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Peter Jackson Signs Deal to Make Two Hobbit Movies:

Peter Jackson, the director of the incredibly successful Lord of the Rings movies, has just signed a deal to make two movies based on The Hobbit. This is great news for Tolkien and fantasy fans! In his post revealing the news (linked above), sci fi writer John Scalzi says that millions of elves must be celebrating; I think, however, that the dwarves have more reason to celebrate, since they play a much bigger role in the story.

I have a few disagreements with Jackson's decisions in the Lord of the Rings films. For example, I didn't like how he essentially portrayed Saruman as just a servant of Sauron's rather than as an independent force acting in his own interest. Overall, however, I think Jackson did a great job and I look forward to his version of The Hobbit. If the Hobbit movies do as well as the LOTR trilogy, maybe Jackson will also make a movie based on The Silmarillion. Then the elves will really have reason to celebrate!

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. George R.R. Martin on Law and Fantasy Literature:
  2. Peter Jackson Signs Deal to Make Two Hobbit Movies:
Vinnie (mail):
I'd rather see him take on Burroughs's "A Princess of Mars" first.
12.18.2007 5:13pm
D Palmer (mail):
I was OK with the portrayal of Saruman as it was revealed in the books that he had been tempted by Sauron through his use of the Palantir.

My only real complaint was the expansion of the Liv Tyler character, who is peripheral at best in the books. Not only did she steal Frodo's thunder at the river crossing to Rivendell, but the gratuitous and useless filmy flashback scenes used the time could have been used to add the Taking of the Shire to the movie, which is one of my favorite parts of the books.

And yes, I realize that I have thought about this topic WAY to much.
12.18.2007 5:17pm
George Weiss (mail):
a movie based on The Silmarillion? hats next..a movie based on chronicles I.?
12.18.2007 5:32pm
Chris Newman (mail) (www):
Callooh! Callay! I chortle in my joy.


Re beefs with LOTR: I only wish Jackson could have taken some of the time Frodo and Sam spent gazing into each others' eyes and used it to show the Scourging of the Shire.
12.18.2007 5:38pm
:Lurker:
Actually,

I think that the dwarves may have cause to complain if they are treated in the same matter as they were in LOTR, comic relief stripped of all nobility.
12.18.2007 5:40pm
Chris Newman (mail) (www):
On a somewhat related topic, when is Sasha going to get around to giving us his review of the new Beowulf film? Surely he doesn't think that grading exams takes precedence over such urgent tasks?
12.18.2007 5:41pm
Casual Peruser:
Entertainment Weekly predicted that if The Golden Compass failed to meet opening weekend expectations, New Line Cinema would quickly bury the hatchet with Jackson and finally push the Hobbit project forward. But no one thought it'd be quite *this* quickly.
12.18.2007 5:42pm
wooga:
Add me to the chorus complaining about Jackson's obsession with Hobbieroticism instead of dead Hobbits.
12.18.2007 5:43pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
I'd like him to re-make LoTR from Sauron's point of view.
12.18.2007 5:43pm
The Cabbage:
Jackson did an unbelievable job. I can't imagine the constraints in trying to turn the trilogy into film. This is excellent news.

/here's to hoping he doesn't Lucas it.
12.18.2007 5:44pm
Sebastian Holsclaw (mail):
I agree that it was a key misstep to portray Saruman as a lackey rather than as a power in his own right who had been perverted by the desire to do 'good' but use the ring.

As for the Hobbit, is there a natural break in the story where Jackson can end the first film?
12.18.2007 5:44pm
U.Va. 3L:
A movie based on The Silmarillion would hopefully be much, much better than the book.
12.18.2007 5:46pm
Bob Montgomery (mail):
The more I watch the LOTR movies the more I dislike them. They are very pretty and a lot of fun at first - but if you know the books at all the changes are appalling and, whether you know the books or not, the movies are disjointed, hamfisted, and overly sappy in any case.
12.18.2007 5:51pm
Joe Kowalski (mail):

As for the Hobbit, is there a natural break in the story where Jackson can end the first film?

The eagle rescue from the wolves might be a good place to break, although I'm not sure if that would be too early in the story.
12.18.2007 5:55pm
karrde (mail) (www):
Actually, The Silmarillion has far too much scope to survive as a solid film.

They could, however, do the big human stories that are in it, the ones Tolkien spent the most time on: Beren and Luthien, The Children of Hurin, and Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin.

