopes are still that in the next six seven months we can have enough of our structured draft that we can then go on and budget..

Anthony: And so, in six or seven months, a Film One or both Films?

Guillermo: Well no, the idea is to essentially if we can, to just treat it like – because they’re going to be shot back to back – to treat it like a single project.

Anthony: I see. And, I understand if you can’t say it, but I’ll ask – Do you have a sense currently where the first film will end and where the second film will begin and time lines? – That’s essentially decided?

Guillermo: The answer is ‘yes’ – and that’s about it. [Laughs]

Anthony: [laughs] Fair Enough.

Guillermo: I think that some of the stuff that you can affirm at this stage, if it changes [exclamation] it’s tragic that you already said something else. As I said in the other interview, it is changing all the time [Anthony: “sure”] and the more we discover about this, the more it transforms – but the greatest thing for me is that; at inception I was really – I was in a position that was completely open at it being one film or it being two films. I was not dogmatic about that. Now I know that it feels perfectly legitimate, and for me right now, that it is two films, and the way they integrate feels perfectly legitimate. If it didn’t, as I said in past interviews, I would have said so. And I feel right now that’s the great revelation – That this thing is told in a beautiful way and really seems to be – umm – seems to grow into the existing trilogy in a great way.

Anthony: And speaking of trilogies, has there been a point in the process so far where you’ve had even an inkling that maybe in fact that there are three films in here? ..

Guillermo: No..

Anthony: [continued] .. and is that a remote possibility?

Guillermo: No. No, I don’t believe it even on the remote horizon. Because, this, the whole time we .. the first thing we agreed upon – all of us – was that we were doing this, if and only if, the narrative that we felt was either implicit or explicit in The Hobbit – meaning you can find events that are omitted or are implicit in The Hobbit that you can flesh out, or you can you can refer to the appendices, or you can refer to ulterior sources and find out what’s happening in them. But we said if the narrative does not demand two, much less three films, then you know it’s not a real chance.

Anthony: So be it.

Guillermo: So be it. No it’s two films.

Anthony: And speaking of the narrative demanding things, much was made in the original adaptation of The Lord of the Rings films, certain exclusions that were done in the name of narrative and dramatic…

Guillermo: … Tom Bombadil … [laughs]

Anthony: [continued] Tom Bombadil, The Scouring of The Shire – were probably the two that everybody sort of most on the top of people’s minds. I’m guessing you’re not able or prepared, and you probably don’t even know yet, but if there are any sort of ‘cuts’, for lack of a better word, that are probably going to left on the floor – in terms of the narrative?

Guillermo: I think that for the bulk of the work we do which is: ‘adapting’ and obviously ‘adapting’ means that you’re going to repurpose and refurnish essentially something existing; you know you’re going to have to move the furniture. You’re going to have to say that this goes, this doesn’t go. It is inevitable that you need to. But, if you come to it from either your own knowledge of the source, or your own instinct of the source and in this case, between the four of us, I think we have it – you know, both, I think that it will feel organic. It will feel organic and it will feel respectful and it will feel coherent. And I think that whatever omissions there are as a fan of the ‘book’ because – and I underline ‘The Book’ because that’s where I’m coming from – I was not coming to this project as a scholar of Tolkien, or I didn’t know all of his works. I come as a guy who read The Hobbit at eleven, and didn’t read anything else he wrote except interviews and theory, because I really always loved his theory of fantasy and how to write. I was always a big fan of that. But I didn’t read the Trilogy until last year – you know. Because as a kid, I never got into it, and I’m saying, whatever is left out I feel will be minor because I’m so voracious about The Hobbit. You know, as a fat man, voracity is a salient defect or an inevitable virtue – one or the other [Anthony laughs – Guillermo coughs] and I’m so hungry to put, to cram as much as I can of what it is The Hobbit, as I can.