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Old 11-17-2017, 06:46 PM   #41
Michael Murry
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The "Why" and the "What?"

Originally Posted by Kuruharan:

Quote:
I can just see Jackson already trying to work his way into the project. I fear that for the low knowledge corporate types he would seem like a big prize to score for the project since his name is already so heavily tied to the brand, they would think they are ensuring the success of the show by bringing him on board.
This seems like a rather inescapable -- if not implacable and inexorable -- observation. Consider, from Wikipedia:

Quote:
The [Hobbit] series was a major financial success, with the films classified as one of the highest-grossing film series of all time, going on to outgross The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Although critically considered to be inferior to The Lord of the Rings, it was nominated for various awards and won several, though not as many as its predecessor

Budget
$675 million
Box office
$2.932 billion
More from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Television

On November 13, 2017, it was announced that Amazon had acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, committing to a multi-season television series. The series will not be a direct adaptation of the books, but will instead introduce new stories that are set before The Fellowship of the Ring. Amazon said the deal included potential for spin-off series as well.
We can clearly see the "why" of it all. I just shudder to think of the "what?"
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:50 PM   #42
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I wonder how much of the “financial success” of The Hobbit is attributable to inflation of ticket prices...
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:57 AM   #43
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I believe this deal has its roots in the rights that were sold in the late 60's to UA, so it will be limited to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings published book material. The CT published material (Sil, UT, CoH, HoME) is CT copyrighted and came after the 1969 deal was made. That said, the appendices at the end of Return of the King is a goldmine of summarized historical Middle Earth outlines that could lend itself easily to a multi episode TV mini-series. Of course, a major story in there is Appendix B which covers Aragorn and Arwen, so I suspect this will be at least part of this venture. That said, I am cautiously optomistic, or reluctantly hopeful, that this works out to the good. As long as there is an all new cast, and all new episode writers and directors, and PJ Boyens WETA and gang are kept as far away from it as possible, it may have a chance.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:09 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
I believe this deal has its roots in the rights that were sold in the late 60's to UA, so it will be limited to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings published book material. The CT published material (Sil, UT, CoH, HoME) is CT copyrighted and came after the 1969 deal was made. That said, the appendices at the end of Return of the King is a goldmine of summarized historical Middle Earth outlines that could lend itself easily to a multi episode TV mini-series. Of course, a major story in there is Appendix B which covers Aragorn and Arwen, so I suspect this will be at least part of this venture. That said, I am cautiously optomistic, or reluctantly hopeful, that this works out to the good. As long as there is an all new cast, and all new episode writers and directors, and PJ Boyens WETA and gang are kept as far away from it as possible, it may have a chance.
For my part, I'm optimistic that it will work out to be spectacularly horrible. Down with mediocrity, I say!
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:31 PM   #45
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I can't say I have much faith in an adaptation, save for that morbid type of interest that makes one slow down on the freeway to view a car crash.

Oh, I'm sure they'll trot out a slew of hired-gun "Tolkien experts" to give the proceedings the facade of authenticity, and they're sure to borrow some of the look of the films. They may even break from convention and have a multi-ethnic cast to assuage the appearance of political-incorrectness purportedly pervading Tolkien's Northwestern European mythos. There may even be the titillation of elves and men bumping uglies for the sake of the prurient modern and utterly bored viewer. After all, they must keep people engaged as they bounce from Facebook to Instagram between violent beheadings, incinerations and disembowlments.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:59 PM   #46
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They may even break from convention and have a multi-ethnic cast to assuage the appearance of political-incorrectness purportedly pervading Tolkien's Northwestern European mythos. There may even be the titillation of elves and men bumping uglies for the sake of the prurient modern and utterly bored viewer. After all, they must keep people engaged as they bounce from Facebook to Instagram between violent beheadings, incinerations and disembowlments.
Exactly. I fear the end product will have nothing Tolkien remaining, save the name. That begs the question of why one uses the Tolkien association, then. Only one answer: money.
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:29 PM   #47
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Hey, I wonj't be disappointed at all, since I fully expect Young Aragorn: Lord of the Game of Ring Thrones to be utter crap.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:43 PM   #48
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Hey, I wonj't be disappointed at all, since I fully expect Young Aragorn: Lord of the Game of Ring Thrones to be utter crap.
Well, white wolves did cross the Brandywine during the Fell Winter. Could zombies be far behind?
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:49 PM   #49
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Well, white wolves did cross the Brandywine during the Fell Winter. Could zombies be far behind?
And before The Wall there was the High Hay.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:46 PM   #50
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And before The Wall there was the High Hay.
Which has magic that stops the Children of the Old Forest!
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:57 PM   #51
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"Gimli" on the prospective LOTR TV series

