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Old 12-08-2003, 03:45 PM   #1
lindil
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Sting PJ wants to do The Hobbit {seriously}

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Despite his exhaustion, Jackson is not resting on his laurels and said if complex rights issues can be resolved he would like to direct "The Hobbit", J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel to the "Rings" trilogy set some 50 years earlier. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=entertainmentNews&st oryID=417967&section=news" TARGET=_blank>horse's mouth</A><P>OF course Fran and Phillipa better start re-writing the story, cause the Animated version proves that the story as is needs fixin...<P>actually all sarcasm aside, JRRT wanted to re-write the Hobbit in more of an LotR tone, and if PJ took that tack, included in the UT and Annotated hobbit's 'Quest for Erebor', and dealt a bit with Gandalf's going into Dol Guldor and finding the map and Key with Thrain [not too mention the back story of the destruction of Erebor] it could be a nice warm-up for the LotR.<P>He says Arwen may get to appear [ perhaps rescuing the Dwarves from the Trolls instead of Gandalf, with that husky she elf voice of hers .<P>More seriously, Legolas could legitimately make a few appearances and even be in the guard that captures the troop sans Thorin, at the feast. Also, at the battle he can slide down a spur of the lonely mountain taking out a whole battlion of orcs.<P>Too bad they did not save Agent Smith for Thranduil, he would have done much better than as Elrond methinks.<p>[ 4:28 PM December 13, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:07 PM   #2
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>While many of the lead "Rings" characters do not appear in "The Hobbit" story, the wizard Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen, and Gollum, the cave dweller corrupted by the powerful ring, do and should make a comeback. Arwen, the elf princess played by Liv Tyler, could also feature again, Jackson said.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Ohhhh goooooody! Arwen is going to be in there so all her haters will freak out. : evil giggle: Legolas better be in there too!! It wouldn't be hard to stick him in with Thranduil so there would be no excuse. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Richard Taylor, whose special effects workshop made 48,000 props for the trilogy and whose work earned two Oscars, says "King Kong" will be even better than Lord of the Rings.<BR> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>I doubt it. <p>[ 5:08 PM December 08, 2003: Message edited by: Silmiel of Imladris ]
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:16 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Legolas better be in there too!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I am hopeing that Legolas is there!!<P>I downloaded a preview to the Hobbit from Kazza for anyone who has it. IT was a great preview...but it says it comes out in 2006 <BR>O-well I still cant wait!
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:42 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Richard Taylor, whose special effects workshop made 48,000 props for the trilogy and whose work earned two Oscars, says "King Kong" will be even better than Lord of the Rings.<P>"I have every aspiration to make King Kong much cooler," he said. "It's going to be a very beautiful film." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Yeah right! LotR could beat King Kong any day, even if PJ is directing it (King Kong, I mean). That would be way cool if they did a movie of The Hobbit, although I think Arwen shouldn't be in it. I have nothing against her, but I don't think she should be in The Hobbit, except perhaps with a brief cameo in Rivendell.
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:44 PM   #5
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That would be soooo cool if he made the Hobbit!!!!!!! I really think he should, you have my vote Peter!!!!!!!! Just FYI Catherine, that is a fake Hobbit trailer that someone put together for fun. But its a pretty good one though!
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:06 PM   #6
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I think that PJ should make the Hobbit, personally I think it would be good however I prefer the Lord of the Rings.
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:54 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> that is a fake Hobbit trailer that someone put together for fun. But its a pretty good one though! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Drat! I just spent an hour downloading it.
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:29 PM   #8
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I would not choose anyone else besides Peter Jackson to the a film adapatation of <I>The Hobbit</I>. Not only have I been thoroughly moved by his first two <I>Lord of the Rings</I> films (and I hold out hope that the third will be even better!), I could not imagine anyone else's artistic take being brought into a <I>Hobbit</I> movie, as it would ruin the continuity of the Tolkien-film genre. I would have absolutely no problem with Arwen or Legolas making appearances in <I>The Hobbit</I>. I think a <I>Lord of the Rings</I>-like tone would be perfect for a <I>Hobbit</I> movie. I wonder, if they decide to take on this project, who will play Thranduil and the young Bilbo Baggins? Not to mention Thorin Oakenshield and the Dwarves, Beorn, Bard and the many others.
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:36 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Just FYI Catherine, that is a fake Hobbit trailer that someone put together for fun. But its a pretty good one though! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Haha really...it was a pretty good one! I wasn't sure if it was real but hey I was hoping that it was!