However, I think the scriptwriters would either balk at the volume of revisions that Tolkien himself worked through (and left to his son Christopher), or simplify things too much and destroy the beauty of the tales.

I doubt any film-maker could do a good job with Music of the Ainur, though it's essential to The Silmarillion storyline. The making of the Silmarils might be interesting, but their tale is spread out too far in the overall epic to be reducible into a single film.
12.18.2007 5:56pm
Mark Seecof:
I think the worst thing Jackson did to LOTR was make Frodo into a wimp, a weepy chip of flotsam swirled by turbulent waters of fate. In the books he's country gentry-- though he starts off rather naïve-- both courageous and capable of leading his party. Jackson didn't just swipe Frodo's courage at the ford of Bruinen and award it to Arwen, he pulled the same trick over and over. It's particularly bad after Frodo and Sam cross the river above the Falls of Rauros. In the books Frodo leads and disciplines his forlorn hope, especially after he picks up Gollum. In the movies? The closest he comes is misguided petulance on the secret stairs, an incident which Jackson (or his partner) created. I think the movies are mighty fine, but I think they could and would have been better if Jackson had avoided making an error akin to the one many villains in the books make-- deciding that since Hobbits are short they must behave like children.

(Though it would have to rank fairly low on the list of Jackson's bad decisions, I also think he did his viewers a disservice by giving all the male characters incredibly ratty hair even during comfortable parts of their journeys. Not only is it incongruous, when female characters all have beautiful hair, and off-putting, but it doesn't fit with the notions of pride we can impute to all these sword-bearing fellows.)
12.18.2007 5:57pm
:Lurker:
Natural break? Perhaps after escape from the Misty Mountains. All in, it seems rather thin for two movies.
12.18.2007 5:57pm
:Lurker:
The eagle rescue? You're right, of course.
12.18.2007 5:58pm
CEB:
According to some commenters at Fark, the first movie is of The Hobbit, and the second movie is between Hobbit and LOTR, pieced together from the Sima-whatever and other stories.
12.18.2007 6:00pm
SenatorX (mail):
Cool! I always thought The Hobbit was an good book.

The Silmarillion? Good luck with that! He would have to cut out 90% I imagine, there is just so much. I went into that book very skeptical but was amazed at how good it was. A great work of art IMO, an excellent genesis.
12.18.2007 6:03pm
Lior:
After what Jackson et al did to The Two Towers and Return of the King (just two examples: the hasty, easily swayed and swindled ents; the uniformly weak-willed human characters [Faramir, Theoden]) it's clear that whenever he writes his own material it's really bad; whenever he edits Tolkien it's usually great (I like his Fellowship of the Ring). At a few points (esp. with Faramir) he makes it clear that he's explicitly rejecting Tolkien for his own take on things, with awful results. Thus his Hobbit might work, but him writing new material for an interlude between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings is sure to be horrible.
12.18.2007 6:22pm
Kent G. Budge (mail) (www):
I've found that people either love the Silmarillion or hate it. I probably belong to the "love" camp in spite of its flaws.

You can't make a movie out of it. I doubt you can even make a movie out of any of its episodes. The Lay of Leithian can't be extracted meaningfully from the surrounding context, unfortunately. Likewise Tuor and the fall of Gondolin, which becomes kind of pointless unless you carry the story out to Earendil.

Narn i Hin Hurin stands by itself. Unfortunately, it's so amazingly depressing that I can't see Hollywood picking it up.

You *might* make something of the Voyage of Earendil. You'd have to invent a lot to fill in the gaps, but then Jackson does have an inventive streak, for good or bad.
12.18.2007 6:25pm
Waldensian (mail):

My only real complaint was the expansion of the Liv Tyler character, who is peripheral at best in the books.

Maybe so, but she was the hottest movie elf, like, ever.
12.18.2007 6:31pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
The Tolkien estate still retains rights to the Silmarilion, and as Christopher Tolkien reportedly hates the films, I don't see that happening any time soon. They might be able to do some of the stuff from the Appendicies, but Ungoliant breaking Morgoth out of prison and chopping down the trees, and Feanor going mad and leading his family into Middle Earth to wreak havoc, isn't in the cards.
12.18.2007 6:45pm
Lior:
Someone on slashdot suggested a mockumentary based on the Silmarillion, which I think is a brilliant idea. The way to go is probably something like a "History Channel" special spread over several episodes, perhaps with a bit of live reenactment interspersed among the taking heads.
12.18.2007 6:53pm
A.S.:
The link said the only the first movie is The Hobbit. (Which is a good choice - there's only one movie in that book, not two.)

