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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Some things that NEVER came to pass.
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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 1 2007, 10:38pm

Post #51 of 97 (3986 views)
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Exactly! [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe there is someone else out there that would do a good job with The Hobbit, but I don't want to take that chance. As grammaboodawg would say - trust Peter!


Eärwen Swan Maiden Of Alqualondë
Bree


Apr 2 2007, 4:29am

Post #52 of 97 (4001 views)
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I second that motion [In reply to] Can't Post

After all, PJ spent nearly a decade breaking his back to earn the right to be trusted.



Peek-A-Boo!


hobbitlove
Gondor


Apr 2 2007, 6:16am

Post #53 of 97 (3969 views)
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AMEN! /nt [In reply to] Can't Post

 




Egleria! Iorhael!


hob
(former nick: "HobbitLoveR*M-e" among several others, briefly)


hobbitlove
Gondor


Apr 2 2007, 6:40am

Post #54 of 97 (3985 views)
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Just catching up on this terrific thread, OH! You done good. = ) [In reply to] Can't Post

Very interesting stuff here. I'm so glad you posted this.
I think it shows many still have quite an interest in PJ and his movies, don't you?
I would love to see this type of discussion continued and sometimes the discussion might be focused on technical things, too. Movie-making as an art form. I suppose it would be from the layman's perspective, as none of us are experts, of course. But, it seems there's a lot that PJ did to make this story come alive, and, in the end, make Tolkien come alive.
Well, it did for many of us, anyway, albeit in varying ways and degrees; that is, imho. Unsure

More later. Hope you and your better-half are having a good time in the big CA.
Cheers,
hob




Egleria! Iorhael!


hob
(former nick: "HobbitLoveR*M-e" among several others, briefly)


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 2 2007, 1:42pm

Post #55 of 97 (3978 views)
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Glad to hear from you -- [In reply to] Can't Post

You should really read PJ's biography -- you would really love it.


Aerin
Grey Havens


Apr 4 2007, 5:12am

Post #56 of 97 (4009 views)
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It's even better than that... [In reply to] Can't Post

Roughly, the conversation went like this. The guy from New Line (wasn't it Robert Shaye?) said, "But why make two movies?" PJ's heart sank, as he assumed he had failed to make his case. The guy from New Line continued, "There are three books, aren't there? Why not make three movies?"


Aerin
Grey Havens


Apr 4 2007, 5:20am

Post #57 of 97 (3989 views)
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AHA! [In reply to] Can't Post

“Within the context of having the Elves at Helm’s Deep, it seemed natural to have Arwen fighting alongside Aragorn and her people.”

In our various discussions of the elves at Helm's Deep, everyone seems to have assumed that they went there because Arwen was going there to fight side by side with Aragorn. But based on the quote, it sounds like it was the other way around -- as long as the elves were fighting at Helm's Deep, Arwen might as well fight, too.

Am I missing something here?


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 5 2007, 3:43pm

Post #58 of 97 (3995 views)
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Chicken or the egg? [In reply to] Can't Post

What I get from Peter's biography is that first came the idea of the Elves at Helm's Deep and then came the idea of Arwen at Helm's Deep. The book makes that pretty definite. I would be interested to know if anyone has any more information.


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 5 2007, 5:41pm

Post #59 of 97 (3984 views)
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I have been re-united with my book. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did a little research and here is what I found:
Denethor was always there.
Gorfindel was originally included.
Radagast was never included.
Eomer and Eowyn were both included –

“Wormtongue orders Gandalf’s imprisonment but Eomer and Eowyn sneak Gandalf into the royal stables where he finds Shadowfax…”

Also –

“As described by Tolkien, Elrond’s sons, Elladan and Elrohir, join Aragorn, Legolas and Gimili on their journey through the Paths of the Dead; so too does Erkenbrand of Rohan (as is not described by Tolkien), where that noble warrior meets and ignoble death falling victim to the ‘spectral axe’ of one of the dead.”