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:24 PM   #10
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As soon as I saw FOTR I thought,"Peter Jackson MUST make The Hobbit.! I agree with Lord Of Angmar that PJ's artistic vision of the story is the only way to go. I hope that these aren't just rumors-with ROTK only nine days away, after I see it I'm going to need another movie to look forward to. Oh God, I sound like a junkie
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:36 PM   #11
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<A HREF="http://www.sundayherald.com/38504" TARGET=_blank>Here</A> is an article that I found on ToRN that explains more about the problems New Line are having in acquring the rights to the Hobbit from the Tolkien estate. Apparently, while Tolkien sold the film rights to LotR, he retained the rights to the Hobbit. And Christopher Tolkien, who harbours serious reservations about the film versions of LotR, is reluctant to allow them to film the Hobbit. Sadly, the films also appear to have given rise to a rift between Christopher and his son, Simon. The Tolkien family appears to quite split on this issue, with views ranging from Christopher’s reservations to the enthusiasm of Tolkien’s grandson, who plays a Man of Godor in the final instalment.<P>Interesting that Jackson thinks Arwen might have a role in the film. I would certainly not like to see her make more than a cameo appearance in Rivendell. I did wonder when I thought about how the Hobbit might be filmed whether Rivendell might be left out. After all, the Trolls are the only encounter between Hobbiton and Rivendell, so it would seem to break the tension at rather an inappropriate point in terms of film pacing. It would be interesting to see Hugo Weaving play a non-grumpy Elrond though. <P>Personally, I think it would be fun if Orlando Bloom, suitably aged, was to play Thranduil. <P>The point was made by Eurytus on <A HREF="http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=4&t=000408" TARGET=_blank>this thread</A> that it might make sense in film terms to cut down on the number of Dwarves. Although it would be a shame, I can see the point that he is getting at, since it would be difficult at first for viewers to tell the difference between all of them. They would have to be well differentiated, although it might work if only those that Eurytus mentioned (Thorin, Balin, Bombur, Gloin and perhaps Fili and Kili) were given a prominent role. Mind you, there might be problems in getting actors signed up, given the suffering that John Rhys-Davies went through with the make-up. <P>Even with the Hobbit being a shorter story, cuts would be inevitable. As I said, I thought that Rivendell might go. Beorn might also suffer, although I would hope not, particularly given the role that he plays in the Battle of Five Armies. Which brings me to a particular concern that I have over the Hobbit being brought to the screen. How will the final chapters be handled? The main focus of the film would have to be Smaug, since he is the reason for the Quest. And so his death would seem to be the obvious climax. And yet there is a whole Battle to get through after Smaug dies, and it might seem strange in cinematographic terms to have this all play out after the main focus of the film has been vanquished. I can see some re-writing going on here, and yet it is difficult to see how this would be done, since Smaug has to die before the Battle and the Battle certainly could not be left out (and I can’t see Jackson leaving it out, given his penchant for battle scenes ). Anyone have any ideas on how this might be done?
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:14 PM   #12
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That is an interesting point you raise, Saucepan Man. It seems to me that Peter Jackson would either have to leave the plot as it is and put aside the fact that audiences might be confused by the shift in storytelling, or he would have to revamp the entire plot in such a way that Smaug dies climatically during the Battle of Five Armies, which for me would be too much of a stretch and far worse than leaving the plot intact.<P>A good point is also made by Eurytus and Saucepan about Rivendell, but I think Peter Jackson would most likely choose to include it (if only briefly). <P>My, it seems that <I>The Hobbit</I> is even harder to sort into a movie than the <I>Lord of the Rings</I>.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:50 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Richard Taylor, whose special effects workshop made 48,000 props for the trilogy and whose work earned two Oscars, says "King Kong" will be even better than Lord of the Rings.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Laughable. I know that everyone says that type of stuff, but it's still quite laughable .
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Old 12-09-2003, 08:30 AM   #14
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I think Lindil's idea of beefing up the Destruction of Erebor/Dol Guldor backstory is an excellent one. However, I don't know how/if they could establish the Necromancer as Sauron. Also, the Hobbit (book) does not really draw links between the Necromancer, the Orcs of the Misty Mountains and Smaug, and I think PJ might have to do that in order to give the film plot coherence. <BR>Oh, and I wonder how they will feature the Ring, which seems such an innocent thing in the Hobbit...