The second movie is, I guess, something that Peter Jackson will make up about the time period between the Hobbit and LOTR. I don't like that one bit. Let's stick to the Tolkien texts, please.
12.18.2007 7:28pm
Jiffy:

she was the hottest movie elf, like, ever.



She wasn't even the hottest (female) elf in the movie. Galadriel, wow.
12.18.2007 7:38pm
k parker (mail):
What all the previous detractors said (especially the omission of The Scouring of the Shire--no, make that especially the stuff with Arwen--no, make that...)

But also, where's Tom Bombadil?????


(To be fair, I can't be too unhappy with Jackson because the results are far less bad than I ever imagined a LOTR film could be.)
12.18.2007 7:38pm
KeithK (mail):
I can't see how the Hobbit can be turned into two movies. Well, maybe they could just make two 1:45 flicks instead of one that runs 3:15 and cash in on the double ticket sales.

I find it hard to believe that Jackson has the rights to make a movie about much of anything between There and Back Again and LoTR (or that it would make a decent movie anyway). The most plausible addition I've heard is to actually include the confrontation between the White Council and the Necromancer (i.e. Sauron) that is mentioned in passing during the Hobbit.
12.18.2007 7:41pm
KeithK (mail):

it's clear that whenever he writes his own material it's really bad; whenever he edits Tolkien it's usually great (I like his Fellowship of the Ring). At a few points (esp. with Faramir) he makes it clear that he's explicitly rejecting Tolkien for his own take on things, with awful results.


I agree completely. Faramir has to be one of the worst cases. The contrast between brothers Boromir and Faramir that was central to the Faramir character is completely missing in the movies.
12.18.2007 7:44pm
critic (mail):
One big annoyance I had with the films: The Ents move very slowly, obviously, and Merry and Pippin complain to Treebeard that they need to speed up. But when Treebeard sees Isengard and sends out the signal, all of a sudden lots of Ents instantly appear out of nowhere. They must have learned how to run fast (but then slowed down once they got there and move in super slow-mo).
That whole scene with the flooding of Isengard left a lot to be desired.
12.18.2007 7:50pm
omaniphil (mail):
While I'm happy that The Hobbit will be made into a film, I share the concern above about the Dwarves being comic relief. I didn't find Jackson's Saruman so bad, especially after the extended editions came out and we saw more of Saruman.

I did however find the movies' portrayal of non-Rohirrim humans to be quite a letdown. Faramir was turned into a weak character with his need to impress his father. Denethor was gluttonous crazed coot, whereas in the books he was much more noble and tragically misguided. Aragorn suffered the worst treatment though. In the books he was a man on a mission and while still suffering from some self doubt, knew his destiny and was not afraid of it. In the movies however, he was a shadow of what he could have and should have been.
12.18.2007 8:00pm
Rick Rockwell:
There's a lot of material in the Hobbit, I hope he doesn't cut it too much. From Barrels out of Bond through the Battle of the Five Armies seems like a movie in itself. I'm looking forward to seeing William, Bert, and Tom.
12.18.2007 8:07pm
DangerMouse:
Add me to the list of LOTR-movie detractors. In fact, I loathe the movies, and can't stand to watch them at all. Everything PJ did to change things, from making Frodo into a wimp, to changing Galadriel, to making the Ents change their mind so quickly, to expanding Arwen, to cutting the Scouring of the Shire, to making Saruman into a lacky, and to a host of other things - all make the movies a piece of crap in comparison to the books.

Reportedly, almost all of the actors, producers, and even PJ himself, had no idea of the underlying Catholic themes that pervade Lord of the Rings. They didn't know what they were doing at all. It probably explains why they screwed up Arwen and Faramir so much.

PJ, of course, will screw up the Hobbit also. To hell with him.
12.18.2007 8:13pm
glangston (mail):
The best thing that could have happened after these LOTR movies was for people to actually read the books, which are superior. As far as this Hobbit news, it sounds like we'll have to suffer a la Star Wars, with out of sequence stories. It seems to resonate with movie goers so maybe it is now a Hollywood formula, a version of Back to the Future.
12.18.2007 8:28pm
wooga:
For all the complaints about Peter Jackson, just imagine what would have happened if someone like Brett Ratner had gotten his stubby fingers on the movies... So I give Peter Jackson a lot of slack (but not much, after the crap that was King Kong).
12.18.2007 8:33pm
Enoch:
I don't think it's necessarily a bad interpretation to show Saruman as wanting to be Mussolini to Sauron's Hitler.

