In case you somehow missed it over the weekend, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy director director, Guillermo Del Toro, is packing his bags and moving to New Zealand to start work on The Hobbit films.

Record needle scratching noise.

FILMS!?

Del Toro’s moving to New Zealand for the next four years to work with Jackson and his Wingnut and WETA production teams. He’ll direct the two films back to back, with the sequel which will deal with the 60-year period between “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

image Yes indeed, there will be two films. While the plot of the first is pretty clearly going to be directly from the book, the second one, so rumors state, will be a semi-original creation cobbled together from the copious material created by Tolkein and his son.  Until we get a more official name for this movie, I’m going to refer to it as Hobbit Milk.

Del Toro has proven that he can create strong original fantasy material when given the chance, so I’m hoping that we’ll see something worthwhile come out of this collaboration.

And as we all know, Hobbit milk is always best when fresh from the Baggins.

UPDATE:
There’s some interesting tidbits to be found with Del Toro in this interview on TheOneRIng.net:

Fans are all abuzz about ‘The Second Film’, can you tell some of your plans for it?

GDT: You know, I traveled to New Zealand just a little while ago, and one of the main reasons for going was to sit down and talk about the second film. ‘The Hobbit’, the book, is really one self-contained film, so for the second movie we sat down and worked it out. When we did this we got really excited because this second film is not a ‘tag on’, it’s not ‘filler’, it’s an integral part of telling the story of those 50 years of history lost in the narrative. There will be certain things that we will see from the first movie but from a different point of view, but it will feel like a volume, in the 5 volumes of the entire story. It will not feel like a bridge, I’ve been hearing it called ‘a bridge film’, it’s not, it’s an integral chapter of the story, and I think we’re all on the same page.

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