Director Guillermo del Toro has recently discussed the visions he has for the creatures to be seen in "The Hobbit". To Total Film, he opened up about the work he did for the dragon Smaug, the spiders of Mirkwood, the Wargs and others, saying "The way I phrased it to Weta, I said we would keep the DNA in the same gene pool as the Rings trilogy, but that we would generate a different type of character."
"For example, in the trilogy most of the creatures are brutish or inarticulate. In The Hobbit, the creatures speak: Smaug has beautiful lines of dialog; the Great Goblin has beautiful lines of dialog; many creatures do," the 45-year-old went on explaining. "So we had to design them with a different approach because you are not just designing things that are scary."
The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker added further, "I also wanted some of the monsters in The Hobbit to be majestic. I wanted the Wargs to have a certain beauty so that you don't have a massively clear definition: what is beautiful is good and what is ugly is not. Some of the monsters are absolutely gorgeous."
While he is careful enough not to spill any spoiler, the director of the "Hellboy" franchise noted that he is mostly proud of his design for Smaug. "Obviously he took the longest," he elaborated. "It's actually still active: we're finishing his color palette and a little bit of the texture. But the bulk of the design took about a year, solid."
"It's because of the unique features of the dragon," he continued on. "Early in production I came up with a very strong idea that would separate Smaug from every other dragon ever made. The problem was implementing that idea. But I think we've nailed it." As for the spiders, he said, "Well, they are the progeny of Shelob [from 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King'], but Shelob was quite a promiscuous girl."
Asked whether the sequences involving those creatures will be scary, he responded, "I think so. I hope so. At least that's the way we're approaching it. Every good children's movie, be it early Miyazaki or Disney, always has a thrilling scene or two." He went on, "There is no way to have a dragon attack a town that's not scary. It's the same for the spiders: there is no way of making giant spiders cocooning people so it would be gentle!"
"The Hobbit" is taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel of the same title and is planned to be made into two-part movies. The movies will re-create the scenes of the novel, with additional events that make an impact to "The Lords of the Rings", such as the expulsion of Sauron from Mirkwood by The White Council. The first of the adventure fantasy movie is scheduled for December 2011 U.S. release, while "The Hobbit 2" is expected to hit theaters a year later.