Tuesday, June 01, 2010

So who should helm The Hobbit?

So Guilliermo del Toro bailed on The Hobbit. So now the question becomes, who bails out the franchise and steps in to direct?

The logical alternate is, of course, Peter Jackson, and contrary to initial reports, Jackson has said he would direct in a pinch.

But what if Jackson doesn't feel the pinch? Who else could step in. I'll tackle some of the suggestions that have been bandied about.

In no particular order:

Christopher Nolan: I love his work, but his strength in the Batman movies has been his melding of the real with the fantastic. I'd love to see him try, but the whole Tolkienkein world seems too otherworldly to suit his style.

Tim Burton: He's undoubtedly at home in the fantasy realm, but his work has been uneven lately. I don't trust him, I'm sorry to say.

Paul Thomas Anderson: Hoo boy. This has to be a joke suggestion. His Hobbit would be something unique, no doubt, but it seems foolish to contemplate what clearly ain't gonna happen.

Alfonso Cuaron: Seems the most logical choice. He can clearly handle big-budget fantasy, as he proved with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, still the best film of that series to date. And since he and del Toro are simpatico, he might be easily persuaded.

Baz Luhurmann. WOW. The mind boggles. Tolkien by way of Moulin Rouge. Strongly doubt it will become reality, but the idea is tantalizing.

Ron Howard: Not as iffy an idea as some might think. Some say he has no distinct style. Those people don't pay close attention. Still, the last time he did a big fantasy, the result was the rather iffy Willow.

Steven Spielberg: Clearly, he could handle it, but clearly he wouldn't. Besides all that, his visual style seems too distinct for the world Jackson has already built. This just seems like the default choice for people who can't name any other director. Besides, Spielberg and Jackson are already collaborating on Tintin.

Ridley Scott: No. Robin Hood managed to be undercooked and overwrought at the same time. The man needs to recharge his batteries.

Neill Blomkamp: After Curaron, Jackson's protoge who made District 9 seems the next most logical choice. He's got skills. But is he ready to tackle a project this huge?

David Yates: I rather doubt he would go straight from wrapping two Potter films at once to two Tolkien films at once.

Pedro Almodovar:  Ay de mi. No es probable.

Kenneth Branagh: Interesting idea. I always thought he would do well with Potter. But he's busy with Thor.

Darren Aronofsky: VERY interesting idea! He's able to hop from genre to genre, going from the fantastic (The Fountain) to the gritty (The Wrestler). Still, Tolkien doesn't seem like his best fit.

Alex Proyas: Can create amazing images as evidenced by The Crow and Dark City. But then there was the ludicrous Knowing ...

 Wes Anderson: Too quirky.

James Camron: Nah. By now he prefers to make up his own worlds.

Sam Raimi: Raimi actually considered directing this, as I recall, but considering how much fun Drag Me to Hell was,  I still think it's best for him to regroup some more after losing Spidey.

Wolfgang Petersen:  Why not? He did a pretty good job with The Neverending Story.

Peter Weir: This is the suggestion I am most intrigued by. Weir's particular strength is immersing us in atmosphere, whether it be the artificial world of The Truman Show, the sea of Master and Commander, and the Amish of Witness. Still, somewhat like Nolan, he seems best at working with earthly worlds, not fantastical ones like Middle Earth.

Whom would you like to see direct The Hobbit? Can you suggest anyone I've not covered here?


Scott Copeland said...

Robert Zemeckis is one of the best at melding speical effects into live action and make them believable. The role call: Back to the Future, Cast Away, Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and others. He could do it. I'm not sure he wants to, though.

Allison M. Dickson said...

I'd go with Alfonso Cuaron for much the same reason you did.

Zemeckis would be decent, but I think he's still got his head sunk into that whole performance capture business, and I just could not get behind it after Polar Express. I'd like to see him step back into the real world.