Jackson's LOTR is a work of genius in comparison to the awful, offensively bad Ralph Bakshi version.

Since I find the Silmarillion unreadable, I expect a movie based on it to be unwatchable...
12.18.2007 9:16pm
Zywicki (mail):
Maybe if he did make a movie out of the Silmarillion then I'd finally be able to figure out what in the hell is going on in that book. I think I've started reading it about three times now with no success.
12.18.2007 9:22pm
Waldensian (mail):

She wasn't even the hottest (female) elf in the movie. Galadriel, wow.

We'll have to agree to disagree there. Cate just does nothing for me, even as a translucent pointy-eared critter.

In fact, I used to date Cate, and I dumped her. Because she was so physical all the time and never wanted to just talk. Yeah, that's the ticket.
12.18.2007 9:23pm
itshissong:
While I love the movies and understand many of the cuts and departures from the text I was really disappointed that Jackson missed the chance to provide the full dramatic effect that the army of the dead had in the novels. Specifically, I can't understand why he cut out the moment when the Corsairs hijacked ships pull up next to the fields of the pelennor at which point everything seems lost for the armies of the west only to be followed by an unfurling of the flag of the White Tree of Minas Tirith. It wouldn't have taken up any more time than the scene already takes in the movies and would have been so much more satisfying for both the viewer and especially for aficionados of the books.
12.18.2007 10:11pm
Jmaie (mail):
Galadriel over Arwen? Take that back, or I'll have to go get my axe.

My personal "most hated" scene (among many) was the stupid Orthanc scene in which Saruman beats up Gandalf. Just can't see it happening that way. Wooga is right, it could have been much worse. Unfortunately that's a far cry from it being great.

I was in college in 1980('81?) when that abomination of a cartoon came out, and we were all in the lounge watching it. After Frodo and Sam escaped from Minas Morgul, and the death's head Nazgul flew up on his winged horse, one of my classmates walked out with the comment, "Let me know how it ends."
12.18.2007 10:17pm
Jmaie (mail):
It will be interesting to see how PJ handles goblins if he does The Hobbit. People are now used to the LOR version, whereas in The Hobbit version they were more like comic relief.
12.18.2007 10:17pm
itshissong:
oh yeah on the Arwen/Galadriel front, can't we all agree that neither Kate Blanchet nor Liv Tyler are remotely hot enough to play either part?
12.18.2007 11:04pm
yahonza (mail):

oh yeah on the Arwen/Galadriel front, can't we all agree that neither Kate Blanchet nor Liv Tyler are remotely hot enough to play either part?


No, we can not. They both looked like hot elvish rune-hungry ring-crazed sluts to me.
12.18.2007 11:22pm
itshissong:
Could't disagree more. Cate Blanchet is handsome but not pretty, beautiful, or hot. Liv Tyler is straight out plain and would not turn heads if you saw her walking on the street if she wasn't so tall.
12.18.2007 11:24pm
Chris Newman (mail) (www):
While I agree with the criticisms many have expressed with regard to Jackson's departures from Tolkien, I think you have to cut the guy some slack. Film is a different medium from books, and if you want films like this to be made at all they necessarily have to be able to appeal to a moviegoing audience that hasn't read the books. Take the treatment of Faramir for example. I was initially aghast at the fact that the character had been robbed of his great "Not if I saw it on the highway" speech. But rather than merely harping on the departure let's do the filmmakers the courtesy of trying to understand their purpose. Why does the film have that scene with Frodo and the Nazgul in Gondor? Jackson thought the audience needed Faramir to see that in order to understand why he let Frodo go. Despite the loss of his best line, I think Faramir's character actually remains pretty intact in the film. He doesn't want the ring for himself--but he does have duties to Gondor and his father. Even in the book, he considers taking Frodo to Minas Tirith to be interrogated by Denethor. I think the reason they went this way in the film is that the relationship between Frodo and Faramir is too subtle to translate well to a movie audience. It's based on a series of verbal fencing matches, hints deciphered, and that dance of platonic flirtation engaged in by honorable men as they start up a mutual admiration society. Even at the end of all of it, Faramir doesn't explain his decision to let Frodo go. We read it between the lines. He knows that not everyone in Gondor would leave the ring lying in the highway. (We later suspect that he knew his father wouldn't.) He senses that Frodo is a person of immense character on a mission that must not be interfered with. How do you make this clear to an audience? Jackson has the same problem with Faramir that he does with Aragorn: to make virtue palpable to a movie audience, you have to show someone struggling with it. So the film is logical: Faramir, following his duty to the law, initially takes Frodo to Gondor. I think the scene with the Nazgul is supposed to dramatize the realization that Faramir in the book had deduced for himself long before Frodo showed up: that the tools of the Enemy are to be avoided at all costs. Having seen first-hand what hold the ring has on Frodo and what it does to him, Faramir knows that he doesn't want it in Gondor. He certainly doesn't want his father to be exposed to it. So he lets Frodo go. If I'm right, this explains why they dropped Faramir's line. It would have been inconsistent with the mental process Faramir is supposed to be going through. So I can appreciate why Jackson went this way. I'd still rather have seen Faramir deliver his speech, though.

