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Old 04-23-2006, 06:45 AM   #1
davem
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John Boorman's Lord of the Rings

Some of us already knew that John Boorman was planning to film LotR, but what would it have been like?

I've found two pieces about the script & wondered if anyone wanted to comment (we should perhaps all be grateful to PJ after all).

Quote:
(Summarising an article in the magazine OUTRE by co-writer Rospo Pallenberg. The pair went on to produce Excalibur)

"The chore that was given to us by United Artists was one movie and, at the time, they produced long movies with an intermission. [The script] is 176 pages with an intermission on page 81, after the fellowship goes down the rapids, and you have a sense that they have now reached a great landscape as the river widens." The musical theme for "The Road Goes Ever On" accompanies this closing scene.

The script's first half, then, would have depicted most of The Fellowship Of The Ring. Following the intermission, "we accelerated as we continued the story, and dropped things out. We were propelled by what we liked, and invented as we went along."

The screenplay takes liberties with the book, which would have upset Tolkien purists. Perhaps the most provocative change occurs in Lothlorien where, before gazing into Galadriel's mirror, Frodo must become intimate with her (this does not cause friction with husband Celeborn because he is not featured.)

The adaption is also highly creative and inventive (ideas which Pallenberg still hopes to use in some other epic project). The history of Middle-earth is told in an interesting way, although the writer would do it differently today. "I devised kind of a Kabuki play in which the story of Sauron and the creation of the rings was explained to a gathering in Rivendell. [Reading the script] 'A play has begun. The stage is the table (a huge round table). The acting is stylized, emphatic. As in Kabuki Theater, the costumes are flamboyant, and symbolize beings and entities of Middle-earth.' In other words, with this device, we tried to simplify the backstory. But I think if I were to revisit the scene now, I would think of a faster way of doing it."

New material for the dwarf Gimli came from Pallenberg's fondness for the character. "I remember liking him a lot. I knew quite a bit about Wagner's operas and the German literature. I was sympathetic to him, and I tried to work him in wherever I could. I believe it was I who came up with idea where they bury Gimli in a hole, throw a cape on him, and beat him up to utter exhaustion to retrieve his unconscious ancestral memory." This ancient knowlege allows Gimli to know the word for entering Moria, and to find insights about the ancient dwarf kingdom.

Pallenberg contributed another original idea to the Moria sequence. "I had a rather fanciful idea involving these orcs that are slumbering or in some kind of narcotic state. The fellowship runs over them, and the footsteps start up their hearts. John liked that a lot."

He mentioned another change. "There's a duel between the magicians, Gandalf and Saruman. I was inspired by an African idea of how magicians duel with words, which I had read about. It was a way of one entrapping the other as a duel of words rather than special effects flashes, shaking staffs, and all that. I tried to keep away from that a lot, and Boorman did too. [Reads from script]:
GANDALF: Saruman, I am the snake about to strike!
SARUMAN: I am the staff that crushes the snake!
GANDALF: I am the fire that burns the staff to ashes!
SARUMAN: I am the cloudburst that quenches the fire!
GANDALF: I am the well that traps the waters!


"John Boorman and I didn't give too much importance to the Christian component of Tolkien's work. It came across as a tad heavy-handed at times. It is a story of redemption, and that seemed to be enough."

{jumping ahead to elswhere in Plesset's article}
Pallenberg continued, "Because it had to be one movie, and we couldn't waste time with too many complicated effects, I was an advocate of eliminating all flying creatures. I thought it would make it too rich, and it would depart too much from the ordinary. John Boorman agreed on that. At Minas Tirith, instead of a flying steed, the Nazgul Chief rides a horse that 'seems to have no skin. Its live, raw, bleeding flesh is exposed.' I still have this feeling that the dazzle can take away from the fundamental drama. We always tried to do things on the cheap, simply. When you saw a castle in the distance, it could have been made out of anything, even gleaming, high-voltage transmission towers. You saw those in the distance between the trees and then, suddenly, you were inside it. John Boorman is tremendously clever at that."