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:01 AM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Laughable. I know that everyone says that type of stuff, but it's still quite laughable <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Why is it laughable? Amongst film buffs King Kong is revered as a great, great movie. Many, many directors have commented on the fact that watching King Kong as a child inspired them towards their chosen career.<BR>Plus of course it is perhaps a little presumptuous to say that it is laughable for someone who is involved with the film to say that it is going to be better when of course none of us knows anything about what it is going to be like.<P>I would also think that the fact that it was Kong, not LOTR that was Jackson’s dream project says a great deal.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:02 AM   #16
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Lailath:'<I>I think Lindil's idea of beefing up the Destruction of Erebor/Dol Guldor backstory is an excellent one.</I><P>Thanks, I actually gave quite a bit of thought for a few days to how I would do 'There and Back Again'. Making the most of the White Council meetings, Lorien attacking Dol Guldor and Sauron feigning retreat.<P>All of these would imo be legitimate amplifications. We know it happened JRRT just gives an passing mention though.<P>We could also see glimpses of the Rangers in Bree, and maybe even Tom Bombadil peeping over the hedge of the East-West Road [quite subtly of course]...<P> <I>However, I don't know how/if they could establish the Necromancer as Sauron.</I><P>As far as I recall, don't they [The White Council] figure it out when he flees to Mordor [at the latest]? <P> <I>Also, the Hobbit (book) does not really draw links between the Necromancer, the Orcs of the Misty Mountains and Smaug, and I think PJ might have to do that in order to give the film plot coherence.</I><P>Not sure what you mean. Most of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains seemed to be something of free agents at the time, refugees from Angmar or Moria, not currently under the control of the Necromancer. That is really just my impression though, I can think of no texts offhand that support an active controlling link between between the Misty Mountain Orcs and Sauron until he starts to co-ordinate a greater Offensive in th LotR.<P><BR>"Oh, and I wonder how they will feature the Ring, which seems such an innocent thing in the Hobbit..."<P>Hopefully not with a flashing EYE as soon as Bilbo picks it up [although I bet PJ would be tempted]. Especially as the Eye was not yet [re-]established in mordor. That may deserve it's own thread...
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:16 AM   #17
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Lindil, what I meant was that movie directors like to have a 'Big Bad', and having the Necromancer, the Orcs AND Smaug vying for top villain might be confusing.
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:02 PM   #18
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gotcha.<BR>Well if PJ were to try something novel like staying true to the book [as the animation managed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] then Sauron is only a potential baddie #1.<P>I would focus on the dark mysteriousness of 'The Necromancer' have the White Council expressing doubts and fears.<P>Samug [and Thorin's ego] are definely the Baddie Primo I would say.<P>Of course after he dies the void is unexpectedly filled by every army for 300 or so miles... then sauron can perhaps be seen trying to direct the goblins and wargs even as he flees to Mordor. <P>Actually having the Rigwraths initially sent to the mountain at smaug's deeath with an army that must turn around when Lorien and co. finally attack Dol Guldor would be cool though I am not sure if the timeline really supports that.
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:21 PM   #19
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Of course all of this may bee moot as CJRT may [completely understandably imo] decide to use his executive veto to punish PJ's inability to simply build from the book and characters up, instead of telling 'his own version'.<BR>If I were CJRT I would only let him do it if I was able to approve the script [and force him to go back and refilm a few things in TTT ].
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Old 12-09-2003, 03:17 PM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Why is it laughable? Amongst film buffs King Kong is revered as a great, great movie. Many, many directors have commented on the fact that watching King Kong as a child inspired them towards their chosen career.<BR>Plus of course it is perhaps a little presumptuous to say that it is laughable for someone who is involved with the film to say that it is going to be better when of course none of us knows anything about what it is going to be like.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Because if they had done Kong first & then LotR second, Taylor would be telling us that LotR will be even better than Kong . That's just the way they try to hype up their movies. I wasn't laughing at the fact that Kong will be nowhere near as good as LotR (maybe it will, maybe it won't), but more at the utter predictibility of Richard making that statement .
