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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Post-Release - Page 10

post #451 of 963

That rascal Jackson is using 48fps to build a bridge over the uncanney valley!

 

No!  It's not even a bridge!  It's more like he's trying to take the live-action side of the valley and push it towards the CG! 

post #452 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

That rascal Jackson is using 48fps to build a bridge over the uncanney valley!

 

No!  It's not even a bridge!  It's more like he's trying to take the live-action side of the valley and push it towards the CG! 

 

Simmer down, mcnooj.  Go have a Diet Coke and watch The Dark Knight Rises.

post #453 of 963

MAYBE I WILL!!

 

If only MichaelM would send me his blu-ray!!!

 

So that I may break it with my new tactical pen!

post #454 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Honestly, I think the way forward with HFR 3D will involve re-thinking the way that movies are shot and staged and acted to accommodate the technology. The major issue with 48 FPS is one of aesthetics, and you can label that one a matter of preference pretty easily by reading this thread alone. Some of us loved it wholesale; some hated it wholesale; some, like me, thought it worked in some scenes and failed horribly in others. The major consensus point, if you ask me, is that HFR 3D should not be "the way of the future" (the way of the future) simply because not every film calls out for the HFR 3D treatment, just as not every film needs to be given the regular-strength 3D treatment-- and as long as the option to see a 48 FPS movie in 24 FPS exists, it's hard for me to really get up in arms over HFR tech.

 

My hope for HFR is the same as for 3D: I want to see what it looks like in a completely natural context. Remember how Cave of Forgotten Dreams showed folks (those who saw it) that you don't need million-dollar FX to deliver a spectacular 3D experience?

 

And obviously, artists should be free to work in whatever medium or format they choose, or consider fitting for a given project. Modern moviemakers still work in black-and-white; film; silence with subtitles or intertitles; aspect ratios ranging from 1.33:1 to 2.35:1; even still images.

 

But for 80 years, the mainstream delivery system has been 24fps. It didn't matter if the artist desired a more fluid presentation-- that was the only way you could get a film distributed. It's an arbitrary standard, established at the dawn of the sound-on-film era* for utility and economy. For that matter, Jackson & co chose 48fps not because it's the best movies can look or even because it's the fastest they can shoot but because it's mathematically reducible to the 24fps standard that still dominates the exhibition market, and likely will until the next generation of digital projectors.

 

*Fun footnote: For most of the silent era, cameras were hand-cranked, and the framerate could change from scene to scene or even within a take. Projectors were manual too, and operators often received printed instructions as to what speed to crank at given points in the film. We could, theoretically, be poised to return to that aesthetic now.

post #455 of 963

So, you basically agree with that article I posted?

post #456 of 963

Haven't read it. Based on your recommendation I was worried it'd be all angry-like. Is it nice?

post #457 of 963

He's not ranting and raving, if that's what you mean. He's not against the technology, necessarily (and for the record, neither am I). He's saying that the way it was used here doesn't do it any favors. And I tend to agree. 

post #458 of 963

I think it's quite fair. 

 

It brings up a lot of what you brought up regarding various framerates.  And mostly faults Jackson for not doing much more than simply using 48fps instead of accommodating it with a different approach to filmmaking.  He didn't use it as a tool other than to smooth out the stutter for 3D.

post #459 of 963

Much as I liked the film I can't really disagree with that. If Jackson wanted to use 48 FPS to the fullest, he should have done more than just use it to make his FX and 3D look smoother. I feel like he used HFR 3D as a crutch, not as a supplement to the story he wanted to tell.

post #460 of 963

Just listened to Red Letter Media's review of this.

http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey/

 

They seemed to hate the shit out of the new format. The version i saw looked blurry as well.

post #461 of 963
I wonder, is this an issue of conversion rates ie NTSC vs PAL? As someone who grew up on PAL I certainly noticed a difference the first few times I watched region 1 DVDs. The people I saw this with in HFR were all Brits and all reported the same experience as me - noticeable speed-up at the beginning but no issues with blurriness at all. PAL is sped up correct?
post #462 of 963

PAL is sped up depending on the source material.  And even then different things handle the conversion a different way.

post #463 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post

He's not ranting and raving, if that's what you mean. He's not against the technology, necessarily (and for the record, neither am I). He's saying that the way it was used here doesn't do it any favors. And I tend to agree. 