{jumping further ahead to the article's concluding paragraph}
The script ends with Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo, Galadriel, Arwen, and Elrond leaving Middle-earth on a sailing ship. A rainbow arcs over the vessel. Legolas, who is watching from shore with Gimli, says, "Look! Only seven colors. Indeed, the world is failing." "I think that's the ideology of the picture," said Pallenberg. "That is from me, not Tolkien. From a physics standpoint, it's incorrect to say that there could be more than seven colors, but what it's saying is, 'we live in a diminished world.'"
And

Quote:
BOORMAN(from Three Rings for Hollywood which also gives synopses of other script treatments for LotR.)

In spite of his grave doubts about the suitability of The Lord of the Rings for the movies, Tolkien sold the film and merchandise rights to United Artists in 1969 for just over Ł104,000 (Harlow and Dobson 16). In 1970, the studio asked John Boorman, later known as the director of Excalibur and The Emerald Forest, to make The Lord of the Rings. With his collaborator Rospo Pallenberg, he condensed the work into a single two and a half hour script which he felt was “fresh and cinematic, yet carried the spirit of Tolkien” (Boorman 20). Boorman says he received a letter from Tolkien during the writing process, asking how he planned to make the film, and wrote back reassuring him that he planned a live action version. However, by the time Boorman had finished the script, the executive who had asked him to take on the project was gone, and the new management was unfamiliar with the book. Boorman said, “They were baffled by a script that, for most of them, was their first contact with Middle Earth [sic],” and rejected it (Boorman 21). He tried taking the script to other studios, including Disney, but with no luck. Boorman eventually used some of the special-effects techniques and locations developed for The Lord of the Rings in other films, most notably Excalibur in 1981.



But there is another side to the story. Ralph Bakshi, in a recent interview, talks about taking on the project several years later, and clearly exaggerates a bit for effect:

And here comes the horror story, right? … Boorman handed in this 700-page script … [The studio executives said] ‘[H]e’s changed a lot of the characters, and he’s added characters. He’s got some sneakers he’s merchandising in the middle. … [W]e don’t understand a word Boorman wrote. We never read the books.’ (Robinson 4)

It was only 176 pages, and there weren’t any sneakers, but it wouldn’t have helped to have read the books, because Boorman took off in his own direction quite early in his treatment.



To put it bluntly, Boorman’s script has only the vaguest connection to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Considering Tolkien’s appalled reaction to the much lesser liberties taken by Zimmerman, it is unlikely he would have appreciated Boorman’s script at all. Characters, events, locations, themes, all are changed freely with no regard for the author’s original intent. Situations are sexualized or plumbed for psychological kinks that simply do not exist in the book. (Tolkien would not have approved of Frodo’s seduction by Galadriel, for example, and Aragon’s battlefield healing of Éowyn is so blatantly sexual it’s not surprising Boorman marries them immediately.) Ideas that later worked brilliantly in Excalibur, Boorman’s retelling of the King Arthur legend, are here as out of place as a dwarf in Lothlórien.



Boorman was simply too full of his own creative spark to limit himself to what was in Tolkien’s book. For example, consider this strange sequence of events. After the destruction of the Ringwraiths at the Fords of Bruinen, Frodo is carried into the sparkling palace of Rivendell, where in a vast amphitheatre full of chanting elves he is laid naked on a crystal table and covered with green leaves. A thirteen-year-old Arwen surgically removes the Morgul-blade fragment from his shoulder with a red-hot knife under the threatening axe of Gimli, while Gandalf dares Boromir to try to take the Ring (Boorman and Pallenberg 28-32).



Sound familiar? How about this sequence outside the Gates of Moria? Gandalf leads Gimli through a primitive rebirthing ritual, making him dig a hole and crawl into it, covering him with a cloak and violently beating and verbally abusing him, until he springs forth with recovered memories of his forgotten ancestral language and speaks the Dwarvish words needed to open the doors (Boorman and Pallenberg 59-60).



