Top 5 Replacements for Guillermo Del Toro

10 Jun

In the midst of our mourning the loss of our dream director for The Hobbit, Lara and the Reel Boy have been discussing who could possibly replace Guillermo Del Toro on this project.  This was a really hard list to put together.  I think we’ve both gone back and forth with several of the names on this list over and over again.  And we had to make this list with the knowledge that some, if not most, of these names are dreams that have little basis in reality.  But, that’s what most of our lists are, so who cares?

Also, we both added a short list of we do not want to direct it.

Lara’s List

5. Alfonso Cuaron

Cuaron’s works always beautifully tease the world of the whimsical. Perhaps more than any other director, he knows how to stylishly walk the fine line of imagination and reality. Though his exploration into the world of Hogwarts may have been one of the least accurate, it’s the one that, in my opinion, best portrayed the mood of the books. I’d be interested to see what he’d do for Middle Earth.

4. Frank Oz

Bizarre: check. Fantasy: check. British wit: check. If Frank Oz channeled his early 1980s self, got some puppets, and put up some dingy sets around the New Zealand countryside, we’d have ourselves some dragon gold.

3. Neill Blomkamp

Blomkamp might seem like the most obvious choice for The Hobbit. District 9 was perfect. He’s Peter Jackson’s protégé. The world is his oyster. However, he is still young, his creative juices are flowing, and he has just started getting to work on passion projects. I’m afraid if he got signed on for this huge franchise he would then be stuck making huge, listless movies for the rest of his career.

2. Dave McKean

Looking at his illustrations for Neil Gaiman as well as his directorial debut, Mirrormask, Dave McKean obviously has a creepy, dark view of fantasy. Obviously with some of the directors listed above, this is something I’d really love to see with the new Hobbit film. McKean also was a conceptual artist on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (see Cuaron). Because of his age and experience I think he would be pretty willing to adapt to the previously set up story and method, but he would still bring his own creative vision to The Hobbit.

1. Fran Walsh and/or Philippa Boyens

Both of these women have been Peter Jackson’s filmmaking partners for years. Fran Walsh has been writing with Peter since Meet the Feebles (1989), gaining 8 Oscar nominations at his side, and has co-produced everything Peter has made from The Frighteners to The Lovely Bones. Philippa who started writing with Peter and Fran on The Fellowship of the Ring, has also co-produced King Kong, The Lovely Bones, and she even helped produce District 9. They are already so familiar with Middle Earth and how to make the spirit of it come about. They’ve both put in just as much energy and love into The Hobbit as Peter and Guillermo and I think it would be great if one of them took the reigns.

Who should not:
Gore Verbinski, Michael Bay, Peter Jackson (solely because I want him to move on), Brett Ratner

David’s List

5. Michel Gondry

I have it in my head that The Hobbit is going to involve a whole bunch of puppets.  I don’t know if this is true, but I think it should.  And in that case Gondry is the man for the job.  He’s more than proven that he can handle fantasy (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep), now this is his chance that he can do fantasy in a fantasy setting and not just in real world settings.  I think this especially makes sense if you compare what he’s done so far with Peter Jackson’s start.  Meet the Feebles anyone?

4. Luc Besson

Now, before everyone starts shouting that he only makes action/shoot-em-up movies, let me just say, “Shut up.  You’re an idiot.”  This man is a genius.  He knows how to take an action/shoot-em-up movie and push it into a totally different genre.  Subway and The Fifth Element prove that he can handle the humor littered throughout The Hobbit.  And if you’re worried about giant action sequences, go watch The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.  He could totally handle this.

3. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Another French director.  Some people might think it would be weird for a French director to tackle something so perfectly British as The Hobbit.  Well, I say you’re very ignorant and you need to watch more Jeunet films.  If he could bring the same feeling that he had in The City of Lost Children, then this would be perfect.  The Hobbit is supposed to be magical, funny, and very scary in parts.  If anyone knows how to capture the perfect mixture of those feelings, its Jeunet.

2. Alfonso Cuaron

Yes, Lara already used him, but on this list it would be really stupid to leave him off just because she had already used it.  I think he would be perfect.  He can go back and forth between a children’s film and an adult film without batting an eye.  This same man has made Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanY tu mamá también, and A Little Princess.  This man is versatile.  Throw in the fact that he is close friends with Guillermo Del Toro, and I think we’ve got a winner.

1. Terry Gilliam

This is a total dream.  He’s already working on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.  And there’s no way a studio would give him this much money to play around with.  Also, he’s too much of a control freak to work this close with Peter Jackson.  Really, this would probably be bad.  I would just love to see what his vision of Middle Earth would look like.  It would be beautiful.

Who should not: Brett Ratner

P.S. I would really have no problem with Peter Jackson directing this.  I can understand Lara’s point of view.  I also think he should move on, but he’s not going to.  He’s going to be producing this regardless, and he’s going to be deeply involved with that.  He might as well just direct and get it done faster.

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