del Toro will test shoot FRANKENSTEIN in two weeks, talks casting for THE HOBBIT & much, much more!

Guillermo del Toro has been out promoting his horror novel The Strain but inevtiably interviewers are way more interested in what's going down with The Hobbit, possibly the biggest fanboy movie since Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (although obviously The Dark Knight sitting proudly as the second highest grossing movie of all time would dispute this) and congrats to Simon Mayo who got more out of him than most on BBC Radio 5 Live This Week. It's a great interview... Mayo is the best presenter on U.K. radio and del Toro is always open, honest and full of interesting things to say. del Toro joins at the 1 hour 47 minute mark and really it's better to hear del Toro tell you this stuff than it is to read it from me. So for once, I'm pretty much encouraging you not to read any further, at least not until you have listened to the interview. DO IT NOW!People Guillermo del Toro Ok done that? Good. Let's begin. So before we get to The Hobbit, I was actually more excited for what del Toro had to say about Mary Shelley's 19th century gothic novel Frankenstein, a novel that he once again proclaims is a "lifelong dream" for him to adapt to film, and he is "hoping very, very much" that he will have the opportunity to make it. Interestingly, even though he is incredibly busy with Middle-Earth, he will find time to shoot some tests with Doug Jones as Frankenstein's monster in two weeks time. You may remember back in June of last year that del Toro was inspired by Berni Wrightson€™s tragic, lanky version of the character which he hopes Jones can translate to the screen... 1bw44 Ok so onto The Hobbit, which he has been working on for over a year now. Here are the notes I cobbled together from the interview on what del Toro said...

"actively working on it for a year, writing, designing... everyday wakes up early in the morning, writes for two hours on his own time, then goes to work for 9am - 8pm at The Hobbit office... discussing, working on screenplay, designing with Alan Lee and John Howe. Afternoons spent designing creatures at weta.
Then for the first time with The Hobbit, I completely geeked out when I remembered that this movie was being made by del Toro and Peter Jackson. The way del Toro speaks, I'm reminded that the special effects are going to be the absolute best they could be before we see them. Do you remember that first time you saw the trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring and you saw how impossibly amazing the movie looked, it's gonna be that all over again, I'm convinced. del Toro mentioned Smaug, where they have just now "cracked the basic engineering" after eight months of design work on the creature and that we are still eight months away from seeing a single still of what they have come up with. Simply put, they won't show us a snippet until it's as amazing as it can be. del Toro confirmed the casting of Ian McKellen (as Gandalf) and Andy Serkis (as Gollum) which to be fair has been confirmed for over a year, but it's the return of Hugo Weaving which has been expected but for the first time, officially announced. hugo-ewa/film have del Toro's answer to how he plans to bridge The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings...
There is a whole other chapter, so to speak, which is the comings and going of Gandalf which are dealt with, people that know the lore know that Gandalf was delayed with a crisis€ with a character that is very shady called the Necromancer that proves to be Sauron.
Mayo also got out updates on a lot of other side projects del Toro has been working on...
Blade 4 won't happen because Wesley Snipes and New Line aren't on speaking terms. Hellboy 3 probably won't happen because Ron Perlman isn't interested in going through the heavy prostethetics anymore at his age. Does that rule him out of a make-up'd role in The Hobbit too? The Strain won't be made into a movie anytime soon. The Jekyll and Hyde movie he spoke about earlier he will only be producing, which means we might see that project actually made sometime soon. Remember this one is being made in opposition to Keanu Reeves' movie at Universal. As forThe Witches and At the Mountains of Madness, both would have probably been made by now if he had recieved studio support. Scripts are written and he will keep trying to get them made with the hope that one day an exec will say "go" to it.
The Hobbit is due out Dec. 2011. I expect a heavy bit of news (such as Bilbo casting) within the next six weeks.


Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.