In last week’s blog, we talked a bit about some of the PR issues that The Hobbit project found itself in. With public outcry involving the decision to turn the movies into a three-part epic and the claims of animal rights violations on set, The Hobbit was quickly sinking in to hot water.
For this segment, I would like to talk just a little bit about a minor detail I forgot to mention last time: the departure of Guillermo Del Toro. Upon the films conception, Guillermo Del Toro was slated to be the director of the film, but as pre-production dragged on, he realized that he could not commit the time to a movie that was looking less and less likely to see the light of day (an occurrence known as “production hell”).
As time dragged on, Del Toro left the film as he realized he was being asked to stay much longer than previously intended. As Del Toro left the set, many fans speculated that while scheduling was an issue with his part in the film, the primary reason Del Toro left was due to his unwillingness to have his name of the project any longer.
Now back to the more recent.
As The Hobbit came closer to its red carpet release, news leaked about Cushla Norman being banned due to her consistent negative coverage of the film. Reports stated that Peter Jackson was “mortified” at the idea of Ms. Norman attending the release, and that he personally dealt with preventing her appearance.
Unfortunately, as the movie came to be released, the Tolkien estate was reportedly suing Warner Bros. for some released content they deemed “highly offensive.” The material in question was an online slot machine game that utilized the appearances of The Hobbit characters. The $80 million lawsuit has yet to be settled.
As is per usual with any material Tolkien related, The Hobbit has suffered from a large amount public relations issues and it is truly a blessing that this film survived the box office to meet its brothers in the high grossing film heavens.