That was all that I could find. But one thing that you must consider is that the two movies were still a work in progress and the story was being changed when Miramax decided to go to one movie and some of these things had been changed by that point. Also, Philippa Boyens came in part way through this process and started making changes. What would be cool, but a lot of work, would be to draw up a time line for this entire thing.


ladyoftheredwoods
Bree

Apr 6 2007, 4:04pm

Post #60 of 97 (3964 views)
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Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

There wasn't any information about Faramir?
When did Philippa become involved?
Did she bring things closer to the book or not?


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 6 2007, 9:06pm

Post #61 of 97 (4019 views)
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Faramir and Philippa [In reply to] Can't Post

Faramir isn’t mentioned, but I think that he was very likely included. Eowyn is talked about and Denethor is talked about. The way Denethor dies was set from the beginning.

It looks like the ball started rolling at Miramax in early 1997. In the middle of summer (U.S.) of 1997 Peter and Fran were in New York for a meeting with Maramax . It looks like it was sometime after that in 1997 that Philippa got involved.

As far as bringing the book closer to the book, I couldn’t find anything that talked about that, but I think that she probably did. The following quote is from Peter.

“Philippa showed up at our house to chat with us about her opinions on what we’d done, which was an interesting experience: someone we’d never met was now going to be telling us what she thought of our work…
I remember her being rather nervous but she was really very diplomatic and started out by saying, ‘Wow! You guys have done so brilliantly well! You are so fantastic! It’s so great that this is actually happening! You’ve been so clever the way you’ve done this!’ She gushed on like that for about ten minutes and then she said, ‘But you know…’ And that’s when the ‘buts’ started to appear! And the ‘buts’ are the interesting part!”

There is a really good interview with Philippa in The Lord of the Rings Fan Club magazine, issue 18, December/January 2005.


Aerin
Grey Havens


Apr 7 2007, 12:29am

Post #62 of 97 (3959 views)
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I don't think so. [In reply to] Can't Post

In all our discussions, everyone apparently just assumed that the elves went to Helm's deep because Arwen was going, not the other way around. Several people explicitly stated this as a fact, but they never provided any evidence; it just seemed to be the conventional wisdom, both in discussions about XenArwen and in discussions about the elves at Helm's Deep.

The stuff you've cited from the book is absolutely fascinating! I guess I'll have to read it myself.

What's especially interesting to me is that some of the original "bad ideas" that actually made it into the films are nonetheless vigorously defended by many fans. I'm willing to bet that if certain things now in the movies had been changed and were included on your list of things that never came to pass, these same fans would be breathing a sigh of relief that the ideas were rejected. (Case in point: Denethor's demise.)


Aerin
Grey Havens


Apr 7 2007, 12:38am

Post #63 of 97 (3969 views)
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In another interview [In reply to] Can't Post

not included on any of the DVDs, but which I saw on the Web before TTT was released, Liv actually talks (in a giggly, self-deprecating way) about her ineptness with both horses and swords, recounting a couple of mishaps. She clearly was very relieved that the nature of the role was changed. Since they did start shooting her in battle at Helm's Deep, the timing of the decision to change her character pretty clearly had something to do with her aptitude, not just with her preferences.


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 7 2007, 2:06am

Post #64 of 97 (3963 views)
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You're right! [In reply to] Can't Post

The stuff that I cited from the book just skims the surface. You would love it!

As to the "bad ideas" that actually made it into the films, I think you are probably right. I could come up with a whole list of things that I wish had never come to pass. (Case in point: Denethor's demise.)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Apr 7 2007, 7:27am

Post #65 of 97 (3976 views)
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Well even the bad ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

might have some good in them - they must have seemed to, at the time. I think that's why people "defend" them as you put it - although, at least for me, it's not a case of eiher attacking or defending, but just of analyzing. For example, I can see why Denethor's demise might have seemed like a good, dramatic idea when it was dreamed up. That it doesn't come off is a shame, but I think I can see why it might appeal as a visual image to a filmmaker.