To give Boorman his due, parts of the script have a compelling brilliance, though they are still unlike anything Tolkien wrote. The sober exposition of the Council of Elrond is recast as a fantastic medieval masque representing the history of the Rings. This highly stylized sequence combines elements of Kabuki theater, rock opera, and circus performance, and could almost be imagined as a later retelling of the legend by a tribe of decadent Dark Elves. It is strangely effective, and gets the necessary back-story across, but it is definitely not a straightforward adaptation of Tolkien’s work.



And that is where the key problem lies. At this point Tolkien was still alive, and as he insists in his introduction to the first authorized American paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings, a certain courtesy (at least) is due to living authors (Hammond 105). This is what he says in response to the changes in the Zimmerman script:

…I am not Rider Haggard. I am not comparing myself with that master of Romance, except in this: I am not dead, yet. When the film of K.S. Mines was made it had already passed, one might say, into the public property of the imagination. The Lord of the Rings … is still the vivid concern of a living person, and is nobody’s toy to play with. (Tolkien, Letter to Ackerman and Others, Draft)

Boorman’s abundant creativity, inspired by Tolkien’s work, needed another outlet than the straitjacket of adapting a living author’s writings. Eventually he found it in Excalibur, returning to the Merlin-centered project he had been working on before he was offered The Lord of the Rings (Boorman 20). Boorman’s imaginative remaking of the story of King Arthur worked because the Matter of Britain is undeniably part of the “public property of the imagination.” He could get away with combining the characters of Morgause, Nimue, and Morgan le Fay, for example, because other artists had taken similar liberties over the centuries. Some might consider Tolkien’s stories “public property of the imagination” now, close to fifty years after their initial publication, but at that time they were relatively fresh from his pen, and he could legitimately claim they were his alone to play with....

Here’s how each script handles Bilbo handing the Ring over to Gandalf after the party. The Bakshi film follows the book fairly closely, with Bilbo sealing the Ring in an envelope, and Gandalf catching the envelope as he drops it. Boorman, as expected, does his own thing and has Bilbo drop it in Gandalf’s hat....

Boorman followed his own vision: he strengthened and sexualized Galadriel’s role, turned Éowyn into Aragorn’s warrior-queen, and made Arwen an ethereal teenager.
Now Boorman/Pallenberg's treatment is certainly weird, - more so, one could argue than Ackerman's & we could certainly imagine Tolkien being highly offended (once the laughing fit had passed) but a number of questions spring to mind on reading these ieces: what do we make of this version - would it have been interesting to watch, would it have brought a new dimension to LotR, were Pallenberg & Boorman on medication?

I suppose one could argue that an artist adapting a work for different media must be free to make some changes, & if we want the original story we can read the book. Personally, I'd be interested to read Boorman/Pallenberg's script in full if only for the sake of curiosity ...

Last edited by davem : 04-23-2006 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
We were propelled by what we liked, and invented as we went along."

-and-

The screenplay takes liberties with the book, which would have upset Tolkien purists.
The relief that this didn’t happen began to mount when I saw this.

A sentiment confirmed by the next line…

Quote:
Perhaps the most provocative change occurs in Lothlorien where, before gazing into Galadriel's mirror, Frodo must become intimate with her (this does not cause friction with husband Celeborn because he is not featured.)
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!

This was NOT a mental picture that I needed to have in my brain!

Quote:
I believe it was I who came up with idea where they bury Gimli in a hole, throw a cape on him, and beat him up to utter exhaustion to retrieve his unconscious ancestral memory." This ancient knowlege allows Gimli to know the word for entering Moria, and to find insights about the ancient dwarf kingdom.
What the Udun?

Quote:
"I had a rather fanciful idea involving these orcs that are slumbering or in some kind of narcotic state. The fellowship runs over them, and the footsteps start up their hearts. John liked that a lot."
Hmmm…this idea sounds fairly PJ. I think I can hear him kicking himself even as I type for not thinking of this first. It will undoubtedly appear in The Hobbit should that be made.