The problem with that is that the vast majority of viewings of this film (now and in the forseeable future) will be at 24FPS. So there was only so far he could go.
post #464 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Popular BBC soap Eastenders was on tv earlier. Looking at those slick, atmosphere-free images, tears of joy welled in my eyes. "This..." I thought, "THIS is what fantasy movies are supposed to look like! The future is here at last." A Christmas Miracle...

 

philgrant_468x351.jpg

 

"One does not simply walk daahn to Mordor. Tossah."

post #465 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Mike View Post


The problem with that is that the vast majority of viewings of this film (now and in the forseeable future) will be at 24FPS. So there was only so far he could go.

 

It's been the same with 3D. Directors know most folk are going to see the 'flat' version and they've been slow to let go of popular techniques that make 3D unwatchable, like shaky-cam and split-second editing.

 

I'll check out the article, Parker. Didn't mean to come off like a dick there.


Edited by Hammerhead - 12/26/12 at 8:40pm
post #466 of 963

I think the HFR thing has been touched on thoroughly and intelligently, and I agree that even though I'm excited for the tech I don't think it will be (or needs to be) the new "standard" for film-making...with one exception. I have to say, speaking from a totally personal perspective, that from this point on it's going to be 48fps or nothing when it comes to 3D movies. More so than the CGI integration, it's the one aspect of the new format that for me was so far beyond the quality of what's come before as to render the old technique unpalatable in hindsight.

post #467 of 963

Just saw this tonight. I'm not going to wade through 10 pages of comments right now, so apologies if I'm repeating anything.

 

I'll start this off by saying that overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. I didn't like it as much as any of the LOTR films, but I loved returning to the world again. That said, the first half is bloated, and this story doesn't need to be 3 movies. That may be a stereotypical complaint, but I don't care, it's true. The Radagast stuff was fine, but it's completely disconnected from everything else. The Rivendell council is a good scene, but I just can't be bothered to care about it in the slightest. Maybe it's all going to build up to something suitably epic in the next 2 films that makes it all worthwhile, but for this film it just sort of sits there detached from everything else.

 

Did anyone else feel like the story beats felt almost copied from Fellowship?

- Leaving the Shire

- Cut away from the party for a side plot about a wizard

- Attacked in the wilderness

- Chase scene

- Arrive in Rivendell

- Council in Rivendell

- Leave Rivendell and head into the mountains

- Confronted by mystical opposition in the mountains

- Forced to travel underground

- Running away through the tunnels/mines pursued by a host of enemies

- Fighting orcs in the forest

 

Obviously this is a bit of a simplification, but I felt the similarities as I was watching. It felt like it was hitting all of the same story beats, and it kind of made me feel like I was just watching an inferior version of Fellowship. Even Thorin is kind of reminiscent of Aragorn only, you know, not as compelling (to me at least).

 

On the plus side, the riddles scene with Gollum is absolutely fantastic. It's easily the best thing in the movie. The animators and Serkis should get tons of credit, because they knock it out of the park again. That's a scene that could have been a bit dull and lifeless, just 2 characters asking each other riddles. Instead, it just hums, and Gollum is a character with depth who I feel sympathy for. The balance between the vicious side that just wants to eat Bilbo and the playful side that loves riddles is perfectly realized, and a real improvement on the book (correct me if I'm wrong as I haven't read it in a while, but I'm pretty sure there's none of that balance in his original character in the Hobbit). It's needed for that moment where Bilbo chooses not to kill him, it makes it a real, meaningful choice. Loved, loved, loved that scene.

post #468 of 963
Saw it last night. Once it got going I liked it, although it seemed a lot of last minute rescues.

Aside from a couple of moments of "speed up" I actually really liked the 48fps presentation. I didn't get the "its a SET" impression a lot had. It just gave everything a very heightened sense of reality, which worked for me in the fantasy setting. The CGI dropped into real world (the orc/wargs chasing the rabbit sleigh) looked terrible though.
I actually liked the brown wizard stuff too. I don't know what a lot of the complaints were about.