As for all these other ideas that OhioHobbit mentions, that were abandoned before they made it to film, it's impossible to analyze them because we don't know what the filmmakers might have done with them. I think there are things that do work well in the movies - Arwen's vision of her son, perhaps - that we might react negatively to if we just read about them and had never seen them.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


ladyoftheredwoods
Bree

Apr 7 2007, 5:01pm

Post #66 of 97 (3970 views)
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Denethor's Demise [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't mind Denethor's fall itself but the distance he runs is a bit much. And I don't like having Gandalf and Shadowfax knocking Denethor back on the fire.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Apr 7 2007, 5:25pm

Post #67 of 97 (3968 views)
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There's something not quite right [In reply to] Can't Post

about the bit where Shadowfax kicks Denethor onto the fire, isn't there? It just doesn't quite work. It should look as if Shadowfax is defending Pippin, and that Denethor's fall backwards is an accidental result of that. But the pyre is a bit too high for us to really believe it, so we end up thinking that Shadowfax deliberately pushed Denethor onto the fire.

As for Denethor's run, it's certainly very far but I think I could believe in that if we actually saw how it happened. I have been told that people with their clothes on fire can run a very long way in their panic before the flames get them. I'd even be willing to believe that Denethor "saw the light" at the last moment, and in his dying moments made his way back to the place he should never have left. But we don't see any of this, so it just seems like a theatrical effect.

I also find that the way the stuntie runs out of the room doesn't seem quite right - too focused and deliberate somehow. Now if I were that stuntie with my clothes on fire, I'd be pretty focused too, but it doesn't seem quite right for Denethor. If he staggered, or hesitated, maybe I'd buy it better.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 7 2007, 5:58pm

Post #68 of 97 (3966 views)
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I thought that you might find this interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post

The biography states that on August 30, 1998 Peter Jackson agreed to answer twenty questions for the Ain’t it Cool website of the larger-than-life movie fan-boy, Harry Knowles. Within a short time Knowles had received 14,000 questions.

“We were well aware that there were die-hard fans who held the view: ‘There’s no need to change a thing! The book’s perfect, just give us a movie that puts the book – page-by-every-page – on film!’ What we knew at the outset – because we’d thought long and hard about it and had already agonized over it in writing the Miramax scripts – was that it all came down to choices.
“Eventually, people came to see that a 100 per cent faithful film version just couldn’t have been made and wouldn’t work because it would have been slow and unstructured and very pedantic. For the most part, they also came to accept what I had tried to make clear on Harry’s website: that what they would be seeing was simply the interpretation of another group of fans.”

“The final question addressed by Peter during his Knowels web-fan-conference was: ‘When you look at the films, what are you dying to capture on film, and how will you do it?’ Peter’s answer, amusingly framed though it was, went to the heart of his philosophy for the pictures:
‘I want to take movie-goers into Middle-earth in a way that is believable and powerful.
‘Imagine this: 7,000 years has gone by. We take a film crew to Helm’s Deep…
‘Sure, it’s not really The Lord of the Rings… but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie.’

Latter the book goes on to say:

“’At the same time,’ Says Fran, ‘action all too quickly becomes meaningless if there is no emotional value attached to it and so all the dramatic moments were processed through characters dealing with problems particular to them and the story.’
“Whilst working to achieve these aims, the writers were also attempting to keep yet another goal in sight: that of providing a series of entertaining films that would appeal not just to the enthusiasts who read the book every year but also to those who read it once when they were in school, maybe ten or fifteen years before, and only retained the vaguest outline of key characters and main events; not to mention those with unread copies on their bookshelves gathering dust and cinemagoers with no more knowledge of The Lord of the Rings than the title and who really didn’t know their Saurons from their Sarumans.”

The underline is mine. The book then quotes Peter.