I just caught this from Den of Geek:

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John Rhys-Davies interview: Aux, Orcs, Lord Of The Rings, Indiana Jones and more

John Rhys-Davies tells us about Aux, autograph hunting, horror, the Lord Of The Rings TV series and more.
I don't do Internet links very well in this forum, so would someone please fix this if I get it wrong?

[URL="http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/john-rhys-davies/53281/john-rhys-davies-interview-aux-orcs-lord-of-the-rings-indiana-jones-and-more"[/URL]

The Interested reader will have to scroll down a bit in the interview to get to Mr Rhys-Davies' comments on LOTR, the Hobbit, and prospective TV series. He basically sees little but greed for more $$$$$$$ in the whole idea, something like on-line gambling.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:28 PM   #52
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Good for JRD. He's always told it like he sees it.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:45 AM   #53
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Given that in the past the Estate has threatened legal action against a non-profit children's camp due to copyright https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...nge-name.shtml this whole money grab seems sordid to say the least. There are lots of good reasons for attacking Amazon (as I said, I avoid them because of their 'creative' approach to tax and their treatment of staff) but the anger should be directed at the Estate, who decided to cash in on Tolkien's creation. Any harm done to Tolkien's creation should be laid at the door of the Estate. What was born in the mud and blood of the Somme, has become a cash cow for a bunch of greedy business people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If the rights had been placed in the public domain we would have no doubt seen some appalling and offensive trash produced, but also some beautiful and creative productions. As it is, this deal will almost certainly only produce the former.
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:23 AM   #54
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To add to my last post, the bar has been set admittedly low with the LotR movies, and especially The Hobbit movies. Being the rights were sold 48 years ago before there was a 'Tolkien Estate', the estate likely put a high price on this especially after the hassles they had with the films. Cash grab?maybe, but may as well get the $ beforehand instead of hassling over the 'profits'.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:54 AM   #55
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Given that in the past the Estate has threatened legal action against a non-profit children's camp due to copyright https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...nge-name.shtml this whole money grab seems sordid to say the least.
Actions like that are an unfortunate necessity under current IP law: if the owner of a trademark doesn't act to protect it in cases like this, then the courts can find that the TM has been "abandoned" and is now public domain.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:55 AM   #56
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To add to my last post, the bar has been set admittedly low with the LotR movies, and especially The Hobbit movies. Being the rights were sold 48 years ago before there was a 'Tolkien Estate', the estate likely put a high price on this especially after the hassles they had with the films. Cash grab?maybe, but may as well get the $ beforehand instead of hassling over the 'profits'.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Except that the TV rights were not sold 48 years ago: they were sold in 2017.
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:06 AM   #57
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I'm somewhat comforted by the fact that the Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is already known to be a big fan of the fantasy genre and that he was directly involved in discussing this project with the Tolkien Estate and Trust.~Valesse
The rub about this is I remember when Jackson said he was a "fan" of Tolkien because he read Lord of the Rings once on a train and thought "this will be a kewl movie."
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:13 AM   #58
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The rub about this is I remember when Jackson said he was a "fan" of Tolkien because he read Lord of the Rings once on a train and thought "this will be a kewl movie."
I'd be surprised if the writers of a tv series had even done that. At most they might have watched the movies, and that's where their ideas about Tolkien will originate.
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:23 PM   #59
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Question Not optimistic

Thanks for starting this thread, Victariongreyjoy!

With what people have said, and the news of Christopher Tolkien's resignation as Director of the Tolkien Estate, I'm not optimistic about this planned TV series.

If, as you said Snowdog, this happened, things might be different:

As long as there is an all new cast, and all new episode writers and directors, and PJ Boyens WETA and gang are kept as far away from it as possible, it may have a chance.

