Jackson & del Toro Hobbit Chat

Over the weekend, producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro answered several questions during an online chat about their upcoming film versions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and the proposed sequel.

Key bits of information garnered from the chat, a full transcript of which can be found at WetaNZ, include:

-Scripting and early conceptual designs will be worked on for the rest of this year.

-Pre-production will take place throughout 2009 and shooting will happen back-to-back throughout 2010 with a short break between films. The first film will hit cinemas in December 2011.

-The second film doesn’t have a title yet and won’t until after scripting is complete. Rather than focusing on the years between the two tales, it will cover a specific incident that took place between them.

-Casting will not begin until next year, however all the original ‘Rings’ cast members that can be brought back will be.

– The films will be shot in 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a PG-13 rating. There are no plans for a 3D release yet.

-A lot of the original production team will be brought back, as will composer Howard Shore.

– Ian Holm will participate somehow, even though Bilbo will be recast to reflect the character’s younger age.

-del Toro’s frequent collaborator Ron Perlman will have a role.

-Location shooting throughout New Zealand will take place with Hobbiton to be rebuilt bigger than before. It’s unlikely any locations outside NZ will be used.

-A Blu-ray release of the ‘Rings’ trilogy is in the works, but NOT this year.