Gollum and the Goblin King were amazing. But the white orc looked like he was made of plasticine, or wasn't fully rendered. That was weird.

I think I'll actually go down to see the second one at the Embassy, because the dirty screen in Palmy was really distracting.
post #469 of 963

Okay finally saw this with my Tolkien-loving parents, reviving our old 2001-03 christmas cinema tradition. One hated it ("Over-stretched action trash! He's a megalomaniac!"), the other liked it a lot, fittingly I was somewhere in between. I haven't been reading other people's reactions, so this will most likely be redundant and oh so very boring!

 

I saw it in 24fps 2D, so still can't properly chip in on the high framerate malarky. In the Dwarf prologue (surely it's not a great sign when you have to specify which of a movie's prologues you're talking about) there's a long panning shot so aggressively blurred and juddery I'm half convinced Jackson threw it in there just so he could point and say "Do you see? Do you see now, fools? This is why we need 48fps!". But most of the time it looked perfectly fine and I found myself craving neither 3D nor HFR.

 

For the first hour or so I regularly got that sinking feeling when you know something isn't quite clicking and you may have a dud on your hands. It was certainly nice to see and especially hear the increasingly rubbery looking Ian Holm, and the dwarf tale was pretty cool and quite visually striking aside from some oddly half-arsed cgi. But it felt like too much too soon and the segue into the original Hobbit book opening didn't really work. I mean why would he suddenly start telling Frodo what hobbit holes are? And when Frodo himself pops up it's even worse, spewing nothing but pointless prequel shit (at last we know exactly how Bilbo's sign came to be pinned to the door!!) that has almost nothing to do with the movie at hand.

 

Doesn't help that after finally getting past the overly leisurely and EE-ish Hobbiton section, the first thing we get is the troll sequence which is frankly a bit pointless and shit - exactly the kind of disposable episode that the Fellowship movie was savvy enough to cut out - followed by another bunch of repetitive actiony bits that I can barely remember even though I only watched them a few hours ago. Luckily once it reaches Lothlorien it picks up considerably, and settles into a consistently amusing series of middle earth shenanigans.

 

Ironically, considering it's The Hobbit, this often felt even more obsessed with the minutia of its own universe than LOTR was, with all the lengthy history lessons, map analysis and name-dropping. One concern I'd had was that I wasn't sure Jackson actually wanted to come back and do these movies, that he was just doing it because his arm was being twisted. But watching it, I didn't doubt for a second that these guys really do love this world. It was like they were constantly poking me and going "look at this, isn't it cool?! And did you know about this little detail here!?" like over-excitable nerdy 10 year olds.

 

Felt to me like Jackson knew this could never top LOTR and had nothing to prove, so is using the new trilogy as a big sandbox where he can play about and throw in whatever wacky shit happens to amuse him, and so we end up with rock monster boxing matches, fanwanky wizard conferences, bunny sleds etc. That's all well and good, but there's no getting away from the fact that The Hobbit book isn't really enough to support all these tangents, and the core story of this movie is slight bordering on non-existent. I totally get why a lot of people don't like this, and I don't blame them at all. It's a pretty weak movie in a lot of ways, but if you like what's it's doing you'll probably find enough stunning and/or highly entertaining things in it to make it an enjoyable ride anyway.

 

So in spite of everything I came out reasonably optimistic for the rest of the trilogy. Two movies or three, this first one was probably always going to be like this, and if you're going to make a movie this unconcerned with sensible pacing and structure it barely matters if it goes on for another three hours or another six, so they'd may as well go all out. This one stumbles out the gate but settles into an entertaining stride (or an entertaining relaxed wander, anyway). If they can keep the momentum and amusing fantasy hijinks up I don't mind watching Jackson dick about with his box of toys another couple of times. But I do hope he remembers how to make proper movies again one day.

 

One other thing, is one of the expanded sub-plots in this new trilogy some fiery hot love action between Gandalf and Galadriel? Because their interactions in this seemed oddly... sexy.

 

I think that may be a sign I've been on the internet too long.


Edited by Paul C - 12/27/12 at 5:08pm
post #470 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

One other thing, is one of the expanded sub-plots in this new trilogy some fiery hot love action between Gandalf and Galadriel? Because their interactions in this seemed oddly... sexy.