“It was a plain fact that if the films were not enjoyable movies then it was going to be a waste of time and a waste of the huge amount of money that New Line were putting up. To make films that were worthy but dull would not, ultimately, have been doing anybody a service – including the memory of Tolkien himself…”


FarFromHome
Valinor


Apr 7 2007, 8:06pm

Post #69 of 97 (3963 views)
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Pleasing many different audiences [In reply to] Can't Post

is always a difficult thing to do. Tolkien faced the same problem (from the Prologue):

...even from the points of view of many who have enjoyed my story there is much that fails to please. It is perhaps not possible in a long tale to please everybody at all points, nor to displease everybody at the same points; for I find from the letters that I have received that the passages or chapters that are to some a blemish are all by others specially approved.

I think it's the same with the films - they work because they take into account the needs of all the various kinds of people that enjoy The Lord of the Rings. Some of the things that purists particularly dislike (Gimli's humour for example) are exactly what some of the audience, unfamiliar with the story and feeling in over their heads, really need to hear to keep them onside and sympathetic to the story. That's why when I think about the movies, I try to get beyond just my personal likes and dislikes, and consider how something might work for some other section of the audience.

That's a very interesting excerpt you quoted! I'm certainly glad they didn't even try to do a page-by-page translation of the book - it would probably have taken 3 movies to get as far as Tom Bombadil and you have to wonder who'd still be in the cinema by that point! Wink

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Aerin
Grey Havens


Apr 8 2007, 3:41am

Post #70 of 97 (3955 views)
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I just wish [In reply to] Can't Post

that it had not been deemed necessary to try to please the lowest common denominator (e.g., people who find belches entertaining).

What's interesting to me is the process that PJ went through of starting quite far (IMHO appallingly far) from the books and gradually coming closer and closer to them. No one in his or her right mind would want the films to be a literal translation of the books to film — of course such an approach would never work. But there are infinite degrees of fidelity to the source. It seems to me that PJ (perhaps under Philippa's influence?) came to see that the books actually contained much that would be entertaining to a broad audience in its own right, and that the story did not, after all, need to be juiced up with the addition of extraneous, clichéd actions and scenes. (The books weren't popular for nothing!) The process of "stripping away" was still going on during filming, as evidenced by interviews and what we know was filmed but ended up on the cutting-room floor. I think that if there had been more time, the process would have continued, and some of the less-well-conceived bits still in the movies would have fallen by the wayside.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 8 2007, 5:10am

Post #71 of 97 (3979 views)
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You know, I think that... [In reply to] Can't Post

may be one of the more compelling reasons to want PJ to make The Hobbit. He's already learned his lesson in that respect, and has said that given more time, the movies would have come even closer to the book.

A new director would likely have to learn that lesson over again, and in the space of only one movie. It's possible that they might learn from PJ's example and not attempt to embellish the narrative too much, but I don't know that I'd want to rely on that.

Silverlode

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


Aerin
Grey Havens


Apr 8 2007, 5:52am

Post #72 of 97 (3944 views)
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Exactly! [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, that's probably the most important argument for PJ doing The Hobbit.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Apr 8 2007, 11:23am

Post #73 of 97 (3951 views)
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If he'd known then [In reply to] Can't Post

what he knows now, I agree that PJ might have decided to leave out some of the slightly gross-out stuff. As I recall, the studio expected the bulk of their audience to be young males, but that turned out to be way off the mark! Still, that stuff doesn't bother me at all (except for the drinking game - that's just silly). For me, it makes a nice occasional contrast to set off the noble and high-minded tone of the rest.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


ladyoftheredwoods
Bree

Apr 8 2007, 3:43pm

Post #74 of 97 (3940 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I just watched "Bad Taste" and "Dead Alive" so some the gross out seems to be part Peter Jackson's personality.


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Apr 8 2007, 4:46pm

Post #75 of 97 (3942 views)
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As I once said somewhere else - [In reply to] Can't Post

if the things that I do like were not so incredibly good, I don't think that the things I don't like would seem so bad. Its the contrast.

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