OK, do I win the geek award for this evening?
12.18.2007 11:26pm
josh bornstein (mail) (www):
I had the opportunity to sit in on a chat with the LOTR producers. New insights: Not only did the movies almost never get made, there were many times when the bidding studios wanted only one movie [from all 3 books? imagine the editing there]. Also, re the deletion of the "Scouring of the Shire" bits...the producers surprised me by saying that this was their least favorite part of the 3 books, and that they always agreed that this would not be in the movie[s]. As it was actually one of my fav bits, this surprised me, but at least it was nice to know that the ommission was not a result of Peter Jackson's vision, but rather, it came directly from the head producers.
12.19.2007 12:08am
Lev:

The more I watch the LOTR movies the more I dislike them. They are very pretty and a lot of fun at first - but if you know the books at all the changes are appalling and, whether you know the books or not, the movies are disjointed, hamfisted, and overly sappy in any case.


Absolutely correct.

Speaking of the women, while weaving in and out of the mumakil hacking and slashing was a nice touch, what was the deal with the weepy weepy Eowyn?

And speaking of dramatic moments lost, what happened to Aragon's Big Moment? "But as the lead ship turned toward the Harlond, a great banner broke forth, bearing a white tree, and that was for Gondor, but above it seven stars and the high crown of Elendil, not seen for years beyond count."

Yeah, Geek question: if The Hobbit is two movies, how many should LOTR have been?
12.19.2007 12:10am
omaniphil (mail):
Chris, you bring up some really good points and I don't entirely disagree with you, even though I still find Jackson's treatment somewhat denigrating to the human characters. My quibble I guess is with society at large.

How do you make this clear to an audience? Jackson has the same problem with Faramir that he does with Aragorn: to make virtue palpable to a movie audience, you have to show someone struggling with it.

Why is that though? Would it be too much for audiences to deal with the verbal exchange between Frodo and Sam on the road to Henneth Anun? I guess I understand that cinema is a visual medium but it still irks me that in translating it to the screen, they did some damage (in my mind) to one of the most noble characters in the books.
12.19.2007 12:15am
Lev:
Chris Newman

Nah.


Why does the film have that scene with Frodo and the Nazgul in Gondor?


That requires us to believe that Sauron and the Nazgul are..stoopid.. Nazgul sees Frodo with the ring in plain view. Not to mention the ring attracts them. And we are then to believe that the entire army and all the Nazgul go off to assault the city instead of finding the little bugger?
12.19.2007 12:16am
SenatorX (mail):
I was in college in 1980('81?) when that abomination of a cartoon came out, and we were all in the lounge watching it.

Lol is that the one where they sing all the time? I was violated by that one bad. Of course it seems funny now, but at the time? Not cool.

oh yeah on the Arwen/Galadriel front, can't we all agree that neither Kate Blanchet nor Liv Tyler are remotely hot enough to play either part?

Yes I felt that way too. I think there was I time I thought Liv was hot but she didnt seem that way to me in the movies. Kate has never done it for me but I'm not exactly sure why.
12.19.2007 12:49am
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):

Also, re the deletion of the "Scouring of the Shire" bits...the producers surprised me by saying that this was their least favorite part of the 3 books, and that they always agreed that this would not be in the movie[s]. As it was actually one of my fav bits, this surprised me, but at least it was nice to know that the ommission was not a result of Peter Jackson's vision, but rather, it came directly from the head producers.


