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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Is anyone else worried about the fact that "The Hobbit" is going to be turned into two movies?
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TheNumenorean
Mutant


Jun 15 2009, 11:30pm

Post #1 of 81 (2492 views)
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Is anyone else worried about the fact that "The Hobbit" is going to be turned into two movies? Can't Post

First let me begin by saying that I'm new to the TORn Message Boards, so please be kind (that's almost an invitation to the contrary isn't it?). And secondly, let me say that first and foremost I am a Tolkien fan.

Now, I loved Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, though there were definitely things that I would have changed had I been sitting in the director's chair, and when rumors first started to circulate online about a potential film of The Hobbit, I was thrilled. But as the years rolled by and the legal complications between New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, and the Tolkien Estate began to proliferate, I started to doubt that a Hobbit film would ever come into existence. Personally, I would have been fine with that, albeit a little disappointed. But then, after numerous petitions and letters to the studios, it became official that there would be a film of The Hobbit, but, and this is a pretty big but, it would not be directed by Peter Jackson. Well, that came as a huge shock to me and not in a good way, but like all other fans of the LotR films, I persevered and was ultimately pleasantly surprised when Guillermo del Toro was announced as the director and that Peter Jackson and his writing/producer partners (Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens) would be involved.

But then came the bad news, or at least what I perceive to be bad news; The Hobbit wouldn't just be a straightforward adaptation of the beloved children's book (and yes, it is a work of children's literature), but that it would include parts of The Lord of the Rings and the appendices of both. The Hobbit is being split into two full-length motion pictures... but why? Now, I can be something of a cynic and I'm always suspicious of capitalist intentions, particularly in the world of the arts, and I just don't see any reason to make two films. The Lord of the Rings was a far greater literary achievement and covered a larger period of time and featured a greater number of characters, so why does a single volume book like The Hobbit need to be turned into two film? I can certainly see why the studios would want this, because they'd never turn down the opportunity to make more money. But I can't understand why Peter Jackson and company, would want to take the book, which is so well-known even to those unfamiliar with LotR, and turn into two films. Won't this approach undermine the wonderful literary simplicity of the book?

Please, if you also feel strongly about this, regardless of whether you agree with me or not, share your thoughts here.
Smile


Arwen's daughter
Asgardian


Jun 15 2009, 11:45pm

Post #2 of 81 (1905 views)
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Welcome to TORn! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's always good to see new faces around here!

You're certainly in good company. Personally, I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other, but many here would agree with you. For my own part, I think there's enough material in The Hobbit to make two films. And two Hobbit films is better than the original plan: one Hobbit film and an "original prequel," which would likely have consisted mostly of bits of the appendices.

In two years, you may certainly be proved right, but in the meantime, I'm going to wait for more info and hope that GDT & PJ know what they're doing.



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debo
Defender

Jun 15 2009, 11:46pm

Post #3 of 81 (1871 views)
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I feel I just have to trust the creativity of the film-makers [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the boards- nice you posted!!SmileSmile

Good point! I'd be more worried if the LotR writing team wasn't involved, but I feel there will be continuity and a similarity of vision to the Trilogy.
I'm slightly nervous about what will be IN the two Hobbit movies. There is a lot of action though, which I guess they can make more character-centred.

My two cents worth.

Frodo; "What I chiefly need now is courage . . ."


TheNumenorean
Mutant


Jun 15 2009, 11:52pm

Post #4 of 81 (1895 views)
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Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the welcome.
And I do agree that del Toro, Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens are the right people for the job. I just hope that they can retain the whimsy and the simplicity of the book, without turning the film into a bloated action spectacle. It would break my heart to see The Hobbit become another Eragon (yuck).

Thine own will, be thine own fate...


squire
Asgardian


Jun 15 2009, 11:58pm

Post #5 of 81 (1903 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

If I understand the sequence of events, the original proposal was indeed to treat The Hobbit as one film, for the very reasons you cite. It is one book, and a simple straight-line story. Proportionately, one film seemed right, especially compared to the triple film that presented the three-volume LotR.

The original second film seems to have been the idea of Peter Jackson, possibly inspired by his partners Walsh and Boyens: to make a "bridge film" that would treat the history of Middle-earth between the events of The Hobbit and the beginning of The Lord of the Rings. They seemed confident that enough material existed in the LotR appendices, to which they had the film rights, to make a second film. Strictly speaking, it would not have been The Hobbit Part II, but an independent story. It would have completed a five-film sequence that would have integrated the entire story of the Ring from beginning to end.

But.

