Have you brought up the possibility of Viggo Mortensen reprising the role of Aragorn in The Hobbit?
Del Toro: You know, when the time comes. I hope New Line buys lunch.
Have you made any casting decisions?
Del Toro: Not yet. Just the ones that have been announced [Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum]. There's not lack of information. It's not withholding. We really don't have more information, because we're writing. And literally, like every week, what you discover writing the two movies, writing the two stories, it changes. So every week there's a discovery, and anything we say this week would be contradicted next week. Certainly that would be true in casting. Why create hopes or why create expectations if down the line you're going to go, "You know what? That was not a good idea." So we won't cast it until we finish writing (Scifi Wire).
I love that he is not wanting to get our hopes up only to dash them. I wish he would have given more information about what will be in each movie, and I assume that is what he is talking about when he says that it changes every day.
I cannot help but wonder how much of the story is being shaped by what he perceives as the limitations of the medium, or the cost of doing some of the scenes. There is one character he has given a lot of thought too.
How are you going to do Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit?
Del Toro: Smaug is THE creature in The Hobbit. The way Tolkien wrote it already is magnificent. It's already a fantastic character. So, obviously, dragons, you ask every person what their best favorite dragon is, they will give you a different answer. In my mind, what we're going to attempt on the design of this creature and the creation of this creature needs to push the envelope beyond anything you've ever seen on that kind of creature.
That's a lot to overcome.
Del Toro: Yes and no. Yes and no, because, normally, the creature, there is some stuff that has been done with dragons that I find there are very few landmarks created for me. One of the best, one of the strongest landmarks that almost nobody can overcome is Dragonslayer. The design of the Vermithrax Pejorative is perhaps one of the most perfect creature designs ever made. So what you have to be careful is not to try to be distinctive just to be distinctive, but Smaug has certain characteristics that make him unique already. I cannot. I am bursting at the seams about spilling the beans, but I won't, because I would be shot. ... (Scifi Wire)
Smaug is the Achilles’ Heel of the movie. The Wyverns in the Lord of the Rings movies looked a little strange, and as a fan of dragons and dragon-kin, they really let me down. Smaug plays a pivotal role in the book, and should also in the movie. I pray to Eru Ilúvatar they do not mess it up.