The thing is, if they'd included the Scouring, it would've alleviated the complaints about the ending going on too long -- just as the audience starts to get restless, Saruman reappears to wreak havoc in the Shire. It's a formula that works for horror movies, so why not epic adventures.

I also agree with the complaints about the handling of the Corsairs. I can understand Jackson wanting to simplify the script by getting rid of the storyline about the cities in southern Gondor keeping back their troops to defend against the Corsairs, but it would've been simple enough to end the Paths of the Dead sequence on an ambiguous note so that when the Black Ships show up at Minas Tirith it looks like the good guys are doomed. Instead it's obvious what's about to happen.
12.19.2007 1:12am
Chris Newman (mail) (www):
Lev: I thought the point was supposed to be that the Nazgul saw Frodo while he was on route with Faramir to Minas Tirith, and thus would have assumed that's where he was going.
12.19.2007 1:13am
David M. Nieporent (www):
While I'm happy that The Hobbit will be made into a film, I share the concern above about the Dwarves being comic relief.
Of course, that would be more faithful to the Hobbit than to LotR.
12.19.2007 5:13am
Gaius Marius:
Jeez, what do you fellows want, a couple of porn stars cast as Galadrial and Arwen?
12.19.2007 6:50am
Hoosier:
"oh yeah on the Arwen/Galadriel front, can't we all agree that neither Kate Blanchet nor Liv Tyler are remotely hot enough to play either part?

Yes I felt that way too. I think there was I time I thought Liv was hot but she didnt seem that way to me in the movies. Kate has never done it for me but I'm not exactly sure why."

I cannot share the boards with men who insult Kate Blanchet in that manner!

Pistols at 10 paces, sirs!
12.19.2007 7:19am
libertarian soldier (mail):
Maybe he can do a better job with a less complicated story line. I detested LoTR; I walked out during the first one and have only watched bits and pieces of the other two, but it deleted the Barrow wights, Tom Bombadil and Glorfindal, had a company of elves at Helm's Deep, put Eomer outside oF HD leading the rescue forces instead of Erkenbrand of Westfold, had Faramir take Frodo to Osgiliath, and God only knows what else. He should have called it "Middle Earth, inspired by the LotR", as they did with Troy (which I loved even though it had little in common with the Illiad).
12.19.2007 7:51am
Anderson (mail):
While I agree with the criticisms many have expressed with regard to Jackson's departures from Tolkien, I think you have to cut the guy some slack.

No, you don't.

First rule when adapting a hellaciously long story: don't make up extraneous crap &then cut the real story to fit.

And yet we get Aragorn's "getting lost," the silly Arwen-will-die subplot, the laughable "wizard duel," Legolas jumping up onto oliphaunts, etc., etc.

Someday, computer technology will allow a fairly inexpensive LOTR to be made, and people will find out that - surprise! - you can make a really good movie out of a really good book by FOLLOWING THE FREAKIN' BOOK.

(One of the cute things about the book is that the hobbits, like kids, never quite seem to flash on Aragorn's having the hots for Arwen, so that it's a surprise when she shows up at Minas Tirith.)
12.19.2007 9:06am
Aeon J. Skoble (mail):
Lev: only one film of The Hobbit. The second film will be about stuff that happened between that book and LOTR, allegedly culled from unpublished Tolkien writings.

SenatorX: while the Bakshi version is craptastic, it has no singing. Perhaps you're thinking of the Rankin/Bass cartoon, which wasn't any better of course.
12.19.2007 9:25am
Uh_Clem (mail):

a movie based on The Silmarillion? hats next..a movie based on chronicles I.?

I was thinking something more along the lines of the Manhattan Phone Book, or US Code Title 30.
12.19.2007 10:28am
Lugo:
I think that the dwarves may have cause to complain if they are treated in the same matter as they were in LOTR, comic relief stripped of all nobility.

In The Hobbit, comic relief will be provided by a klutzy Rasta elf who speaks pidgin English...
12.19.2007 10:33am
Waldensian (mail):

Liv Tyler is straight out plain and would not turn heads if you saw her walking on the street if she wasn't so tall.

You have no appreciation for elven hotties. None.

I would mention some horrible Tolkien-esque fate that should now befall you, but I don't know much about the books, and frankly I've always thought that fans of them were kind of geeky.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
12.19.2007 10:33am
Anderson (mail):
Perhaps you're thinking of the Rankin/Bass cartoon, which wasn't any better of course.

