They are two of the most respected filmmakers of this generation, but put Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson in a room together with screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and they act like ... the Beatles, del Toro told MTV News.
"I don't know if I'm Ringo or John or what, but we're all jamming at the same time," del Toro laughed.
All joking aside, if there is anything in the literary world that is on par with the success of the Beatles, it has to be "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," which have sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide.
So how do the four screenwriters actually sit down to write their upcoming adaptation of "The Hobbit"?
"First thing is, sometimes we get all together in the same space or we all are in video conferencing. And those are sessions that can last two, three days," del Toro said, opening up for the first time about the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the collaboration. "But after that, it's almost like we take turns to a degree — or we each get big, big homework to do and then we come back. And then we exchange that homework and then we have input from that.
"I've done collaborations like that. In 'The Devil's Backbone,' I co-wrote with another two writers in Spain. We did [that] just through e-mail," he continued. "It's complicated if you have a lack of chemistry. But if you have synchronicity, it's great."
(How will the "Hobbit" story be divided between films one and two? Find out on the Movies Blog.)
It's a synchronicity that makes the merry band of pied pipers as tight as, well, Merry and Pippin, del Toro said — each one ready with a timely narrative solution to another's problem.
"Things happen almost magically, with pure synchronicity. It's like, things that I'm thinking about, I get an e-mail ... or I get Philippa, for example, to answer that," del Toro said. "When we're meeting, when the four of us are in the conference, the things that I'm thinking, we answer them."
Del Toro has found the collaboration so helpful, he said, that while he was originally concentrating on film two as Jackson and others concentrated on film one, they are all now working simultaneously on each episode.
It's working so well that the overall script for "The Hobbit" will hopefully be done "by the change of the year," del Toro said. "And then a budget in the very near future."
The first "Hobbit" is due in theaters in 2011.
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