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:27 PM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Of course all of this may be moot as CJRT may [completely understandably imo] decide to use his executive veto to punish PJ's inability to simply build from the book and characters up, instead of telling 'his own version'.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Actually, if I was Christopher, I would licence the rights to New Line right now with a hefty royalty and make a serious amount of money for the estate. After all, the rights are likely to become available at some point (quite possibly after CJT's death) and there are much worse combinations that New Line/Jackson that might get their hands on it.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:59 PM   #22
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>there are much worse combinations that New Line/Jackson that might get their hands on it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Disney Presents <I>The Hobbit</I> with the voices of Tom Cruise as Bilbo Baggins and Mel Gibson as Thorin Oakenshield.<P> <p>[ 11:00 PM December 09, 2003: Message edited by: Lord of Angmar ]
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:45 AM   #23
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I find Christopher Tolkien’s attitude to be somewhat mystifying. All this business about not liking the arrival of the films because the attendant hype will make life difficult for him and his family. This from someone who has been milking his father’s legend dry by releasing every single piece of writing he can find. And releasing them at a very high price too.<BR>From that angle I can’t see why he would have such problems with someone making the Hobbit, especially when his father’s attitude to LOTR was art or money. (Though in the end they got both there as far as I am concerned).
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:10 AM   #24
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His attitude is rather perplexing, Eurytus, but I suppose it can be explained. Perhaps it is as simple as Christopher Tolkien wishing to keep in his mind (and, I suppose, the minds of Tolkien's long-time readers) the image he has always had of his father's masterpiece. But it seems it is never that simple anymore.
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:47 AM   #25
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That could be true I guess but I wish he would have an attitude more similar to the great classical composers. For them, another composer wanting to compose a variation on one of their themes would be a great compliment.<BR>I would personally consider a director wanting to make a film out of one of your father’s works to be likewise.
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:35 AM   #26
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Most of my own thoughts on this matter have been rather well covered!<P>As for the potential for anticlimax with the Battle of Five Armies following the Death of Smaug, perhaps that can be handled with the suggestions of a great battle put together with narrative. The interval between Smaug's demise and the Battle could also be filmed with far more brevity than the literary telling requires.<P>OR MAYBE WE REALLY NEED TWO EXTENDED FILMS TO TELL THE WHOLE TALE! (Nah. But then we could have all the backstory we desire.)<P>Gandalf became aware of Sauron as the Necromancer LONG before the Ring was discovered, 2850 TA, in fact, when he was in Dol Goldur. Bilbo was not even born until 2890!<P>Aragorn would have been 10 years old when Bilbo first set eyes on Rivendell, however, he did not meet Gandalf until he was 35.<P>Gimli was a young dwarf at the time and was not permitted to go on the Quest. How much would Gloin, or even Thorin, have resembled the adult Gimli? (Make up does wonders of course...)<P>As the Rankin-Bass production shows, it is possible to be fairly true to the book. Nevertheless, I imagine that the Extended Hobbit will be more satisfactory.<P>Oh. And while Elrond was not particularly grumpy, he might have been a little smug over his discovery of the rune letters on Thorin's map...<P>I cannot imagine Arwen in anything more than a Rivendell cameo, but I might be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:29 PM   #27
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Wow! After years of rumour Jackson has actually come foward and said he would like to make The Hobbit. CJRT may not like it but in the end I have no doubt that the movie will be made. Perhaps we have been a liitle bit spoilt by the fact we have a monumental LotR film every year a Xmas. Not to be offensive or crude (he gave us The Silm. for God's sake!) but CJRT is an old man and as he controlls a major part of the Tolkien say in matters once he is decessed the film will be open to be made.<P>One question that seems to have not come up is would you like to see Sir Ian Holm playing Bilbo or perhaps a younger actor? Remember, the Ring meant that he virtually did not age. However, the movie may not be made for another decade so perhaps another actor should take his role?<P>Matt<P>PS I remember asking on another thread who should voice Smaug- any ideas?