 

It did seem like there was something going on there.  Touching his hair and his hands, and the way they look at each other...I honestly hopped online after I saw the movie to read up and make sure there wasn't some romantic history between those two.  At the least, it's extremely affectionate interaction between dear friends.  At the most, he hit that.

post #471 of 963

I was so sure I wasn't going to like this...

 

Surprise, it was actually quite enjoyable.  From the moment the film flashes back to Freeman as Bilbo, until he leaves the Shire, I thought it was wonderful.  I also thought they nailed the Bilbo/Gollum stuff.  I liked the scenes at Rivendell, and, shockingly, the silly Radagast stuff too.

 

I had no problem with the presentation; the film looked and sounded gorgeous to me.  The acting was every bit as good as the standard set in the first trilogy.  I even found myself liking the different dwarf characters, when I didn't imagine I would even be able to distinguish between them.  Granted, not all of them, but at least half of them had enjoyably distinct personas.

 

Sure, there's still plenty to pick over.  Albino Orc Guy does nothing for me as a villain.  Some of the extended action sequences felt like we were looking at the inside of Jackson's head as he was playing with a bunch of toys he got for Christmas.  There's very little in the way of narrative thrust.  But if you go into this accepting it is just part one of a (and here I'll switch out the word "bloated", if I may, for a more appropriate word) meandering story, then it becomes a very enjoyable children's fantasy film, with a smattering of great moments.

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Did anyone else feel like the story beats felt almost copied from Fellowship?

- Leaving the Shire

- Cut away from the party for a side plot about a wizard

- Attacked in the wilderness

- Chase scene

- Arrive in Rivendell

- Council in Rivendell

- Leave Rivendell and head into the mountains

- Confronted by mystical opposition in the mountains

- Forced to travel underground

- Running away through the tunnels/mines pursued by a host of enemies

- Fighting orcs in the forest

 

Yes, but I forgive it that for one reason, and it's the same reason I forgave the travelogue-like quality of the theatrical cut of Fellowship.  And that is that both films feel like a Hobbit's introduction into the wider world, and as such it didn't surprise me they had similar structures.  Still, your observation is spot-on.

post #472 of 963

I'll echo most of what Bailey wrote above.

Keeping track of 13 dwarves was a little much though.  7 or 8 stood out, claming little moments here and there but the others were lost in the shuffle.  Maybe they'll receive their due later on.  I expected Jackson to kill one or two before the end(despite the book), but they all made it through. 

I have to say, It FELT long, which the previous LOTR's never did for me. 

When the team emerged from the Troll cave and Bilbo revealed himself, I was ready for the credits.  BUT then Captian Hook showed up and we got a whole nother sequence. 

Still, a fun ride if your theatre had comfy seats.

 

Oh, was that birdshit on Radagast's head?   

post #473 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAIRUS View Post

More to come.

Something that felt unnecessary was watching Ian Holm and Elijah Wood cameo. WTF ARE YOU DOING HERE?! You're just baggin down the storyline. Get moving! Oh look the sign! Oh I really wanted to see how the sign got there. Thank you Peter Jackson. Although the sign should of said "I've not made a decent film since Return of the King because I've been given too much money."
post #474 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Hallorhan View Post

When the team emerged from the Troll cave and Bilbo revealed himself...   

Wait what?!
post #475 of 963

"When the team emerged from the Troll cave and Bilbo revealed himself...  "

 

Sorry, am I spoiling something?

When Bilbo caught up with all the Dwarves after he stole Golllum's ring. 

post #476 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAIRUS View Post


Something that felt unnecessary was watching Ian Holm and Elijah Wood cameo. WTF ARE YOU DOING HERE?! You're just baggin down the storyline. Get moving! Oh look the sign! Oh I really wanted to see how the sign got there. Thank you Peter Jackson. Although the sign should of said "I've not made a decent film since Return of the King because I've been given too much money."

