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The Worst Fantasy Movie, According To Guillermo Del Toro

Now more than a couple of decades into his career, Guillermo del Toro is regarded as one of the finest directors in Hollywood. He's got the box office success, adoring critical notes, rabid fanbase, and awards season bling to back that reputation up, too. The writer, director, and producer has, of course, built that reputation on the back of fantastical genre confections as wildly original as they are vividly rendered and tragically humanizing. So beloved are his genre-defying works that many fans have proclaimed del Toro the preeminent fantasy filmmaker in all of Hollywood.

One look at del Toro's IMDb page is enough to confirm those claims, with lauded titles like "The Devil's Backbone," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Crimson Peak," and "The Shape of Water" fronting the pack. Likewise, to hear del Toro speak of the fantasy genre is to understand he's had a lifelong obsession with fantastical works of fiction of all formats, shapes, and sizes, including bombast-fueled blockbuster movies. One even has to wonder if he's ever seen a fantasy flick he didn't in some way adore. Turns out, there is a cinematic series in this genre that del Toro doesn't have much use for, and just which series that is will likely come as a shock to one and all.

Guillermo del Toro didn't have a lot of love for The Lord of The Rings trilogy

More concisely, there's a style of fantasy fiction Guillermo del Toro isn't a fan of — the "heroic fantasy" style of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Per a Digital Spy article that quotes a 2006 Salon.com piece, this is indeed a style del Toro really does not dig. "I was never into heroic fantasy. At all," he said. "I don't like little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits — I've never been into that at all. I don't like sword and sorcery, I hate all that stuff." While del Toro didn't name Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy specifically, his mention of hobbits and hairy feet make clear enough he's referencing the world Jackson conjured from the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy novels.

Those statements are all the more perplexing because, at the time, del Toro was still attached to direct the adaptation of Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a classic work of heroic fantasy fiction produced by Jackson himself. Per del Toro's comments, it seems "The Hobbit" is the exception to his heroic fantasy rule, "It's the only Tolkien book I read," he admitted. "I tried my best to read 'Lord of the Rings,' the trilogy. I could not. I could not. They were very dense. And then one day, I bought 'The Hobbit.' I read it and I loved it."

Ultimately, del Toro's "The Hobbit" gig didn't pan out. And given his stance on that style of fiction, one has to wonder if it wasn't for the best.