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:37 PM   #28
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'I cannot imagine Arwen in anything more than a Rivendell cameo, but I might be pleasantly surprised.' How about a non-canonical scene of Arwen babysitting her foster brother, and looking at him with, well... perhaps we better just leaver her out...<P>Gilthalion, thanks for the chronological markers.<P>Eurytus, privacy is one thing, relatively major changes to a masterpeice is another. <P>Book to film conversions have never been judged along the lines of symphoic/musical variations. For starters, musical theme variations are within the same genre - so the variation can in no [comprable]way become a definitive statement of the work, and secondly with variations in music, they are a dime a dozen in a sense. A film version of LotR is on the otherhand so massive an undertaking that we will almost certainly not see another attempt for a couple of decades. So by a sort of financial default, only some one like Bill Gates or maybe George Lucas could afford to do another LotR anytime soon. <P>So like it or not, PJ and his 'LotR' [I shall endeavor to use quoets for his version from now on as a matter of priciple] has in a major way re-shaped the matrix by which the LotR is experienced as a written work for the vast majority of readers. CJRT is understandably reticient to countenance such.<P>On the other hand, had he been involved and used what little leverage the estate might have had in terms of input, perhaps PJ would have felt more beholden to reproduce the actual LotR, and not a 'Variations on LotR Themes'.<P>Yes, CJRT has put out a ton of expensive [ in HB] books fo his fathers writings, but he also worked with incredible diligence and persisitence to deal with an unbelievably chaoitic manuscript inheritance. I for one am incredibly glad he did it. In his shoes, I would have been lucky to put out a Silm and a fraction of the post LotR writings and packed the rest off to the Museum. <P>Btw, he has graciously ceded publishing responsibilities of the remaining linguistic material [supposedly thousands of pages!] to Vinyar Tengwar who publishes most of it [ PArma Eldalmberon does the rest[ for 2.oo$ an edition. THe Osanwe-KEnta for only 2$, not bad at all. HEck, it was probably not even asked of CJRT what the price would be on the books anyway.<P>As for the inevitability of a Hobbit film with or without CJRT's blessing, I would not be so confidant, if the stories are true about him writing his own son out of the decision making picture [not too mention never seeing that son's children again?!] then I would not at all doubt if he has engineeered a way to keep all other non- LotR, material away from movies.<P>In some instances this is a shame as Smith, Farmer, Roverandom, etc could all be made into delightful productions I imagine.<P>I have heard that the Silm is def off limits. <P>A relief in some ways as we might see Liv Tyler recast as Luthien ...<P>But as the Hobbit is already out there might as well sign over rights to someone who promises to reproduce it faithfully.<P>And to whoever may get the rights, the could establish most of PJ's 'feel' by hiring most of his crew, especially Howe and Lee for design. Just not Phillipa and Fran!!!
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:50 PM   #29
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CRJT is an old man and stuck in his ways but to cut out his son and his grandchildren for the sake of his father's books is ridiculous.
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Old 12-10-2003, 03:27 PM   #30
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Perhaps, Mattius, we could take that as an indication of how much his father's writings mean to him. Christopher Tolkien is not alone in questioning New Line's motives and concern for the works they adapt; and while I could deplore his allowing this opinion to estrange him from his family, that's really none of my business.

My point would be that it is the right and the privilege of the owners of a work of art to withhold the right to adapt it from anyone, no matter how many fans they may have in their own right. Christopher Tolkien was involved in a minor way in the proof-reading and final printing of The Hobbit (he drew the first maps that were made for the story), and in many ways I'm sure that he sees the work as a personal link with his father. None of us want to see something that has that sort of sentimental value taken and 'adapted' by people whom we suspect of a lack of respect for it; and I'm afraid that for a lot of people that is what has happened to The Lord of the Rings.

Now for my opinion, which everyone will have worked out by now. I've always thought that Tolkien's books would make great films; but I would rather that people had to read the original books (and derive the pleasure I have from so doing) than allow themselves to be fobbed off with crass commercialisations of them, hyped as by the fans, for the fans, but actually written with no real respect for the material and aimed at a standard action film audience. The internal politics of the Tolkien family are none of my business or anyone else's, but I for one am glad that someone who really cares about Tolkien's versions of Tolkien's books has creative control over at least some of them. If that doesn't suit the people who want another rip-roaring action film, then tough. It didn't suit me that the film-makers were free to change as much of the plot of The Lord of the Rings as they liked, but there was nothing I could do about it. It's the same situation here, only in reverse. If the Jackson team had been a little less cavalier with the material over which the author's son had no control, then perhaps he might have let them film other books over which he does have authority. They have only themselves to blame that he now wants nothing to do with them.

[EDIT 9th October 2006] I have since learned that Christopher Tolkien hasn't disowned his son over the films, that the Tolkien estate doesn't control the film rights to The Hobbit and that C.T. hasn't expressed any opinions about the films other than that LotR is unfilmable. I was taken in by careless journalism, and I wasn't the only one.
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:20 PM   #31
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The Squattter just got my vote for best, and most relevant Movie related post of the Year. Bravo!<P>I may put some of it in my signature, so well was it posted.
