The upcoming 20th birthday of Empire Magazine has been guest edited by none other than Steven Spielberg. By the power of his magical directing beard, he appears to have secured some rather nifty exclusives for the mag, and now they’re starting to flood out.
Quite impressively, they’ve got the scoop on Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro’s revised plans for The Hobbit. Previously we’d been told that they were going to make two films, the first an adaptation the novel and the second to bridge the gap between that book and The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, however, it seems that The Hobbit itself is going to take up two full length pictures all by itself.
Empire quote each of the Hobbitmasters. Here’s Del Toro:
We’ve decided to have The Hobbit span the two movies, including the White Council and the comings and goings of Gandalf to Dol Guldur.
We decided it would be a mistake to try to cram everything into one movie. The essential brief was to do The Hobbit, and it allows us to make The Hobbit in a little more style, if you like, of the trilogy.
There was a rumor recently that Del Toro would have a whole trilogy to play with, not two films but Jackson’s comment here about ‘the essential brief’, stepping down from the original plan and suggesting this new idea was how they’d be fulfilling their obligation, leaves me with the impression that the bridge narrative has been ditched altogether.
I’m assuming this spells the end of fan dreams to see Viggo Mortenson’s Aragorn in action again. Here’s hoping Jackson is just keeping a potential third film under his hat and the old rumours were based on something solid.
The special issue of Empire magazine hits UK shelves on the 23rd, and promises much more on The Hobbit, not to mention Tintin and lord knows what else Spielberg has won them access to.