Once the screenwriting team of del Toro, Walsh and Boyens actually began to tackle the project this past fall, they seem to have discovered that the "bridge film" was a highly unsatisfactory idea after all. We were not given details, of course. The announcement, just a few months ago, of a new structure for the two film project was just what you have criticized, and what we have all been discussing on this board ever since: The Hobbit as a double film, with a break somewhere in the narrative. Del Toro coyly assures us the break is at the most natural spot imaginable - a remark that has generated a lot of talk and heat around here!

And why not abandon the second film entirely, and logically just make The Hobbit as one film? There you have your studios, and the need to make money: the original deal was to write and produce two films, and the writers are probably contractually obligated to deliver two films, not one, no matter what the story structure.

"Hey, chief!"
"How's it going, guys?"
"Great! We've found that The Hobbit really wants to be one film."
"Right. And how about the second one?"
"That one doesn't work after all."
"Huh? But you guys said..."
"It's OK, we're grown ups. We can admit it when we're wrong."
"So wait a minute..."
"Right! We make one film! It'll be great!"
"And I make half the money!!! Half a billion instead of a billion!"
"So what? Sometimes you just have to do the right thing ... right, chief?"



squire online:
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Dreamdeer
Wakandian


Jun 16 2009, 1:01am

Post #6 of 81 (1877 views)
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Welcome to TORn! [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to TORn! And don't worry, we like newbies--they freshen the place up.

Personally, I am delighted at the thought of "The Hobbit" being made into two movies. If I was the director, I would find it really hard to cut any one thing out. Because this is a road trip more than a quest, each part, though seemingly discrete, contributes an important lesson to the overall transformation of Bilbo Baggins.

All too often commercial concerns shrink book-scripts to the tautness (and brainlessness) of a shrunken head, in order to spare the production budget. But since the fans have proven that we will reward long, elaborate movies with multiple viewings, more than enough to compensate for the extensive budgets required, they can afford to deliver the pending movies with a lot more meat (and brains) to them. I like that.

As we've been discovering with the Hobbit readalong over in the Reading Room, much complexity lies under the surface of this simple book. The beauty of it is that a child can fully enjoy the surface story and an adult can fully enjoy the deeper aspects of it simultaneously! Many who enjoyed the book in childhood are now amazed at how much they can again appreciate it as adults.

But that's my opinion. You are certainly welcome to your own. Although I hope, if I may, to ease your worries just a little.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Wakandian

Jun 16 2009, 3:35am

Post #7 of 81 (1874 views)
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You largely speak for me, Dreamdeer [In reply to] Can't Post

I dearly hope that they take this opportunity to get really deeply into Tolkien's text, more so than a single film would allow, rather than using it to create a lot of invented material. As you note, there is a lot more under the surface of The Hobbit than many people realize, and I would love to see the films reflect that.

Based on the comments that GdT has made so far, I am optimistic about that happening.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


AinurOlorin
Asgardian

Jun 16 2009, 4:08am

Post #8 of 81 (1920 views)
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I actually was in favour of the film and bridge [In reply to] Can't Post

For, like you, I wanted the Hobbit to maintain its integrity in its essential format. A single story. I felt a 3 hr film plus a few odd minutes could adequately handle the fullness of The Hobbit. That said, I was of course very interested in Dol Guldur, The White Council, the concerns and actions Of Gandalf, Balin, Moria, and the other Darker matters. . . and felt that there was enough of that for at least a two hour stretch of comprehensive film, that would do all the needed work of linking Hobbit to the grander, deeper world of LOTR. The idea of The Hobbit spliting down the middle. . . I just cannot escape the feeling that it will not sit well with a lot of the audience to be told that they will have to wait a year to see The Dragon. To come and see the hobbit and never get around to Smaug? I don't know. I really feel that if they get through to Smaug, there is still plenty between the Council, backstory, and the build up to war, plus a bit of what happened after, to make a good and coherent second film. Some say it would lack the lure of the Dragon,. . . but to me that sounds of hollywood bait and hook and milk for cash concerns. There would be material enough for a good film. The point of film one should not be to leave you dangling in anticipation for film 2. I was hoping that part one of The Hobbit would be solid enough to work even as a standalone film, as a work of wonder unto itself. . . I don't think that will happen now, which, to me, is a loss.

In Reply To
Thanks for the welcome.
And I do agree that del Toro, Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens are the right people for the job. I just hope that they can retain the whimsy and the simplicity of the book, without turning the film into a bloated action spectacle. It would break my heart to see The Hobbit become another Eragon (yuck).