Quote:
I was an advocate of eliminating all flying creatures.
Well, that’s one way of eliminating the “Why couldn’t the Eagles have carried the Ring to Mount Doom?” issue.

Quote:
At Minas Tirith, instead of a flying steed, the Nazgul Chief rides a horse that 'seems to have no skin. Its live, raw, bleeding flesh is exposed.'
This is an easier effect to do than a flying creature?

I’m honestly curious about that, if anybody knows. It seems to be that both would require a lot of work.

Quote:
The script ends with Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo, Galadriel, Arwen, and Elrond leaving Middle-earth on a sailing ship.
Let me guess…Aragorn shacked up with Eowyn and Faramir was cut from the script to save costs…right?

Quote:
A rainbow arcs over the vessel. Legolas, who is watching from shore with Gimli, says, "Look! Only seven colors. Indeed, the world is failing."
Such gripping writing!! Lucas could do better.

Quote:
“They were baffled by a script that, for most of them, was their first contact with Middle Earth [sic],” and rejected it
If I didn’t know better, I’d say they actually were familiar with Middle earth, which caused them to reject it. They just told him they weren’t to spare his feelings.

Quote:
Aragon’s battlefield healing of Éowyn is so blatantly sexual it’s not surprising Boorman marries them immediately.
Ohh gee... Would you believe I was typing my responses as I read the article and hadn’t read this bit when I typed my earlier remark about Eowyn…

I’m surprised Arwen wasn’t just cut from the script as she now fulfills no purpose…unlike the Eagles who were cut but served a purpose. I wonder how Boorman proposed to get Frodo off Mount Doom?

Quote:
were Pallenberg & Boorman on medication?
That is pretty much my conclusion.

I have a feeling, though, this particular adaptation would have been embraced by the critics as being the greatest thing since Citizen Kane. It would have been the way the books should have been written.

My question is, “Doesn’t this script reduce Middle earth down to the level of a lot of the trashy fantasy that has subsequently followed Tolkien?”
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:10 AM   #3
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were Pallenberg & Boorman on medication?
Quote:
That is pretty much my conclusion.
My suspicion is, rather, that they'd run out.
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:40 AM   #4
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I'm not sure the B/P changes bother me as much as the ones PJ made. Boorman's movie would have been so different from the book that I could have approached it as something entirely 'other'. The main problem for me with PJ's version is that it is so close to the books for so much of the time that the changes he does make stick out like sore thumbs.

Its certainly true that a lot of the ideas they had for LotR were taken up into Excalibur - which takes just as many liberties with Mallory as they took with Tolkien. Yet Excalibur worked, while this, imo, really wouldn't have. I'd still kind of like to see it though.

Does make you wonder what we may be on the receiving end of when LotR does finally come out of copyright......
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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Hahahahahahahahahahaha!



My favorite part was them putting Gimli in a hole in the ground and beating him.

Quote:
were Pallenberg & Boorman on medication?
If not, they should have been.

Also, I really don't understand why you would make Fellowship take up half of the film.
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:11 PM   #6
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Very interesting! I'd heard Boorman's name in connection with LotR, but never knew it got even as far as a draft script.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Personally, I'd be interested to read Boorman/Pallenberg's script in full if only for the sake of curiosity...

I'm not sure the B/P changes bother me as much as the ones PJ made. Boorman's movie would have been so different from the book that I could have approached it as something entirely 'other'.
Ditto on both comments. Boorman's wild take, I think, would ultimately have had a higher camp value. I'm certain his film would have been interesting on a purely visceral/visual/mythic-symbolic level, and let's face it -- if you're gonna do LotR in a single film, you have to start making some pretty drastic changes any way you slice it. Gimli being beaten in the hole does earn extra bonus points, though.