Must disagree. The Rankin/Bass Hobbit wasn't *good*, but it didn't sink to the Worst.Adaptation.Ever. level of the Bakshi abortion.

Several scenes and bits of dialogue were just as in the book, and Smaug was fairly impressive. I would have to say that the Rankin/Bass effort was more faithful to its source than Jackson's LOTR was to that book.
12.19.2007 11:40am
Grange95 (mail):
As someone who fell in love with the LOTR books in fourth grade, I had waited nearly 25 years before the movies came out. Although I had a few small disappointments, I felt that the movies did an overall solid job of conveying the story as told in the books. No movie can ever convey as much as the book it's based upon, and certain liberties have to be tolerated for purposes of character and plot development. The part that sold me on the LOTR movies was part involving the Mines of Moria (including Gandalf's talk with Frodo about mercy, the Balrog, and Gandalf's death). Those scenes really made the books leap to life, and yet were quite faithful to the books.

Given that all the readers of the books have their own preconceived notions of the story and characters, I think Jackson did a pretty remarkable job translating the stories to the screen (and didn't try to condense it into a 2 hour glorified battle like 300).
12.19.2007 11:56am
D Palmer (mail):
Despite my comments at the beginning of the thread, I do believe that the movies were spectacularly well done given the breadth of the material.

Yes I wish Jackson had not inserted so much of his own material in lieu of Tolkien's (expansion of Arwen, the whole Gondor scene with Faramir, etc.), there was so much to include that it was inevitable that something would be left out that we fans would complain about.

I will be very interested to see what a different writer and director do with Hobbit.
12.19.2007 12:03pm
ScaldisNoel (mail):
Re: Liv Tyler
She gets beauty points simply for overcoming the genetic tendency to be a perfect orc (have you seen her father?).

Re: Silmarillion
If you think the LOTR was an unfaithful-to-the-book adaptation, a movie adaptaion of the Silmarillion would be either unwatchable (if it was true to the book) or SINO (Silmarillion in name only). In either case it would be awful since the book was so utterly dull. It was through sheer force of will that I was able to plod through it out of a misplaced feeling of obligation to Tolkien, since LOTR is so brilliant.
12.19.2007 1:13pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
Everyone loves to hate on the Silmarillion. Okay, imagine you get this movie pitch: let's make a movie about Greek mythology. All of it? Yes, all of it. Seriously, that's the scope we're talking about.

The Silmarillion is not a book. It's a whole collection of stories and songs and poems, all designed to give a mythopoetic background to Middle Earth. Within that there are some particular stories which could be made into movies, but it's not supposed to be a single, coherent whole.
12.19.2007 1:46pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"Maybe he can do a better job with a less complicated story line. I detested LoTR; I walked out during the first one and have only watched bits and pieces of the other two, but it deleted the Barrow wights, Tom Bombadil and Glorfindal, had a company of elves at Helm's Deep, put Eomer outside oF HD leading the rescue forces instead of Erkenbrand of Westfold, had Faramir take Frodo to Osgiliath, and God only knows what else."

This reminds me of the NPR fan-interview comment I heard when the first Jackson movie arrived, something to the effect of "oh my God, they failed to name one of the principal character's weapons." Seriously, they're not perfect, but pretty good films, no? Who cares if hardcore geek/fandom is offended, did we really lose anything *essential* (maybe the eucatastrophe theme)? I think Jackson deserved the Best Picture nod, though maybe for the first one and not the third.
12.19.2007 2:12pm
KeithK (mail):
IF Jackson sticks to the actual story a movie Hobbit could be good. It's really a pretty simple story written as a children's fantasy tale. This shouldn't be too hard to convert to a visual medium. Especially if they take advantage of the fact that the book has a narrator. Get Ian Holm to do any needed voice-over exposition - it'll help in the translation and help make it fit the tone of the book ("Oh the stories I could tell about Elrond!" [paraphrase]).

My worry is that PJ will try to insert some new characterization or conflict to increase the "depth" of the story. Especially since he's already made LoTR, which is such a more complex tale, and may think that audiences expect something similar in this follow on.
12.19.2007 3:02pm
KeithK (mail):
Must disagree. The Rankin/Bass Hobbit wasn't *good*, but it didn't sink to the Worst.Adaptation.Ever. level of the Bakshi abortion.

