Over at TheOneRing.net, director Guillermo del Toro has posted an entry in their forums in response to /cate-blanchett-and-hugo-weaving-heading-to-the-hobbit/Peter Jackson's comments last week about casting for the film.
So, now that PJ's Lovely Bones tour is almost over, I thought it wise- seeing how some can whip up into a frenzy- to drop by and chat a bit.
A) About ONLY 3 actors returning: I think the emphasis on "only" is what slant the news the wrong way. I cannot imagine Gollum being played by anyone but Andy and in the second script there is still much in discussion to lock everything for now. Both PJ and I chime in on things "as they are at the moment" and, of course, things change.
I, for one, understand where Peter's coming from since 30% of my Strain tour questions, Hellboy 2, The Orphanage promotion questions, etc, etc where about the Hobbit. At different time we have been closer in locking on a piece of casting or hoping to get a script delivered, etc and things simply changed as we went along. So, don't etch this in stone or anything we both have said in the past, in stone since we communicate what we can when the window of exposure to the press and fans happens.
I still prefer to keep the dialogue open- inexact as it may get- that to remain mum or one-sided with the community that can really understand this project.
B) The target for production. Its simple: we may say what we want but until there are two scripts delivered and budgets and schedules to support them we will be all under a yellow light of development. THAT we have not stopped. As I have reported in the past, we are scouting, designing (my last 3 hour meeting with Weta was this morning) and will not stop. BUT the greenlight and thus commencement can only be granted by the studio. Pete as producer and me as director will do everything we can in the meantime.
C) Is there any trouble brewing with WB? Not at all. All I can say is that they reacted to our delivered script with great delight and we have been receiving strong support in our development.
Smaug is being animation tested, we are editing the previs, doing final selections on Dwarven War Artifacts and Gear and starting many fabrication tests for armies, prosthetics and wardrobes, etc
However, I do plan to be less and less in the public spotlight for two simple reasons: One: I am damn busy prepping this two Behemoths. Two: quite likely, I'll have very limited, if any, promotional time for "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" or "The Fall" (Second Strain book) myself but fear not- I will drop in as much as possible, as always.