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


sticklebat
Fantastic Four


Jun 16 2009, 8:43am

Post #9 of 81 (1865 views)
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because it's the movies... [In reply to] Can't Post

  and because it's going to be fun & awesome to see those added parts realised on film...and the fans (granted, not all of them) will want to bask in any and all opportunities to see the beloved world of Tolkien put to screen...this will more than likely be THE last time the world would see it happen...if there were to be any attempts after this, I'm not convinced they would be all that well received, or really all that well conceived for that matter...why not put a pair of qualty films out there for fans to enjoy and savour?...I don't think they are blaspheming by doing this...but rather I see it as them being allowed to tell a fuller version of the story...the parts of the story we don't know and didn't get to read about...I myself can be a bit o a curmudeon when it comes to certain aspects of translating Tolkien into film...but I think the right people are in control of this project, and I'm very excited to see what they'll offer up for us.

Tri duath telich na estel lin...a si gerich naid bain anirach.


xy
Defender

Jun 16 2009, 12:02pm

Post #10 of 81 (1834 views)
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Yes, I am [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not into all the "we're getting LOTR actors back whenever possible and we want to tie the loose ends between LOTR and Hobbit" talk (I think this is mostly PJ's idea - GDT sounds like someone much more interested into following the Hobbit story more closely). I want to see the Hobbit, not two epic LOTR-wannabe prequel$. And definitely as little of the invented scenes as possible (it didn't work in LOTR and I doubt it will now).

There is absolutely no reason why the Hobbit couldn't be a 2 and a half hour - or 3 hours if necessary - single movie. Personally I felt perfectly okay with the original plan of sticking close to the Hobbit in the first movie, but then go wild with your imagination in the bridge movie. Now it seems like it's neither this or that.

The splitting point is just one of the many problems arising because of this decision.


(This post was edited by xy on Jun 16 2009, 12:04pm)


.Ithilwen.
Spider-person


Jun 16 2009, 12:34pm

Post #11 of 81 (1833 views)
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I trust the entire lot of people working on it [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't read the other posts yet. So if somebody already said something like this, my apologies. Wink

I was a bit unsure about 2 movies for a while. But I rented Hellboy and well, I really love both of the installments Smile
And I watched all 3 Lord of the Rings in a row (yes. It took an ENTIRE day to do this...)

And, I know PJ is only a producer...But does anyone honestly think he'd let anything bad happen with the film? Not that GDT will do anything bad; I think he's an amazing director. And Phillipa and Fran are amazing writers and love all of Tolkien's work as much as any one of us.

I don't think I'd trust anyone else to bring The Hobbit to life :)

El eria e mor
I `lir en el luitha `uren



(A star rises out of the darkness. The song of the star enchants my heart)

~Aníron, Enya









Dreamdeer
Wakandian


Jun 16 2009, 2:48pm

Post #12 of 81 (1839 views)
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Cliffhangers [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliffhanger movies were an old tradition in the early days of Hollywood, leaving the hero literally hanging off a cliff, or the heroine tied up on a railroad track with an oncoming train, etc. It kept the audience coming back for more.

Tolkien himself did not hesitate to use cliffhangers, himself. The first book ended with Frodo and Sam split off for Mordor, Merry and Pippin prisoners of war, Boromir lying there dead, and everybody else running around in hysterics. The second book was even worse, with Frodo taken prisoner and Sam knocked unconscious in Mordor with who knows what evils prowling around. Remember, a year passed between the publication of each book.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Ainu Laire
Justice League


Jun 16 2009, 3:07pm

Post #13 of 81 (1793 views)
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I was a bit worried at first [In reply to] Can't Post

But after reading all of the things Guillermo has said on this board and in interviews, and hearing his enthusiasm in person... well, I'm less worried now.

I was actually more worried about the bridge film. To hear that they found that it wouldn't work that that they''ll just tie in the events of Dol Guldur with the Hobbit makes perfect sense to me, especially since they happen similtaneously.

Besides, if I spent too much time worrying I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself during these next couple years :)

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NARF since age 8, when I refused to read the Hobbit because the cover looked boring and icky.


Pipe Dream
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Jun 16 2009, 3:20pm

Post #14 of 81 (1803 views)
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I'm sort of confused. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still rather new as a poster on "TORN", but if I understand correctly, everyone is concerned about "The Hobbit" as being one movie with the second movie as the bridge to the "Lord of the Rings". Correct? If so, that was the initial idea for the film makers. They have since announced they are doing "The Hobbit" as a stand alone movie in two parts. Here is the article as linked by "TORN" a while back.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/...ne-tale-in-two-parts


Annael
Avenger


Jun 16 2009, 3:50pm

Post #15 of 81 (1798 views)
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I like that idea [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't say that I have a whole lot of investment in this movie; nothing like I had in the movies of LOTR. If they want to expand the story and introduce people to the wider world of Middle-earth, that's fine with me. (I never was a purist.)