I have to say that prior to FotR, I ranked his Excalibur as one of the top two fantasy movies of all time (Conan the Barbarian being the other). Still, even that film wanders into some really strange territory towards the end, and he is after all the man who brought us Zardoz, which featured Sean Connery running around in this getup (WARNING: I assume no responsibility for any eye damage suffered as a result of clicking that link). The Golden Age of 70's cinema wasn't always what it is sometimes cracked up to be. Didn't he use the rainbow shot, if not the line, when Arthur is sailing away at the end of Excalibur? Interesting connection. I'll have to pop in my DVD to check.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuru
This is an easier effect to do than a flying creature?
Oh, by far -- especially considering the FX technology available at the time. The skinless horse gag is basically just whipping up a suit and maybe some makeup for the horse. Flying Nazgűl would involve difficult and expensive miniatures, motion-control, rotoscoping, etc., and probably look pretty fake. I think it's a pretty neat idea for the limitations of the time.

Thanks for the interesting info, davem!
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:33 PM   #7
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Suprisingly, this has grown on me sinceI read about it yesterday. I am not sure it isn't more honest to genuinely stream line the story this way for a single film than to convolute it to make minor elements more important in a long one. The Arwen Aragorn relationship is important to the greater history of Middle Earth but it isn't vital to the story of the Lord of the Rings. And I would rather have my darling Faramir omitted than disdained. Tolkien considered marrying Aragorn and Eowyn before he thought of Arwen so I can live with that. I think the Kabuki is a brilliant way to "cut to the chase". I certainly think that SFX can be overused or used pointlessly. In fact my major issues (apart from Legolas being once again designated village idiot) are the Dwarf beating and Galadriel and Frodo thing -whatever the connections to wider mythology ewwww!!!)
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Old 04-25-2006, 01:04 PM   #8
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Personally, I prefer a version that's mostly close to the book with a few deviations than a vastly reworked one. There has always been much disagreement over PJ's deviations, indicating that fans have varying opinions on which of them were merited or unmerited, and which worked and didn't work. It has provided this forum with many robust discussions over the years, anyway. With Boorman's adaptation, it promises to be SO vastly different that I would just prefer that he write his own fantasy rather than seek to make such drastic changes to LotR. There are a few which are okay, depending on your tastes, but as has been pointed out, the beating of Gimli and the intimacy of Frodo and Galadriel just take the cake.
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Old 04-25-2006, 01:20 PM   #9
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What came across to me was the emphasis on the 'otherness' on the Elves in the adaptation, which didn't come across in the movies, where they were reduced to mere 'superhumans'. Maybe you'd need an adaptor who felt free to go off at tangents & try new things in order to bring out things that a too-loyal adaptor would or could not.

The Rivendell scenes in the B/P version could possibly be very powerful if done right. There's a part of me that wants Boorman to do it - yes - even the Galadriel/Frodo thing if he wanted. The more I think about it the more intrigued I am. Apparently there's a copy of the script at Marquette.
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Old 04-25-2006, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Apparently there's a copy of the script at Marquette.
Well I'll try and go steal it for you but I can't make any promises.
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:19 PM   #11
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well let me say what I like about these idea
Quote:
The sober exposition of the Council of Elrond is recast as a fantastic medieval masque representing the history of the Rings. This highly stylized sequence combines elements of Kabuki theater, rock opera, and circus performance, and could almost be imagined as a later retelling of the legend by a tribe of decadent Dark Elves. It is strangely effective, and gets the necessary back-story across, but it is definitely not a straightforward adaptation of Tolkien’s work.
Also that skinless horse sounds awesome however it shouldnt replace the flying steed it should be the nazgul's horse in the first place

that seems like a not so bad idea if you ask me


Oh and sometimes in PJ's version you want to bury captain obvious and beat sense into him

Oh (and this is from a 18 year old guy's point of view) they could have made the ladies a bit sexier(but not to the point of absurdity that this script mentions)
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Old 04-25-2006, 05:19 PM   #12
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Ergh! I'd have some serious problems with folks thinking that Pallenberg & Boorman's version of LotR was the real deal. Like some ghastly parallel universe!