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:26 PM   #32
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Erm, perhaps best to avoid the debate over the rights and wrongs of CJT's current inclination to withhold the rights to the Hobbit. It looks to be one of those topics that just might get a <I>little</I> too heated. So I'll just stick to what I've already said.<P>So, moving on (or back) ...<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> One question that seems to have not come up is would you like to see Sir Ian Holm playing Bilbo or perhaps a younger actor? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>A younger actor definately. Sadly Sir Ian is probably too old now to credibly play a younger Bilbo, much as I would like to see him in the role. He didn't look quite right to me in the prologue to FotR, despite the make-up job.<P>As for the voice of Smaug, look no further than Alan Rickman (Snipe in Harry Potter for those who don't know him) or Jeremy Irons (the bad lion in the Lion King).
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:45 PM   #33
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>As for the voice of Smaug, look no further than Alan Rickman (Snipe in Harry Potter for those who don't know him) or Jeremy Irons (the bad lion in the Lion King).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Jeremy Irons. Yes, I can see it now.<P>This raises another point about a film adaptation of <I>The Hobbit</I> in my mind. Since it has been concluded that if such a film endeavour were to be undertaken, Peter Jackson and company would want the movie to have more of a <I>Lord of the Rings</I> feel than the book had. It might be strange in the context of the <I>Lord of the Rings</I> movie trilogy to have a dragon that talks, since obviously if <I>The Hobbit</I> were to be given a darker tone they would make Smaug out to be more villanous and purely evil (i.e. the Balrog in the <I>Fellowship of the Ring</I> movie). For mass audiences, the idea of a dragon talking, especially since it would have to take on certain characteristics of the "monster movie," might be unappealing. <P>Then again, it might not.<P>Cheers,<BR>Angmar<p>[ 7:45 PM December 10, 2003: Message edited by: Lord of Angmar ]
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:21 PM   #34
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> A younger actor definately. Sadly Sir Ian is probably too old now to credibly play a younger Bilbo, much as I would like to see him in the role. He didn't look quite right to me in the prologue to FotR, despite the make-up job. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I disagree. I though he looked all right in the prologue. Besides, the continuity would be rather messed up if Bilbo changes appearance. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> How about a non-canonical scene of Arwen babysitting her foster brother, and looking at him with, well... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Except that Arwen was in Lothlorien that whole time, and they didn't even meet until Aragorn was 20. Besides, that would just be too weird.
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:46 PM   #35
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' Except that Arwen was in Lothlorien that whole time, and they didn't even meet until Aragorn was 20. Besides, that would just be too weird' Exactly, UNcanonical.<P>I think sir Ian is a toss up. <BR>If they could fim it now, I would say maybe, but what we have ibn FotR is what, 4 years old now? <BR>But of course if it is not filmed very soon [could it really start any sooner than 4 years? I think that is a best case scenario] Sir Ian will be really getting on. I liked him well enough, and there is much to be said for continuity, but I just do not see it in the cards. As for a talking dragon, the precedent in M-E was set ages before with Glaurung. Smaug must speak!
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Old 12-11-2003, 03:23 AM   #36
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> If the Jackson team had been a little less cavalier with the material over which the author's son had no control, then perhaps he might have let them film other books over which he does have authority. They have only themselves to blame that he now wants nothing to do with them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Quite apart from the hyperbolic claim that Jackson was “cavalier” with the material it is erroneous to say that if they had “doffed the cap” and treated the LOTR as some sort of sacred and unimpeachable text then CT may have accepted those and future films. The guy was so bitter about the prospects of ANY film being made that it simply would not have happened.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> in many ways I'm sure that he sees the work as a personal link with his father. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I would have more respect for his position in this regard if he wasn’t so obsessed with making money out of publishing any scraps of manuscript containing “personal links” with his father.<P>Once the period of copyright after JRR Tolkien’s death has expired then anyone will be free to make adaptations of his works. The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.<P>As soon as anyone starts behaving like any work of art is beyond any change or alteration then they are losing touch with reality. These aren’t the words of God. It isn’t the Qu’ran.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> crass commercialisations of them, hyped as by the fans, for the fans, but actually written with no real respect for the material and aimed at a standard action film audience. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>And I truly hope that anyone who truly believes the above does not even watch the ROTK. Though how anyone could watch the making of documentaries in the Extended Editions and then claim that Jackson and his team have no respect for the material is beyond me.
