Peter Jackson and his art department are designing Middle Earth again. The next movie will have a scene where Bilbo fights a gazebo-sized spider in a thick forest.
I’m not a man that you’ll ever hear talking about J.R.R. Tolkien or fantasy of any kind, but I see a cool design project here, more than worth the 90 minutes necessary to reinvent Mirkwood. After a few New Zealand visits, I have spent some time thinking about how I’d visualize Middle Earth on screen if I were given the task.
And here’s the sketch, with the flavor of a Patagonian forest. I like the mood and the colors, and I don’t mind that’s it’s not true to the book. Peter Jackson’s design will certainly look nothing like this, as he is bound to Tolkien’s description of Mirkwood as a dark, thick forest with lots of close-up camerawork and fast-cutting. But let’s not pretend the Hobbit will be anything less than a hell of a movie.