The best that can be done, I think, is to wait and see...
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Old 11-19-2017, 03:25 PM   #60
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This commentator agrees with us:
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-r...stamina-amazon

"Realistically, the best the series can do is not disappoint people. The worst it can do is junk the franchise for ever. That seems like too big a gamble, especially for a service that makes most of its money delivering cat food."
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Old 11-19-2017, 03:52 PM   #61
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Boots Interesting article

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First, the initial reaction to the Lord of the Rings show was a heavy, sustained groan that could be heard the world over. No one is remotely excited about the adaptation. Even to the most enthusiastic Tolkien fan, it’s just another needless dilution of a work that exists best in print form.
I had not consulted any other sites to gauge reaction to the news, so this information both intrigues and pleases me.

Quote:
It will be a prequel that ditches the canon in order to explore the events between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, events so dull that Tolkien didn’t bother committing them to paper.
That comment irritated me.

It is not that the events between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are dull. Not at all.

I just don't think the greedy pack of cynics who are producing this show will come close to doing it justice.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:03 PM   #62
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Except that the TV rights were not sold 48 years ago: they were sold in 2017.

coughcoughexamplebassrankincoughcough.
The reading of the original 1969 contract says differently, and the material to be covered in this latest deal is part of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:29 AM   #63
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coughcoughexamplebassrankincoughcough.
The reading of the original 1969 contract says differently, and the material to be covered in this latest deal is part of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
Love the Rankin Bass Hobbit. Jackson's farrago shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath.
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Old Yesterday, 03:05 AM   #64
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The Beautiful and the Appalling

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... What was born in the mud and blood of the Somme, has become a cash cow for a bunch of greedy business people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If the rights had been placed in the public domain we would have no doubt seen some appalling and offensive trash produced, but also some beautiful and creative productions. As it is, this deal will almost certainly only produce the former.
Speaking of treasured literary works in the public domain and what inspiration -- both/either appalling and/or beautiful -- others have drawn from them, you might find the following of interest:

Celebrating 200 Years of FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA
Posted by Eric Diaz, the Nerdist.com (June 30, 2016)
https://nerdist.com/celebrating-200-...n-and-dracula/

And, in the appalling (but truthful) trash department we now have YouTube and unsolicited volunteers reading us the scatological Mad Magazine movie reviews, just in case crap movies have rendered us incapable of reading cartoon pictures for ourselves; like, for instance:

The Slobbit Mad Magazine Part One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJcNOe4Br1s

The Slobbit Mad Magazine Part Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3kDHXeMP7w

And these two videos only cover one-third of the bloated three-thirds of a one-movie story whose gross ticket receipts have convinced greedy investors to underwrite not one but several television seasons of ... just what I shudder to think.
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Old Yesterday, 05:13 AM   #65
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There and Back and There and Back

In my above comment about public-domain literary masterpieces and how later writers and movie directors feed off of them, I mentioned Bram Stoker's Dracula because -- in relation to Tolkien's epic triology, the scene featuring Smeagol-Gollum climbing face down a cliff in LOTR: The Two Towers comes straight from Dracula, where Jonathan Harker relates in his journal what he saw one night when looking out over the empty courtyard of the Count's delapidated castle.

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... As I leaned from the window my eye was caught by something moving a storey below me, and somewhat to my left, where I imagined, from the lie of the rooms, that the window of the Count's own room would look out ...

What I saw was the Count's head coming out from the window. I did not see the face, but I knew the man by the neck and the movement of his back and arms. In any case, I could not mistake the hands wihich I had so many opportunities of studying. I was at first interested and somewhat amused, for it is wonderful how small a matter will interest and amuse a man when he is a prisoner. But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castly wall over that dreadful abyss, face down , with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings. At first I could not beieve my eyes. I thought it was some trick of the moonlight, some wierd effect of shadow; but I kept looking, and it could be no delusion. I saw the fingers and toes grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the stress of years, and by this using every projection and inequality move downwards with considerable speed, just like a lizard moves along a wall.