Quote:
Oh (and this is from a 18 year old guy's point of view) they could have made the ladies a bit sexier(but not to the point of absurdity that this script mentions)
No comment on that one, though I have plenty of strong opinions on it!
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:46 PM   #13
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I am very glad that this version never came to be. As well I don't like Excalibur so...Anyway, it would have ruined part of Tolkien for me.

Indeed what were they on while coming up with this.
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:26 AM   #14
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I am very glad that this version never came to be. As well I don't like Excalibur so...Anyway, it would have ruined part of Tolkien for me.

Indeed what were they on while coming up with this.
You see, it wouldn't have ruined part of Tolkien for me because its so diferent from the books. I have much more of a problem with the PJ movies because they're so close to the books generally that the changes grate much more.
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:08 AM   #15
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To be honest, if a film like that had been made before Jackson's adaptations then I'd have gone up the wall, no matter who made it! Whatever we think about Jackson's version, I think he did at least make an effort to stay as true to the books as he could - putting aside TT of course, which really went off on one as t'were. I think Jackson had to do this in order to win the support of the Tolkien fans like us, as it was our dislike that would make or break the initial reception of these films anwyay.

But, if Boorman made that film now, I'd probably think it was excellent viewing, seeing as I thought Excalibur was brilliant - mad, funny and scary all at once. After all, the stories these films are based on are mad enough, so why shouldn't the film makers be allowed a little fun when making them? Once the 'serious' version is out of the way, of course.

One thing bothered me though. Rock opera? Ugh!
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
You see, it wouldn't have ruined part of Tolkien for me because its so diferent from the books. I have much more of a problem with the PJ movies because they're so close to the books generally that the changes grate much more.
If you take this premise that you would rather the movie to be miles away rather than close but with changes that 'grate', then what you are saying (and mister underhill is too) is that the Cartoon version Return of the King is a better version of ROTK than PJ's?

Can I have some of what you're on?
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Essex
If you take this premise that you would rather the movie to be miles away rather than close but with changes that 'grate', then what you are saying (and mister underhill is too) is that the Cartoon version Return of the King is a better version of ROTK than PJ's?

Can I have some of what you're on?
Actually, Bakshi's version is closer to the book than PJ's. I can't really comment on the Rankin-Bass RotK as I haven't seen it. I'm not sure it would be a 'better' version of the story, but I suspect it wouldn't bother me as much if it is really different.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:31 PM   #18
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We hates Davem's summary above, we
hates it forever. He das'nt even mention poor
Smeagol in it. The precious wonders what's
nice Smeagol's part in it, gollum, gollum?
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:11 PM   #19
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You see, it wouldn't have ruined part of Tolkien for me because its so diferent from the books. I have much more of a problem with the PJ movies because they're so close to the books generally that the changes grate much more.
I understand your point, but keep in mind that many people would have watched the movie who had not been in touch Tolkien until then. To them, the Lord of the Rings would be the way the movie was, and so they end with completely wrong idea of it. Maybe people who would have liked the book would not read it after the movie, and people who liked the movie would be disappointed by the book. Maybe all adaptations suffer this, but the farther the film is from the book, the greater this effect is. I think, in a way, it distorts the perception of the original.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:04 AM   #20
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Actually, Bakshi's version is closer to the book than PJ's.
Totally agree and have mentioned this many times, but I'm not talking about that one. And by your logic, you must dislike theis version even more becasue it's closer to the books, but still takes liberties?

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I can't really comment on the Rankin-Bass RotK as I haven't seen it. I'm not sure it would be a 'better' version of the story, but I suspect it wouldn't bother me as much if it is really different.
you have to see it. You'll love it.... 'Where there's a Whip, there's a Way' - so far removed from the book that it will be your favourite movie of all time
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:05 PM   #21
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Now, now, don't go dissing davem.

To be perfectly honest, when I started reading the original post, I checked the date on it to make sure it wasn't 4/1. The proposed scripts are absolutely outrageous. Makes me get on my knees and thank God for Peter Jackson. Think what could have happened if any director other than him had taken this project.