I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
How are you? ...
I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
What is God?
If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,
If you think that the Sun and the Ocean
Can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,
O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly
Laughing – Now!
- Hafiz

* * * * * * * * * *
NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


N.E. Brigand
Asgardian


Jun 16 2009, 4:07pm

Post #16 of 81 (1724 views)
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See squire's response above. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

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Curious
Asgardian


Jun 16 2009, 5:23pm

Post #17 of 81 (1796 views)
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No. Think of it as an Extended Edition for the theaters. [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, I'm not worried in part because I don't have super high expectations in the first place. I'm most worried about the interjection of material concerning the White Council and the Necromancer that are only briefly mentioned in the book. But I would be worried about that whether we had one film or two. In some ways I'm glad we have two films, as it gives the film makers time for everything in the book. Unfortunately, it may also give them time for some things that aren't in the book, or at least aren't in this book.

I would prefer to see a two-part film, like Kill Bill 1 and 2, with plenty of advertising making it clear that the first film is not a complete story in and unto itself, so that everyone knows they will need to see both films. I would also prefer Darkstone's suggestion that the film end with the escape from the spiders and the discovery of Thorin's absence, as a combination of climactic battle and cliffhanger. That's pretty close to the middle of the book, too.


Morthoron
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Jun 16 2009, 5:51pm

Post #18 of 81 (1783 views)
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I am equally concerned... [In reply to] Can't Post

With added 'fluff' and extrapolations added for the sake of filling out two films, because, let's face it, Jackson, Boyens and Walsh were at their worst the further they strayed from Tolkien's original story. The difficulty in adding bits from the Appendices is that The Hobbit is about a Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and rarely strays from the central character. Plopping in White Council material may prove too jarring and reduce the overall effectiveneness of keeping our attention on the main focus of the movie. I'm not sure we'd like to see a movie about 'The Hobbit' change into a movie entitled 'The Hobbit and Et Cetera'.

Two novel-length stories nominated for 2009 MEFAs--

MONTY PYTHON'S 'The HOBBIT':
http://www.fanfiction.net/...y_Pythons_The_Hobbit

-And-

'TALES OF A DARK CONTINENT':
http://www.fanfiction.net/..._of_a_Dark_Continent


Curious
Asgardian


Jun 16 2009, 6:42pm

Post #19 of 81 (1761 views)
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In all fairness, some of it is in the book. [In reply to] Can't Post

If they don't try to make a whole other movie out of Gandalf's adventures, it could be a legitimate illustration of what Gandalf tells us in the book, and a way of linking it to Jackson's movies. We'll just have to wait and see.


TheNumenorean
Mutant


Jun 16 2009, 7:32pm

Post #20 of 81 (1763 views)
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About "Kill Bill" and Concerning "The Hobbit" [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, Kill Bill wasn't intended as a two-parter. Tarantino originally wanted the film to be a single, cohesive vision, but it was decided that ultimately the story worked better dramatically by splitting it into two parts and having the first installment focus on action and driving the story forward and allowing the second installment to focus on characterization, back story, and dialogue. To this day Tarantino's wanted to release the film the way he first conceived of it, but the studios felt that it would be too violent for U.S. audiences.

As for The Hobbit, I am a Tolkien purist, and I think that if he had intended for materials from the appendices to be included then he would have revised the book and reinserted them. Still, I'm hopeful that The Hobbit will be as good as the weakest of the LotR films. For me, what will decide whether I like the film or not won't just be whether it's a good film, but whether it's a faithful adaptation. So I guess, I'm feeling equal parts anticipation and apprehension about the whole thing.

Here's hoping that all fans will be satisfied!

Thine own will, be thine own fate...


Curious
Asgardian


Jun 16 2009, 7:43pm

Post #21 of 81 (1743 views)
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I know. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Actually, Kill Bill wasn't intended as a two-parter.


Yes, and for that reason it really works as one film in two parts, rather than a film and a sequel. I would like The Hobbit to be similar -- one film in two parts.


Quote

As for The Hobbit, I am a Tolkien purist, and I think that if he had intended for materials from the appendices to be included then he would have revised the book and reinserted them.


