'Hobbit' Director Guillermo Del Toro Says Script, Visualization, Casting Under Way

'We are already about a good third of the road [along] with some of the creatures,' director says.

With work on "[movie id="376322"]The Hobbit[/movie]" really starting to move forward, Guillermo del Toro updated MTV News this week with exclusive scripting, casting and pre-production news, including confirmation that "Hellboy" creator Mike Mignola will be coming aboard for early visualization.

"We are sketching and designing with Weta's John Howe, and [Adam Lee]," del Toro offered. "Mike Mignola is coming soon. He's going to do a stint on the design team."

This is good news for fans of Mignola, who worked with [movieperson id="142455"]del Toro[/movieperson] on both "[movie id="307070"]Hellboy[/movie]" films as well as providing some art for "[movie id="276481"]Pan's Labyrinth[/movie]."

"In about two, three months we're going to full-on have more designers come on ... from outside Weta. But we are already about a good third of the road [along] with some of the creatures — some really interesting and strong designs."

The script is currently del Toro's biggest task, though he was reluctant to specify exactly how far along he is at the moment.

"We're working on the outline. We did the cards, and then after the cards, we're fleshing out the outline. It's a titanic task. It sounds easy, but, uh, it's, I think, the harder thing to untangle."

Casting is still at a very early stage, but del Toro revealed that there's a very short list of names that he would like to see playing Bilbo Baggins.

"I can say safely, about four," he explained, but at this stage he has not talked with any of them.

"We make it a point not to talk to them — or any other actors that are not confirmed — because I think it's bad policy."

One of the biggest questions on the minds of Tolkien fans right now is what the current plan is for the proposed second del Toro entry, one that would bridge the gap between When asked whether that one had a title yet, del Toro could only joke, "I think that if I told you anything right now ... there's a sniper across the road."

Check out everything we've got on "The Hobbit."

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