Guillermo del Toro definitely has a signature aesthetic in his work; we can absolutely connect the artistic elements between Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy. It would’ve been interesting to see what he had come up with for The Hobbit before he handed the director’s hat over to Peter Jackson. Especially since he’d spent 18 months designing the world in his style. 18 months! That’s quite a long time to dedicate to a project only to hand it over to someone else.
So, of course, knowing that del Toro and Jackson both have very different styles, the question is how much of del Toro’s work will be present in the final films.
io9 asked Jackson this question, and this is what he had to say:
[Guillermo] had designed a lot of the movie . . . I looked at his designs when he took over and a lot of his designs are very Guillermo . . . it was very much stuff that you would recognize from Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy. It was his artistic vision and I couldn’t make that movie. I looked at his designs and I said the only person who can make a Guillermo Del Toro movie is Guillermo. It shouldn’t be me. I can’t put my head into somebody else’s idea — I have to generate it from the beginning. So really I redesigned the film pretty much. Some of Guillermo’s DNA is in there — there were some things he did that I thought were pretty cool and I’ve taken bits of pieces of his stuff — kind of altering it and changing it as I saw it. But the film was largely redesigned.
I totally understand where he’s coming from. It’s hard to work on something so prominent and so pivotal to a career and know it’s not your own work. As much as it sucks to have to scrap as much as they did, I appreciate the commitment to artistic integrity that was the foundation of this decision. In any case, it’s neat that we’ll have that consistency between all the Lord of the Rings films (unlike with Harry Potter).
What do you guys think?