"While waiting in line for the screening of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, I overhead someone say that Guillermo del Toro's latest is being seen as his audition tape for The Hobbit," observed Jonathan Pacheco in his review for The House Next Door. Of course, Del Toro already had the directing gigs for the two Hobbit films before Hellboy II hit theaters, but that won't stop audiences from evaluating the current parade of fairies, demons and evil elves with Del Toro's Middle-Earth-to-be in mind.
Needless to say, it's a narrow perspective.

It would make more sense to expect that these upcoming features will negotiate between the gothic horror of Pan's Labryinth and the blockbuster approach of Hellboy II. In the latter work, it's clear that Del Toro has more interest in placing these loony supernatural beings in relatively conventional action sequences, allowing the specificity of the characters to create a sense of ingenuity. Pan's Labryinth, on the other hand, offers a single package of storytelling: The art direction, special effects and even the violence directly relate to the drama. The best case scenario for the Hobbit films would be a happy medium: Glorious visuals that reflect Tolkien's deeply involving mythology.