The folks at io9 have a great little clip up where they interviewed director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit). In the clip they specifically ask him about the design of the film and how much of Guillermo del Toro’s original design vision remains in the movie. For fans of del Toro expecting his vision to be largely intact (they co-wrote the screenplay together and del Toro retains his credit for the writing), you’ll be largely disappointed to know that not much remains.
Here’s the quote of Peter Jackson’s remarks:
Guillermo had designed a lot of the movie . . . I looked at his designs when he took over and a lot of his designs are very Guillermo . . . it was very much stuff that you would recognize from Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy. It was his artistic vision and I couldn’t make that movie. I looked at his designs and I said the only person who can make a Guillermo Del Toro movie is Guillermo. It shouldn’t be me. I can’t put my head into somebody else’s idea — I have to generate it from the beginning. So really I redesigned the film pretty much. Some of Guillermo’s DNA is in there — there were some things he did that I thought were pretty cool and I’ve taken bits of pieces of his stuff — kind of altering it and changing it as I saw it. But the film was largely redesigned.
We were already aware that some of del Toro’s original design ideas would not be remaining in the eventual film, but these latest comments from Jackson suggest much more was redone after del Toro dropped out of the project. It will be very interesting to compare and contrast the work that was done under Guillermo vs Peter when the time comes.