 

It seems really weird to ding this film for having a good bit of unnecessary stuff in it while holding up Return of the King as the last good film Jackson has made.

post #477 of 963

Three times now and I think I figured out how to make the opening Hobbiton stuff work. In the film now, Ian Holm as old Bilbo is starting to write his book. He's in his chair and though the exact words escape me right now, he says them and the camera slides over to an empty hallway where Frodo comes out. Every time I've seen this that entrance felt off to me and I think it's because the story is screaming out for that to be Freeman walking in as young Bilbo, not Frodo. It would just segue so much nicer into the rest of the movie and preserve the "Bilbo's writing this all down" element that I think they were going for but didn't quite nail.

 

Thankfully, even though its inclusion is ill conceived, it doesn't last long, is somewhat charming and the rest of the stuff is all aces.

post #478 of 963

Alright, gonna have to express a retroactive complaint here. Honestly I didn't mind the balance of dwarf focus on first viewing, as I felt we got the right amount from the more interesting members (with the exception of the fat one, who was annoying from scene one). That being said, now that it's been brought to my attention that one of those dwarfs was in fact James motherfuckin' Nesbitt, I have to call shenanigans on the severe lack of James motherfuckin' Nesbitt in this here production. You don't hire Mr. Hyde then give him one 2 minute scene Peter Jackson. That's what the other 7-8 guys I've never heard of are for. Here's hoping fatty gets killed in like the first 30 seconds of part 2, followed shortly by anyone who isn't old guy, sassy pair, the hot one and that one scary guy who kind looks like Christopher Meloni if you squint a little, so that my man Bofur (thank you Wikipedia) can get a more appropriate share of the running time.

post #479 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post

Three times now and I think I figured out how to make the opening Hobbiton stuff work. In the film now, Ian Holm as old Bilbo is starting to write his book. He's in his chair and though the exact words escape me right now, he says them and the camera slides over to an empty hallway where Frodo comes out. Every time I've seen this that entrance felt off to me and I think it's because the story is screaming out for that to be Freeman walking in as young Bilbo, not Frodo. It would just segue so much nicer into the rest of the movie and preserve the "Bilbo's writing this all down" element that I think they were going for but didn't quite nail.

 

Thankfully, even though its inclusion is ill conceived, it doesn't last long, is somewhat charming and the rest of the stuff is all aces.

 

Absolutely. I was 100% expecting the person walking in to be young Bilbo. It's a prefect transition point, and the whole Frodo part is utterly unnecessary.

post #480 of 963

I mentioned I've seen this three times? I expected Freeman to walk out of that door every. single. time.

post #481 of 963

That last post confused me to the point of embarrassment. 

post #482 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

 

It seems really weird to ding this film for having a good bit of unnecessary stuff in it while holding up Return of the King as the last good film Jackson has made.

 

I think that's what puzzles me about the criticisms of bloat (and I like "meandering" much more as a descriptor). In what world were the original Rings films not meandering? There's material in the theatrical Fellowship that could have been left on the cutting room floor easily, and Return of the King is chock-full of similar "stuff". But I think that "stuff" is part of their charm and allure, and part of why they remain so well-respected even ten years after their release.

post #483 of 963

The Rings trilogy had a drive to its narrative that this does not and it made the meandering seem more purposeful. Here the meandering really feels like useless material. 

 

Also agracru, to your point about the series' charm; charm, by its very nature, wears thin, and I think we're seeing it here with AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. By the time this trilogy is wrapped I expect many people will have lost their delight over Jackson's excesses. 

post #484 of 963

I've always seen The Hobbit as being driven by character rather than plot, though, so I expect there to be a difference between what drives Rings versus An Unexpected Journey. That said I wonder, seriously, if that sense will change in the next two pictures, since Bilbo is out of his house and on the road and we'll be meeting Smaug and clashing with goblin armies as the series continues.

post #485 of 963

I'm not so sure about that. The next two films will have dragons, giant spiders, and big battles. The excess of the next two films (if there is any) will be a lot more palatable to audiences, arguably, than this one.

 

This film's excess really comes from spending too much time re-introducing Middle Earth and setting up for the following films. I have a feeling the rest of the trilogy will be much more streamlined. I could be wrong. I've seen an interview floating around with Philippa Boyens where she says she expects the second film to be shorter than this one, so there's that.

 

ETA: sorry this reply was addressed to Sebastian OB.

post #486 of 963

Yeah LOTR really benefits from getting the stakes across early on and making sure the bigger objectives (and payoffs) are never too far from your mind. Probably not a coincidence that it's the end of ROTK, when those things are gone, where pretty much everyone agrees things are getting really dragged out. The stakes in The Hobbit never feel that urgent.

