What’s better than a second breakfast? For fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium, it’s the thought of two separate “Hobbit” films, the first of which comes our way in 2011.
But what could be even better still than two “Hobbit” films? How about just one? Make that one movie in two parts, director Guillermo del Toro insisted in an exclusive interview with MTV News, refusing, like Tolkien himself before him, to fractionalize his overall story into component parts.
“The reality is that we stopped talking the first movie and second movie, and we just started taking about the movie - the two episodes, or two parts, as if they were a single piece of narrative,” he said of scriptwriting meetings between “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson, his filmmaking team of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and del Toro himself.
“We don't even call it the bridge movie, we just call it ‘The Movie.’ And this is great. When we found what reverberated, and we found it in one of our virtual meetings - we understood. It's a movie.”
Intended or not, the methodology ties in nicely with the material, since Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” story, popularized in three separate volumes, was similarly intended to be one large, single volume work.
Practically, the division (or lack thereof) means little in so far as solving the narrative riddles of the second episode. (What will the second episode contain? What characters will return, etc?) Well, except for the very end that is, which will lead right into “The Fellowship of the Ring,” del Toro revealed.
“We all agree that if we do our job right, it should all feel like a continuous journey. That's what we're striving for,” Del Toro said. “You should see a movie that's five pictures long. If we do our job right, you put in ‘The Hobbit’ and you wind up watching the entire Pentology!”
And let me be the (second) to say: That would be one heck of a long day.
“But it's a good day!” Del Toro laughed with my colleague Josh Horowitz. “Better than paying taxes!”
As for the end of the first episode, the movie everyone assumed will follow the events of the novel fairly accurately? Where in the text will it finish?
“We are finding out,” GDT quipped. “I think Smaug dies in the first movie. So draw your own conclusions.”
Think GDT has it all figured out? Where would you end the first film to ensure the greatest narrative impact and most facile bridge to Film Two? The end of the book? Before the Battle of Five Armies? Somewhere else? And could you ever REALLY see yourself watching all five films in one day? Sound off on all your thoughts below.