I totally disagree that a film version of a book should be totally different. I don't want to see a completely different story that's still called LOTR and still has some of the same character names; ideally, I want to see the book on film. Obviously, PJ hasn't come close to giving us that, and it would be impossible beyond impossible. If I can't get that, I want movies that are faithful to Tolkien's story and his values, but that are great artistic works in themselves. And PJ has delivered beyond my wildest hopes or dreams in that area.

Honestly, davem, it is interesting to hear your perspective. This forum has seen tons of rabid Tolkienites angry about this or that that PJ did, but I haven't heard anybody saying he didn't change nearly enough.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:37 AM   #22
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Thank God for Peter Jackson, that's all I have to say, and the fact that I think that John Boorman was on drugs.
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:05 PM   #23
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Tolkien

Oh my Lord. To read that made me sick. PJ is the man. Boorman should be slain (if he is not dead already). Sorry to be so blunt, but wow! Tolkien would of rolled over in his grave and perhaps haunted Boorman the rest of his life!
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:44 PM   #24
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Old 11-10-2006, 06:56 AM   #25
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I think those changes would work if the director was prepared to just have a laugh with the film, and turn it into a completely unserious, camp, kung-fu comedy. The lower the budget the better.

That way they could even fit in the tra-la-lallies.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:04 AM   #26
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Amazing.

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Perhaps the most provocative change occurs in Lothlorien where, before gazing into Galadriel's mirror, Frodo must become intimate with her (this does not cause friction with husband Celeborn because he is not featured.)
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!

This was NOT a mental picture that I needed to have in my brain!
That sums it up pretty well...
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:00 PM   #27
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Oh my Lord. To read that made me sick. PJ is the man. Boorman should be slain (if he is not dead already). Sorry to be so blunt, but wow! Tolkien would of rolled over in his grave and perhaps haunted Boorman the rest of his life!
Bringing together Lord of the Rings and the guy who made Zardoz would be like bringing together matter and anti-matter.
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:36 PM   #28
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Whoa...if Boorman filmed the the Lord of the Rings...well... I will say that we might not have much of a movies thread here, would we?
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:45 PM   #29
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Though it seems folly to wade into this discussion without a bulletproof vest or something, nevertheless here I go!

Excalibur is one of my favourite movies of all time. I like it more than any of the LOTR movies I have seen; it is gritty, ranges from grandeur to bloody horror, and has a great mood created throughout. That said, I am not too familiar with the source material, and so I'm not aware of how badly the movie may have butchered the original story.

I won't say what my favourite movies are, because they have tended to rub people on this forum up the wrong way "from time to time". Suffice to say there's six of them, and they have lightsabers.

I would have been happy for Boorman to have made a Lord of the Rings movie, as long as I had not seen it before reading the books. I am glad that I had already read the books several times before even seeing the Bakshi cartoon, so my perceptions have not been coloured by film versions, and I have been able to enjoy the text.

Although it would be a vast shame for the movie to be condensed into one film, if the main stories were handled sufficiently well, I think I would even prefer that to three PJ films. Having 3 hours per book, PJ, Fran and Phillippa felt comfortable enough to add material which I didn't particularly enjoy, making the films drag somewhat (ducks). One film may have been a tidier package and riveting throughout.

I like some of Boorman's seemingly kooky ideas, such as the telling of the story of the Ring at the Council of Elrond, one of the two most natural places for it to occur in the story (the other being Gandalf's chat to Frodo in The Shadow of the Past... prologue schmologue IMHO). As for Galadriel's temptation of Frodo, that's a pretty fresh angle to take! And I personally wouldn't condemn it before seeing it, although in general I'm loath to endorse any departure from canon. Aragorn's ending up with Éowyn is a regrettable departure, as is Arwen's being a young teenager.

But what I mostly like about the Boorman idea, is that it would be widely known that as a single film with much material cut, it did not accurately represent the book. My great fear is that the PJ movies will be seen as the definitive and authoritative versions, and that future filmmakers will be discouraged from telling the real story.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:56 AM   #30
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Excalibur is one of my favourite movies of all time.
Mine too.

