During a recent live chat for the Hellboy II: The Golden Army DVD and Blu-ray releases, director Guillermo del Toro revealed some new details about The Hobbit production schedule.

Thanks to BilboHobbit.com for the transcription.

Universal announced a pretty busy slate for you after The Hobbit. Will we see a Hellboy 3?

Guillermo del Toro: If its up to me- yes!! But it is a corporate decision and regimes change very rapidly at these studios.

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There any professionals who worked with you on Hellboy II that will be joining you on the Hobbit?

Guillermo del Toro: Hopefully Mignola, Barlowe, Spectral Motion, Guillermo Navarro and others...

Will you be using Danny Elfman as a composer again on future projects?

Guillermo del Toro: Absolutely, but not until after The Hobbit films.

Do you think filming Hellboy II helped prepare you for filming The Hobbit?

Guillermo del Toro: Technically, yes- but that's not the challenge in The Hobbit. The challenge is to create and expand a massive universe and be as immersive as the Trilogy was. To approach Tolkien's book with the right mixture of reverence, enthusiasm and invention.

Will here be any cool creature in The Hobbit like in Hellboy II?

Guillermo del Toro: Many many more and we will be pushing the goblin kindgom. we will be pushing smaug, the spiders of mirkwood. we will be pushing them to the edge of technology where we will fuse animatronics and cgi into a seamless new art form in creating creatures, i think.

Do you plan to use any particular effects or techniques in The Hobbit that were used in Hellboy II?

Guillermo del Toro: Well, yes, but used in a different way. You will see some mind-boggling mixture of CGI / Puppetry like never before. The demarcation of where one technique ends and the other begins will NOT be as clean as in HBII or BLADE II or PAN'S LABYRINTH. I am going to push further than ever on both fronts.

When does filming for The Hobbit begin?

Guillermo del Toro: It will begin in 2010 and we will shoot for about 370 days or so...

At what age did you first read The Hobbit?

Guillermo del Toro: I believe it was between 10 years old and 11 years old. My first copy of it is dated as printed in 1973 and I know I bought it shortly after being published by a great publishing house called MINOTAURO which was (in my childhood years) like the CRITERION COLLECTION of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

How long did it take to create the script for this movie?

Guillermo Del Toro: For the record- neither Peter Jackson nor I had the faintest contact about The Hobbit movies prior to the absolute completion of Hellboy II. I got Peter's first call in December 2007- way after we wrapped the film. So, the visuals in the HOBBIT movie are not anticipated in the HBII movie.

Will you be working with Guillermo Navarro on The Hobbit?

Guillermo del Toro: I hope so!!

Does Mike Mignola have any involvement with you on The Hobbit?

Guillermo del Toro: I hope and pray he joins us at the design stage for a week or two.

Who are your top choices to play Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit Movies?

Guillermo del Toro: Hopefully, very soon we can reveal that...

The Hobbit and The Hobbit Sequel are both due in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Brian B.