Guillermo del Toro Los Angeles (E! Online) – The two movies based on the Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, may be a long ways off—hang on until 2011 and 2012, nerds!—but they’re pretty much all Mexican director Guillermo del Toro gets to talk about these days. Sure, he’s out promoting this summer’s comic book flick Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but, like, what’s up with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf and that dragon?

We got the big scoop from del Toro himself at the Saturn Awards, where he received a lifetime achievement award. Here’s what he told us about The Hobbit’s casting, creatures and story:

First of all, expect some crazy new creatures. If you’ve seen Hellboy or his epic Pan’s Labyrinth, you know del Toro would go beyond Orcs and talking trees. He promises to respect J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s creations, but sees many more new ones. “I plan to bring myself to The Hobbit,” he said. “No doubt about that.” Hobbit Director del Toro Talks Cast, Creatures