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so I'm not aware of how badly the movie may have butchered the original story.
What PJ et al did to LotR is nothing compared to what happened with Arthur and friends -- the only way Boorman gets away with it is there's a looooong tradition going back hundreds of years of such butchery.

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I like some of Boorman's seemingly kooky ideas
"Seemingly"?? Well, OK. But do you think he would have made sure that people got disrobed before becoming intimate in the LotR movie? Because as I'm sure you will remember from Excalibur, there is this hilarious love scene:

Scene: INT NIGHT

A FULLY ARMOURED KNIGHT takes a scantily clad WOMAN in his arms and they head toward a BED.

FADE

Scene: INT MORNING

A FULLY ARMOURED KNIGHT kisses a scantily clad WOMAN good bye and walks away from the BED.

Hmmmmm...
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:53 AM   #31
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less bore from Boorman

The Boorman film sounds great. Although Jackson's FotR was wonderful, the next two films felt rushed- he changed the wrong things, the emphasis was all wrong (Helm's Deep as an overlong fight, not an impossible situation faced with heroism and saved by the vengeful force of Nature with the Huorns). Something like LOTR is very difficult to film unless you stick religiously to the books- that's why FOTR works. Boorman's idea- to make a film look and feel like a film, with an adult feel- sounds more in keeping with the spirit of the trilogy. Maybe he'll get a call to do the downfall of Numenor as a film. Maybe he'll put in a scene where Queen berethiel seduces an Ent.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:05 PM   #32
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Sadly John Boorman has passed beyond the sundering sea...
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:29 PM   #33
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Thought I'd bring this thread up, given the Gandalf/Galadriel scene in The Hobbit trailer....
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:03 PM   #34
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This thread rather perplexes me, I must say. I don't want to pick fights with anyone who has posted here– many of them are people whose opinion I value, in fact– but I can't feeling there is quite a double standard at work, in some cases. I mean, some of the same people who are furious at PJ's cavalier attitude to the source material are here praising John Boorman precisely for having *no* respect for it whatever. Just a bit of a contradiction there, surely?
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:06 AM   #35
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This thread rather perplexes me, I must say. I don't want to pick fights with anyone who has posted here– many of them are people whose opinion I value, in fact– but I can't feeling there is quite a double standard at work, in some cases. I mean, some of the same people who are furious at PJ's cavalier attitude to the source material are here praising John Boorman precisely for having *no* respect for it whatever. Just a bit of a contradiction there, surely?
Unless the feeling is that the tragic thing about PJ is that he could have gotten it right, maybe? That he did enough to lead one to believe he could have scored a touchdown in staying true to the books, instead of settling for a field goal?

I wouldn't have been keen on the Boorman version myself, but it looks like people are saying such a farce as the Boorman project would have been more palatable because it could have been treated as a lark, and not taken seriously.

Maybe it's time for Not Another Ring Movie. I nominate Judd Apatow to direct.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:42 PM   #36
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This thread rather perplexes me, I must say. I don't want to pick fights with anyone who has posted here– many of them are people whose opinion I value, in fact– but I can't feeling there is quite a double standard at work, in some cases. I mean, some of the same people who are furious at PJ's cavalier attitude to the source material are here praising John Boorman precisely for having *no* respect for it whatever. Just a bit of a contradiction there, surely?
Maybe imagined dwarf smacking is more amusing than actual horse snogging? Or that if you are going ot change stuff you may as well go at it with some elan rather than tinkering that makes no sense and has no style.... Might have beens get bathed in a rosy light while realities get the cold light of day....
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:16 AM   #37
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Sadly John Boorman has passed beyond the sundering sea...
He's still alive.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:18 AM   #38
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He's still alive.
He moved to Ireland though.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #39
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He moved to Ireland though.
Which from my point of view counts as "beyond the sundering sea".
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:48 PM   #40
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He's still alive.
Ooops sorry I had read an interview with his son Charley and thought he had said something about his father's death..... fail..
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