Rings Stars Sign up for Hobbit
Lord of the Rings stars Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis have signed up for The Hobbit and could soon be back in Wellington, according to director Guillermo del Toro.
On the Tolkein fan website www.theonering.net, del Toro said he had “the most charming meeting” with Sir Ian, who played Gandalf the wizard in the Rings trilogy.
“All bureaucracy pending, he’s on board, as is Andy Serkis (Gollum).”
Sir Ian’s official website already has him booked to play Gandalf in The Hobbit in 2010.
From London where he is putting the finishing touches to Hellboy II, del Toro said he and Kiwi director Peter Jackson met when they were both working on Halo – but even though that project never got off the ground, they stayed in touch.
He had been adamant he would be interested in The Hobbit only “if Peter was involved” and the New Line lawsuit was resolved.
A call from Jackson to say it was all go was like his “Christmas gift”.
Del Toro described New Zealand’s film industry as “Hollywood the way God intended it”.
“New Zealand has all the technical advantages when doing a big movie and you are shooting it in paradise, both in terms of artistic freedom and commitment.”
Much of the preparatory work for the film would take place this summer, including the “reforestation of The Shire”, replanting all the trees where they were.
Del Toro said he would prefer to use locations and avoid digital recreations of environments where possible.
It was his intention to “not lose any of the key elements” for the two Hobbit films. [stuff]