I think he means the 1980 Rankin/Bass version of Return of the King. Which is probably horrible but at 8 years old didn't seem so bad (even after reading the book).
12.19.2007 3:04pm
Jackson's moments:
PJ has his moments. I think everyone agrees that his portrayal of the Gollum/Smeagol debate was perfect, I would say surpasses perfection. It was genius inspired. In other parts of the films, such as the decision to degrade Denethor, it was a "meh" decision. The problem is the material he was working from, Tolkien was genius inspired. You can't go wrong with playing with Narnia, Narnia itself reads like a parody of the New Testament. Tolkien's vision is outstanding in every sense.

That being said, Tolkien was a woman hater. Okay, maybe just disliked women. Okay, maybe didn't understand women. By all accounts, women did not really fit into his scheme of things. In that sense, it made sense for PJ to add roles for women to the film. I mean, none of these guys are married? Whose gonna give the hug and kiss when the heros return, at the very least? But the rest of the changes to the book turned inspired writing to cinematic mush. If you can't do better, just leave it.

The Silmarillion is the best thing for movies, because the details are left out. The moviemake can do what he or she wishes with the story. It is a geek's dream, but very few Tolkien geeks will have what to be upset about if Beren and Luthien have more than 3 conversations, or if Numenor holds a party.
12.19.2007 3:23pm
SenatorX (mail):
I have a suspicion some Silmarillion haters haven't actually read the book. I think this because the reasons they say it sucked are the exact reasons I EXPECTED the book to suck, before I actually read it. I typically loathe books of that format but it was much better than I had imagined. I don't read music and poems in books though. Nope, I just move on by.
12.19.2007 3:31pm
Jeff the Baptist (mail) (www):
You can't go wrong with playing with Narnia, Narnia itself reads like a parody of the New Testament.
Sure you can. In fact, the last Narnia movie had all the same problems that Jackson's LoTR had. The reluctant hero where there was none. Symbolism dropped left and right. The useless and unnecessary action sequences which break up the proper flow of the narrative. It's all there.
But also, where's Tom Bombadil?????
Of all the changes, dropping Tom Bombadil and the wights was the least important. In fact I was glad he did it. Fellowship originally takes for freaking ever to get to Rivendell and kick off the main plot. I always hated that about the book's pacing. Once at Rivendell, Elrond has to explain why they don't just give Bombadil the Ring and end the story right there. Cutting him out was a good idea.
12.19.2007 4:03pm
SenatorX (mail):
12.19.2007 9:02pm
SenatorX (mail):
Yes! I found the singing orcs! Brings back memories.
12.19.2007 9:14pm
Lev:
Chris Newman


I thought the point was supposed to be that the Nazgul saw Frodo while he was on route with Faramir to Minas Tirith, and thus would have assumed that's where he was going.


That is, of course, what the good guys were counting on Sauron believing - the ring going to Gondor - in the absence of information.

But in the movie, he had information - one of the Nazgul had the ring in sight right in front of him...it. Since the Nine had a psychic connection with each other and Sauron, no way Frodo gets away...unless they are stoopid.
12.20.2007 12:37am
Lev:
Another dramatic moment missed: at the Gate of Gondor, Grond, the words of command, the confrontation of The White and The Black, "you old fool, your time is done", "you shall not pass", cock crows, horns of Rohan.
12.20.2007 2:28am
Prigos:
My two bits. The Silmarllion is brilliant, but it isn't fantasy, it's mythology. People who go in expecting LotR don't deal with it. But people who enjoy the Iliad get it. I personally far prefer the Silmarillion, but it would be 20 or 30 different movies, not one. And most of those movies would only be watchable to people like me. That said, you could probably make a damn fine action movie out of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears or the Fall of Gondolin. Not happy movies, but hey.

And there were aspects of the LotR triology that I really liked. But I've found that I go back and watch specific parts and that's it. I found large sections of it... insulting, particularly since I read and enjoyed the Silmarillion and had the additional context from it. In addition to some of those mentioned (though the taking of the Shire was never really part of the books I enjoyed), Helm's Deep was unfortunate (adding the Elves to that was... unacceptable, and their treatment farcical), the Black Gate, Battle for Gondor, and Eowyn all struck false notes. Particularly the slaying of the Witch-king. Other parts, like Moria, Galadriel, and even Shelob, were done well enough. And some of the changes that I didn't like, for better or worse, were impressive.
12.20.2007 5:13pm