What manner of man is this, or what manner of creature is it in the semblance of man? I feel the dread of this horrible place overpowering me; I am in fear -- in awful fear -- and there is no escape for me; I am encompassed about with terrors that I dare not think of ...
As Tolkien reworked the scene into his own tale:

Quote:
Suddenly [Frodo] stiffened, and stooping he gripped Sam by the arm. 'What's that?' he whispered. 'Look over there on the cliff!'
Sam looked and breathed in sharply through his teeth. 'Ssss!' he said. 'That's what it is. It's that Gollum! Snakes and ladders! And to think that I thought that we'd puzzle him with our bit of a climb! Look at him! Like a nasty crawling spider on a wall.'
Down the face of a precipice, sheer and almost smooth it seemed in the pale moonlight, a small black shape was moving with its thin limbs splayed out. Maybe its soft clinging hands and toes were finding crevices and holds that no hobbit could ever have seen or used, but it looked as if it was just creeping down on sticky pads, like some large prowling thing of insect-kind. And it was coming down head first, as if it was smelling its way. Now and again it lifted its head slowly, turning it right back on its long skinny neck, and the hobbits caught a glimpse of two small pale gleaming lights, its eyes that blinked at the moon for a moment and then were quickly lidded again.
So J. R. R. Tolkien had no qualms about incorporating Bram Stoker's imagery into his own work and Peter Jackson followed Tolkien in the second film of his movie trilogy. Good thing for Tolkien, Jackson, and New Line Cinema that no one from the Bram Stoker Estate sued them for "intellectual property" infringement since Dracula does not just belong in the public domain, but has become a part of the literary and entertainment culture itself. It seems to me that if the producers, writers, and directors of the upcoming "LOTR" television series want to reuse Tolkien and Jackson in their own stories, then they only need find what Tolkien and Jackson reused from the extant literature and film archives and claim that they based their stories on those common foundations and not on anything that Tolkien had written or Jackson had filmed. After all, "There and Back Again" simply rips off Homer's Iliad (from Greece to Troy) and Odyssey (back to Greece agan). Practically all of Western Literature has done that. Tolkien did it twice: short version and longer version.
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Old Yesterday, 11:38 AM   #66
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I'm sorry.... What? Literally every project has the goal to make money. If they did not, they would not be made in the first place. Do you not understand capitalism?
Allow me to present to you a little project called the Silmarillion, that had no purpose beyond the intellectual and emotional pleasure it gave its creator...
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Old Yesterday, 06:49 PM   #67
Morthoron
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Originally Posted by ArcusCalion
I'm sorry.... What? Literally every project has the goal to make money. If they did not, they would not be made in the first place. Do you not understand capitalism?
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Allow me to present to you a little project called the Silmarillion, that had no purpose beyond the intellectual and emotional pleasure it gave its creator...
Lalaith, I believe ArcusCalion is from that cynical lot who believe every artistic endeavor primarily revolves around the making of money, no matter what altruistic intent mentioned by the artist.

In fact, I am sure his opinion coincides with the 18th century poet Matthew Greene, who once famously wrote, "Novels are receipts to make a whore."
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Old Today, 12:30 AM   #68
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Between a Literary Rock and a Motion Picture hard place

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... the appendices at the end of Return of the King is a goldmine of summarized historical Middle Earth outlines that could lend itself easily to a multi episode TV mini-series. Of course, a major story in there is Appendix B which covers Aragorn and Arwen, so I suspect this will be at least part of this venture. That said, I am cautiously optimistic, or reluctantly hopeful, that this works out to the good. As long as there is an all new cast, and all new episode writers and directors, and PJ Boyens, WETA and gang are kept as far away from it as possible, it may have a chance.
Yes, the various LOTR appendices do contain calendars of dates and summary plot outlines which could form the basis for additional "Middle Earth" stories. Unfortunately, Peter Jackson and Company made a hash of this information when they selectively plundered the Appendices and rearranged and expanded much of Tolkien's material -- most notably the Aragorn and Arwen "love" stuff -- into their own scripts for The Lord of the Rings -- the film. Ditto for the three Hobbit films. So now we have six films that constitute what I have heard termed, "the Jackson Legendarium," which the new television series will have to keep in mind so as to avoid "intellectual" property-rights litigation from the motion-picture studio quarter. Caught between a literary rock and a movie hard place, so to speak, something tells me that corporate lawyers will have as much to say about these television stories as anyone else.
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Old Today, 04:07 AM   #69
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I think the main takeaway from this is that Amazon is downright desperate to keep up with Netlfix and HBO for streaming customers in terms of big buck critical and commercial successes. It's apparently a cut throat new sphere in the entertainment industry.

Amazon and Bezos I think see LOTR as a way to buy themselves out of the fact they can't compete with HBO-their trying to replicate Game of Throne's success despite GOT and LOTR being manicheanly different in terms of style, themes, emphasis, and worldview.

Is there any word on why Christopher Tolkien has resigned?
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