Jackson, del Toro, and “The Hobbit”

This is actually news to me this morning that “Pan’s Labyrinth’s” (possibly one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years) director Guillermo del Toro will be moving to New Zealand to collaborate with Peter Jackson (the direct of the very well done “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) to make another Tolkien story come to life on the big screen, that, of course, being “The Hobbit.” 

Now at first this sounds very great and awesome.  I believe that both Jackson and del Toro have done exemplary jobs at demonstrating their talents in the realms of film craft and I do not doubt that they are both more than capable of making a great movie together.  But then I stumbled upon this article on Salon.com this morning which makes me have to reconsider a bit.  Favorite quote from this article ;

At least on the surface, it’s a natural fit, and I hope my premonition is wrong. But this whole project smells to me of hubris, and indeed of something worse: It smells of George Lucas.”

Why do I like this quote so much (and likewise why does this cause me concern?)  Probably because I don’t really care for George Lucas all that much.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love all the “Star Wars” movies and pretty much anything that goes along with them.  I also quite enjoy “THX 1138.”  But all around I don’t think that George Lucas is that good a writer or director, and that above all he just wants to roll in the bucks (which isn’t really a bad thing in and of itself — we all want to roll in the bucks to some degree — I just think Lucas has done so somewhat shamelessly).

So will the Jackson/del Toro “The Hobbit” project follow suite, compromising quality in return for some green?  Well, let’s put it like this.  Because of the success and popularity of both these individuals at the present, the movie will make money regardless of its quality.  Not only will it make money, it will (and I am willing to make a wager on this statement) make a shit load of money.  I see this as inevitable.  My hope is that they don’t let the prospects of hefty paychecks compromise the artistic talent that they are both capable of to make a potentially awesome film.  Further I hope the egos of the two of them don’t collide and create a huge disaster. 

Does “The Hobbit” have potential to be great?  Definitely! Should we, avid movie fans, be a bit concerned?  I would say it is wise.  Jackson and del Toro are both very able to do some amazing work but that does not mean that we should blindly assume that a collaboration between the two of them will be such.  We need to keep critical, praise them where it is deserved, and let them know if they fuck shit up.

~ by Nathaniel on April 28, 2008.

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