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Reader Poll – How do you feel about Guillermo del Toro directing The Hobbit?

There was a veritable feast for geek senses on the ‘net tubes today. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more: a preview of the new Wolverine and The X-Men cartoon set to the sweet, rockin’ chords of the Foo Fighters, or the new red band trailer for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, featuring Kristen Bell simulating enthusiastic, gymnastic sex.

Ha, ha, just kidding. You know which one I enjoyed more. Four or five times. Right before I took a cold, cold shower.

(By the way, if that Wolverine cartoon is appropriate for children ages six-to-twelve–as the site would have you believe–then Viagra is the perfect choice for treating arthritis in 98-year-old dudes with heart conditions.)

Speaking of geeky treats for the senses (now that’s a transition, folks!), last week the internets pulsed with rumors that geek icon Guillermo del Toro will be directing the two-film adaption of The Hobbit. He reminded us over the weekend that negotiations haven’t concluded, but his gig at the helm of this super-prequel looks like a lock.

You know del Toro. He’s the dude who brought you the Hellboy movies, Pan’s Labyrinth, Mimic (a.k.a., Mira Sorvino’s last attempt at a career before the coffin-nailer of The Replacement Killers), and Blade II. Not to mention a couple of Spanish-language spookers, The Devil’s Backbone and The Orphanage (as producer). Basically, if you’re looking for a high-grade, creature-driven fantasy flick, he’s your man.

Makes him sound like a perfect fit for the Hobbit project, doesn’t it? I’m not so sure.

The biggest budget he’s ever had for a film, as far as I can tell, was $66 million for the first Hellboy. For the visionary Pan’s Labyrinth, he spent a mere $19 million. He excels at creating films rich with story and visuals with relatively small budgets. In fact, smaller budgets seem to squeeze the creativity out of him. Is anyone else just a little concerned that the outlandish budget that will undoubtedly accompany the Hobbit films will stifle his creativity?

Meanwhile, his movies tend toward the horror-fantasy genre. His trademark work features imaginatively creepy creatures. While the Tolkien books certainly include spooky or e-e-e-e-ville beasts and beings, the stories as a whole aren’t really meant to be scary. They’re the purist form of epic fantasy adventures. Which brings me to a final point: del Toro doesn’t really do epic.

Listen. I’m a fan of the man (can’t wait for Hellboy 2!) and hope that The Hobbit provides the platform he needs to take his craft to the next level. Nothing would make me happier. (Except a viewing of Kristen Bell simulating enthusiastic, gymnastic sex on the big screen.) But for now I’m taking a wait-and-see approach. No premature giddy celebration from this fanboy.

What say you?

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6 comments… add one
  • lattegirl February 5, 2008, 9:52 am

    Did he direct Hellboy? If so, he has my vote.

  • Nathan D February 5, 2008, 10:15 am

    The chances that this isn’t a lame attempt to simply cash-in on the greatness of LOTR, that it actually does justice to what for me was my first “great” book experience, and that it truly justifies two entire movies seem slim at best.

  • nickolai February 5, 2008, 10:21 am

    Valid concerns, but then, Peter Jackson’s special effects credentials pre-LOTR consisted of The Frighteners, the Michael J Fox “vehicle.”

    Guillermo’s resume to date is much more impressive than PJ’s was. I think he’ll kick Hobbit ass.

  • Cindi February 5, 2008, 11:57 pm

    I’m sorry. I watched the preview of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Where was the “enthusiastic, gymnastic sex”? I didn’t see it.

    (Amateurs.)

  • GeekMom February 8, 2008, 1:35 pm

    Ok, I guess I’m lame, because I’ve never seen any of those scary movies. However, I have seen the LOTR movies many times, and I love them. Whoever directs The Hobbit, I hope it’s as good as the LOTR movies. :-)

  • lattegirl February 9, 2008, 3:28 am

    I changed my mind. (I wish.) TARANTINO.

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