 

That said, it'd be worse if things started out rollicking and got tiresome as it goes. As it is, the second half moves quite well and is paced pretty similarly to the LOTRs. The next two may benefit from already being up and running.

post #487 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

I mentioned I've seen this three times? I expected Freeman to walk out of that door every. single. time.

 

I kept expecting the "An Unexpected Journey" title to pop up, considering the shot is a perfect mirror of the "Fellowship" title card shot from the extended Fellowship of the Ring.

post #488 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

 

I think that's what puzzles me about the criticisms of bloat (and I like "meandering" much more as a descriptor). In what world were the original Rings films not meandering? There's material in the theatrical Fellowship that could have been left on the cutting room floor easily, and Return of the King is chock-full of similar "stuff". But I think that "stuff" is part of their charm and allure, and part of why they remain so well-respected even ten years after their release.

 

The meandering nature always had some kind of focus due to there being clear character arcs (at least for me). Here, Bilbo's arc is pretty much ancillary until the last 30 or 45 minutes, where they remember, "Crap, movies have to be about something."

 

What from Fellowship theatrical would you have cut?
 

post #489 of 963

A better prologue would've been old Samwise reading the Hobbit to his many grandchildren as a final goodbye before leaving for the undying lands.

post #490 of 963

In the many years between Return of the King and the announcement that the film was actually happening, I always thought a fun framing device would have been the Gaffer telling the story to a young Sam.

post #491 of 963

I think the prologue should have been a Simpsonsesque trip through the Shire*, seeing all the familiar faces, ending with a young Hobbit writing "I will not transpose the first letters in Bucklebury Ferry.  I will not transpose the first letters in Bucklebury Ferry." on a blackboard.

 

No, c'mon... it could have been handled better, but it had to be Bilbo and Frodo.

 

(Actually, we kinda got that when Bilbo left.)

post #492 of 963

What's the prevailing thought of PJ inserting Martin Freeman into the old prologue, showing how Bilbo finds the ring? 

(It's not quite the same as adding Dewbacks on Tatooine and destroying a treasured childhood iconic piece of film history)

OR going back to fellowship and cleaning up Gollum a bit.

CAN PJ revisit his previous trilogy without pissing in our faces the way GL can't avoid doing to the Star Wars universe?

post #493 of 963

If it was just sticking Freeman into that one shot, I expect only the purists would mind. But even that seems so unnecessary.

post #494 of 963
If Jackson really wants to be the next Lucas, HE'D BEST DO IT!!!
post #495 of 963
As immune to criticism as Jackson was after the first reviews of the 48 FPS nightmare came out, I fully expect a shitty 3D conversion and theatrical rerelease of the original trilogy no later than 2021, on the anniversary of Fellowship's original release.
post #496 of 963

Man...  I'm so confused about this.  I think I've finally landed on thinking maybe the Hobbit just isn't a terribly good book?  I guess maybe?

post #497 of 963

It's not an entirely strange thought, Freeman. I honestly had a similar assessment after I re-read it once all the LOTR movies came out and I read their installments afterwards and couldn't help but see problems tonally without resorting to making it more LOTR. A lot of the problems the movie(s) suffer seem to fall partially on the shoulders of Tolkien because of the way he constructed the stories. Nobody ever wants to go there, though, because it's considered blasphemy.

post #498 of 963

The tone's weird because The Hobbit is a children's novel and Lord of the Rings isn't.

 

It's why a different creative team with a different idea for the look wouldn't have been anything but a good idea.

post #499 of 963

... Which brings us back around to Guillermo Del Toro and Pans Labyrinth...  FUCK what a missed opportunity for a single GDT Fairy tale Hobbit. 

post #500 of 963

Del Toro's Hobbit will forever be one of the great 'what if?'s for me, but I can't help but wonder if he would have felt restricted by the fans' expectations and by the legacy of the LOTR films (especially working with Jackson and co). But all indications were they were getting along fine, so what a bummer. 

 

A truly stand alone Hobbit film from GDT would have been incredible, no doubt.

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