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Old 12-11-2003, 03:38 AM   #37
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I would also like to say that after reading the following bits from the article that SaucepanMan linked to;<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Jackson wishes to use the hundreds of weapons, suits of armour and fantastic props left over from his epic cinematic endeavour as the foundation for a Lord Of The Rings museum in New Zealand. Both projects are now in severe doubt, however, following the refusal of Christopher, eldest of Tolkien’s four children and the author’s literary executor, to give the estate’s blessing.<P>He communicates with me now through his lawyer ... he will never speak to me again as long as he lives, he will never see my children and will never have anything to do with me<BR> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I almost hope that he carries on refusing to let New Line and PJ do the Hobbit with the same care and attention they have lavished on the LOTR. <BR>Then the copyright can finally expire and Disney can do a version with songs and a lovely moral about beauty being within or similar. <P>Hmmm, I wonder which would serve his father’s legacy better?<P>Jesus, refusing to speak with your grandchildren because of something their father did. That is pretty damn low.
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:01 AM   #38
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>As for the voice of Smaug, look no further than Alan Rickman (Snipe in Harry Potter for those who don't know him) or Jeremy Irons (the bad lion in the Lion King).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Dammit I was going to say them too!
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Old 12-11-2003, 07:30 AM   #39
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Quote:
Erm, perhaps best to avoid the debate over the rights and wrongs of CJT's current inclination to withhold the rights to the Hobbit.
I couldn't agree more. I'm afraid that I got rather heated in my last post, and it was entirely because people seemed to be gloating over the age and inevitable death of someone who is after all a human being. I try not to voice my opinion of the New Line films too often, because I know what heresy some consider such criticism; but I draw the line when I read posts that heap scorn, derision and what borders on hatred on a man who is only exercising his legal rights. I'll be letting this issue drop once I've addressed the rather spirited rebuttal of my views above.

I for one wouldn't be too ready to judge an issue based on one aggrieved party's description of it. Family problems are seldom as simple as one issue, and I just don't want to involve myself in something that's a private matter between the Tolkiens. In my opinion there may well be more to that issue than what the article is telling us (journalists hate people who won't talk to them), and anyway that's not the point. My point is that if J.R.R. Tolkien's executor wants to stop a director from filming Tolkien's books, then he's entitled to do so; and I think he's a bit more qualified to tell what his father would have wanted than people who never met him.

Personally I thought that the most telling quotation in that article (from an artistic point of view) came from Michael Drout, who's currently editing Tolkien's translation of <I>Beowulf</I>:
Quote:
[Christopher Tolkien] appears to want to present JRR Tolkien’s work. Period. Given that the words have to be interpreted in order to be made into visual form, I can see why he didn’t participate.
But even this is only speculation. Christopher Tolkien doesn't want to talk about the issue, and I think that this has been exploited by those who want to film his father's works, and others who perhaps have more personal grievances against him, to put pressure on him to give in. I believe that increasingly fans will be exploited and manipulated in order to generate this pressure, and Christopher Tolkien's siege mentality will only grow more pronounced the more this is done. This, too, will be exploited. That's just the way things are going to be: it's going to be acrimonious, it's going to be messy and a lot of people are going to suffer; but don't worry: there will almost certainly be more films, and New Line's backers will laugh all the way to the bank.

As for "cashing in" on his father's unpublished material: yes, the younger Tolkien has made a lot of money out of the Silmarillion, The History of Middle-earth and other posthumous publications, but he preserved a very high editorial standard throughout. Had he just wanted to make money he could simply have thrown the manuscripts together and sent them to the publishers, or hired somebody else to do the editing. As it was, he put a lot of time and trouble into compiling and explaining the material, whilst allowing his father's writing to take centre stage. He wasn't trying to "build on" J.R.R. Tolkien (that is to use his father's name to get his own Middle-earth stories published), nor was he trying to 'adapt' his father's writing (re-cast it in an image of his choosing), and that is what I mean by respect for the material. J.R.R. Tolkien believed in representing works that he translated as faithfully as the medium of English allowed, and making a film is a translation of a kind. In my opinion, and it can only be my opinion, given my scanty evidence, he would have been mystified by some of the character and plot changes that took place in bringing his work to film.
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As soon as anyone starts behaving like any work of art is beyond any change or alteration then they are losing touch with reality. These aren’t the words of God. It isn’t the Qu’ran.