First of all, Tolkien did consider revising The Hobbit and even worked on it a bit, I believe, before giving it up. But I agree with you about sticking to the book. Heck, I wouldn't mind if they filmed the 1937 version of Riddles in the Dark, although I can't ever see that happening.

However, Gandalf does tell the dwarves about his expedition to Dol Guldur and his meeting with Thrain and does mention the Necromancer several times during the book and does tell Bilbo that a group of white wizards drove the Necromancer out of Mirkwood. So I don't see any problem with showing those events happening in the movies, as long as Gandalf's adventures don't overshadow Bilbo's.



sticklebat
Fantastic Four


Jun 16 2009, 8:21pm

Post #22 of 81 (1793 views)
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but if you recall... [In reply to] Can't Post

  Tolkien didn't intend to split The Lord Of The Rings into three volumes...in fact he wholly disliked the idea...he grudgingly went along with the suggestion of the publisher, sighting that one volume just would have been too long.
in a way I'm bummed out only because we'll have to wait a whole year to see the conclusion of the story...( I can remember being in the theater, watching the closing credits of each respective installment of the trilogy roll past thinking...damn, gotta wait a whole year)...but otherwise, I'm pleased there will be a second film to look forward to.

Tri duath telich na estel lin...a si gerich naid bain anirach.


N.E. Brigand
Asgardian


Jun 16 2009, 8:27pm

Post #23 of 81 (1755 views)
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How about "Kill Bilbo"? [In reply to] Can't Post

Couldn't resist. It's a joke which seems to date back to fall 2003, before ROTK was released. Sadly the phrase seems not to appear in The Hobbit itself.

Thanks for the information on Tarantino's KB films, which I've seen (and didn't care for) but didn't know the production history. I'm surprised there's no director's cut that presents his original single-film intention.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us June 15-21 for "Not at Home".
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Buchanicus
Fantastic Four


Jun 16 2009, 9:00pm

Post #24 of 81 (1748 views)
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yes... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
and because it's going to be fun & awesome to see those added parts realised on film...and the fans (granted, not all of them) will want to bask in any and all opportunities to see the beloved world of Tolkien put to screen...this will more than likely be THE last time the world would see it happen...if there were to be any attempts after this, I'm not convinced they would be all that well received, or really all that well conceived for that matter...why not put a pair of qualty films out there for fans to enjoy and savour?...I don't think they are blaspheming by doing this...but rather I see it as them being allowed to tell a fuller version of the story...the parts of the story we don't know and didn't get to read about...I myself can be a bit o a curmudeon when it comes to certain aspects of translating Tolkien into film...but I think the right people are in control of this project, and I'm very excited to see what they'll offer up for us.



Well said.

I have no problem with The Hobbit being two films, I had no problem with The Hobbit being one film and the second being a "bridge" film with stories mined from the appendices and from things refered to in the trilogy. I don't really understand why one book made into two movies would cause much concern...don't people usually dislike movie adaptations for what they leave out and change in order to pace a 400-700pg book into 2-2 1/2 hours? The point is how could you have any idea how you are going to feel about something until you've actually seen it? I definitely think to each his won, but I just can't relate to making judgements on the quality of something until it's actually fully realized (in concerns to film, books, music). Sometimes people act like there is no way they can love something or appreciate it if it's not the way they want it to be in their minds. I cherish and love my memories of reading The Hobbit for the first time and the amazing feelings it gave me as a kid, and like others have said, I have found deeper meanings and themes as an adult...things I could have never picked up on as a kid. Although written so a younger audience can enjoy it, The Hobbit is not just a children's book. But I want to cherish and love my experience of seeeing the film version too (sorry to offend, but I love movies just as much as I love books)...I'm not saying I'm going to love it no matter what, but I am going to reserve my feelings and opinions until after it's over.

TORn member formally known as ryan1976.


sticklebat
Fantastic Four


Jun 17 2009, 8:35am

Post #25 of 81 (1724 views)
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definitely... [In reply to] Can't Post

and thanks...
the themes in Tolkien's writings, in the languages...stem directly from his life experiences, and in my opinion, transcend just about any other piece of fiction or idea put in to a film...they're just...different from everything else I've enjoyed reading & affected me very deeply upon reading them...a quote from Tolkien expert Tom Shippey:
"It's clear that the languages Tolkien created are created by one of the greatest philologists of all time, and I think also in them there is poured much of his professional knowledge and thought. I've often noticed that there are really very valuable observations about what Tolkien thought about real philology buried in the fiction, and I would not be at all surprised if there were valuable observations buried in the invented languages...so there may be in fact, something that emerges from it."

Tri duath telich na estel lin...a si gerich naid bain anirach.

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