I know that, Eurytus; and it's a misrepresentation of my opinion to imply that I don't. I had no objection to alterations in the story that were clearly imposed by the demands of a visual medium and the time constraints of film-making. Although it's comfortable to assume that I wanted a word-for-word translation onto film, that isn't what I wanted or expected to see. I began to get annoyed only when new scenes were written (and I'm not referring to the Ents' attack on Isengard, but that ridiculous warg scene and Frodo and Sam's diversion to Osgiliath, to name but two), which took up valuable space that could have been used to film scenes that Tolkien wrote. That to me is arrogance: the attempt not just to film the book, warts and all, but to 'improve' it. What is worse for me is that their 'improvements' tended to leave plot holes and bizarre shifts in character that would otherwise not have been present. In other words, where the changes actually detracted from the work without being clearly necessary to translation, I got annoyed. Where I felt that a change was justified and well done I was content. Sadly, there were enough gratuitous changes for me to feel that the writers of the screenplay were more concerned with showing how much better The Lord of the Rings would have been had they written it than with telling the story that the film was supposedly all about.

I do find it amusing to note, however, that the very people who complain that the likes of me see Tolkien's books as sacred and unalterable texts seem to get very hot under the collar when anyone criticises the films, or suggests that they could have been done better. I am well aware that years of work went into them, but if they still don't strike me as good films, I'm entitled to say so. I am also entitled to disagree with what the producers and owners of a film say about its integrity and quality. As it happens, they are good films, just imperfect adaptations of Tolkien. Had they perhaps not carried Tolkien's titles and Tolkien's name I would probably have enjoyed them a lot more, but as it is they strike me as little more than inaccurate fan-fiction. Others are entitled to think of them what they will: I have no desire to persuade them otherwise, but I see no reason to remain silent in what is after all a discussion forum just because my opinion is unfashionable.

Returning, inevitably, to the issue of commercialisation. To my mind there's a world of difference between editing and publishing a lot of manuscripts with a commentary and presenting a substantially altered version of an existing, published work and using it as a vehicle to sell action figures, role-play games, calendars and whatever other bewildering arrays of merchandise have been released on the back of the films. I look at the New Line machine and I see fans being exploited for money by the usual suspects: corporate executives and shareholders. If it helps at all, I think that Peter Jackson has been used as well (although he's been well paid in return), and my anger is really reserved for the businessmen and script-writers who have tried to beef up the commercial appeal of a story that was already one of the most popular books of all time. There would have been nothing wrong with this, but they seem to have felt that the story as written somehow interfered with the potential popularity; a bizarre opinion, given the massive sales that the original story generated. I don't feel obliged to prostrate myself in gratitude before these people, but I'm not sitting here implying that they should die as soon as possible. I don't care if people want a Hobbit film. I don't care how much they loved the existing films, and I certainly don't want to persuade them that they shouldn't. I just wanted to make sure that somebody stood up and pointed out that Christopher Tolkien is well within his rights, that he has made a more valuable contribution than New Line Cinema to the understanding (rather than the popularity) of J.R.R. Tolkien's works and that the personal discussion of him was getting dangerously vitriolic. Jackson can make a film of The Hobbit for all I care. Even Disney could do it: at least then it would be so bad that it wouldn't overshadow the book; but personal attacks on those who oppose such moves are out of bounds as far as I'm concerned. I would feel exactly the same way about people making personal attacks on Peter Jackson for some family quarrel in which he was involved. Such quarrels are not for the public to discuss, but for the family to resolve as they see fit. I should object strongly and violently if people tried to interfere in my family's private affairs based on gossip they had heard, so I extend the same courtesy to those in public life. I think that we could all do as much.


Looking at this post again, I'm reminded why I normally avoid reading or participating in these discussions. I've got far too involved in this one already for someone who isn't interested in converting or being converted, so I shall now leave you to consider who would make the best cast for a Hobbit film in peace. Anyone who wants to drag me back to the issue will have to do so via personal messages.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:47 AM   #40
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I honestly think that Chris Tolkien has suffered enough. True, many fans all over the world want to see The Hobbit in movie form, but when it comes down to it, it is Christopher's call. From his perspective, a director who butchered the Professor's favorite character, the one who was closest to him, shouldn't be allowed anywhere near The Hobbit. I felt the exact same way. Faramir was probably one of Tolkien's most favorite characters, and considering how badly PJ butchered him, Christopher's opinion makes sense. <P>I'm not saying that Christopher is completely infallible, because no one is. I agree that he is being stubborn, but we have to look at his reasons for being stubborn. If he genuinely feels that The Hobbit can't be made into a motion picture, then there honestly isn't much anyone else can do about it. The situation with Simon is grievous, and I am of the humble opinion that the Tolkiens shouldn't be estranged over this matter, but Christopher does have a right to deny Peter Jackson the right to film The Hobbit.
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