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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Azog's Original Barrel Ride
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Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 21, 2:41pm

Post #76 of 255 (1733 views)
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I [In reply to] Can't Post

really don't see that the Grand Strategy and Great Power Politics need to intrude into Bilbo's little adventure any more than they did in the book.

Not every WW2 film includes the Tehran Conference, D-Day and Midway. They are understood to be in the background of whatever small facet of the war (real or fictional) the movie is about.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 21, 2:59pm

Post #77 of 255 (1729 views)
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But that removes any sense of urgency [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I also would have kept the corruption of the Greenwood and Gandalf's discovery of Thrain in the past. If everyone was so certain that Sauron wouldn't return, why send the Istari to Middle-earth at all? That's a major plot hole in Jackson's Hobbit.


Yes, you're right that the existence of the Council is at odds with how complecent so many of its members seems to be, but I'm willing to take that kind of conceit I'm willing to abide.

However, the idea that Sauron (under the pseudonym of The Necromancer) has been long around just takes any urgency away from his threat. Tolkien, interestingly, does it for the sake reason, in the sake of realism. But in movies it doesn't work.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 21, 3:34pm

Post #78 of 255 (1729 views)
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OK - you choose to go low. [In reply to] Can't Post

Got it.

Thanks for being honest about it.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 21, 4:24pm

Post #79 of 255 (1715 views)
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The spiders cliffhanger actually make sense [In reply to] Can't Post

It also makes sense to introduce the Elven-king in Part 2, along with Laketown and Bard.

Knowing that the dwarves were captured would also contribute to this cliffhanger.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 7:41pm

Post #80 of 255 (1700 views)
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Concerns [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, you're right that the existence of the Council is at odds with how complecent so many of its members seems to be, but I'm willing to take that kind of conceit I'm willing to abide.


Yes, but arguably that's an issue within the legendarium as well. It is partially explained by Saruman's own agenda, wanting to seek out the Ring without involving the rest of the Council. His actions were sketchy even before he turned fully to evil.


In Reply To
However, the idea that Sauron (under the pseudonym of The Necromancer) has been long around just takes any urgency away from his threat. Tolkien, interestingly, does it for the sake reason, in the sake of realism. But in movies it doesn't work.


It can work if hints are dropped that wheels are in motion that might soon produce dire consequences: increased activity of spiders and Orcs in Mirkwood; discontent among the Dunlendings; rumors of cults springing up among the Woodmen and/or the Lake-men; Easterlings and Haradrim sighted near or entering Mordor; etc.

#FidelityToTolkien


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 22, 1:54am

Post #81 of 255 (1667 views)
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Going back to the eagle ending for film1 [In reply to] Can't Post

Iím still wondering what the overarching storyline would be for that film if it were to end that early into the adventure? Iíve always been interested in what AUJ wouldíve been like without the Azog subplot and how it might work. How would you make a satisfying movie out of only the first 6 chapters in the story?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 22, 2:50am

Post #82 of 255 (1658 views)
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First... [In reply to] Can't Post

...you bring up a good point: In terms of chapters, the midpoint of the story comes with "Barrels Out of Bond"/"A Warm Welcome". I chose the Eagles as a climax largely because the introduction of Beorn makes for a good beginning for Part 2. The arrival at Lake-town could serve the same purpose.

However, to your question: The Hobbit as written by Tolkien is inherently an episodic tale for the most part. That might not tally with modern film theory, but that doesn't mean that the same approach cannot be made to work on film. The rescue is a definitive climax for that particular part of the story, though we can say the same for the escape from the Woodland Realm for that respective episode (the same for the fight with the spiders as it relates to the journey through Mirkwood). Actually, given the structure of the book, a miniseries might be the ideal format for an adaptation, rather than a movie (whether done-in-one or in two or more parts).

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 22, 2:54pm

Post #83 of 255 (1593 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit, in film terms, is a road movie- an age-old and successful format. A road movie doesn't require the intrusion of a pursuing nemesis to give it momentum; progress toward the goal is sufficient.

Note that the Frodo/Sam part of the LR is a road movie; they're not running from any pursuer, simply moving as best they can towards Mt Doom, overcoming obstacles along the way.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 22, 11:00pm

Post #84 of 255 (1546 views)
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Frodo and Samís road movie only worked because it was intercut [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Hobbit, in film terms, is a road movie- an age-old and successful format. A road movie doesn't require the intrusion of a pursuing nemesis to give it momentum; progress toward the goal is sufficient.

Note that the Frodo/Sam part of the LR is a road movie; they're not running from any pursuer, simply moving as best they can towards Mt Doom, overcoming obstacles along the way.

with Aragornís story. The simple episodic road journey would only work if it was one movie with the complete journey that actually had an ending. Films have to stand on their own in some way and I just canít see how ending with the eagles would do that. Book lovers would be fine with it but film scholars would destroy it. But what do I know really? Maybe it could work.

I also think if the eagles rescue was the ending of part1 then it wound need to be a trilogy because thereís just too much to cover from Beorn onwards compared to so little before Beorn. If youíre going to drag out Bag End to the Eagles rescue then you may as well drag out the rest of the story with two more films. End part2 with the death of Smaug or like DOS end with Smaug flying towards Laketown.


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 22, 11:15pm

Post #85 of 255 (1544 views)
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Maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

we can look at this mathematically. PJ's trilogy (theatrical cuts) runs 474 minutes. What percentage of that is left after we subtract out the White Council, Dol Goldur, Azog, bunny-sled, Bard's family and other non-Tolkien material? Is there enough remaining to support three "normal" pictures of ~360 minutes? That seems unlikely.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 22, 11:40pm

Post #86 of 255 (1537 views)
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I was including the white council storyline [In reply to] Can't Post

But if it was only the books tale then yes only two movies would be needed but Part1 couldnít end as early as the eagles.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 23, 12:47am

Post #87 of 255 (1524 views)
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Guillermo del Toro's Vision [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But if it was only the books tale then yes only two movies would be needed but Part1 couldnít end as early as the eagles.


That does make me wonder how GdT's treatment would have split the story. We know that he saw The Hobbit as a duology.

#FidelityToTolkien


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 23, 2:28am

Post #88 of 255 (1515 views)
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AFAIK PJ is operating essentially with GDTíS structural blueprint [In reply to] Can't Post

Meaning GDT also came to see the barrels as a divider.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 23, 2:49am

Post #89 of 255 (1504 views)
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Yeah they already had the 2 film scripts [In reply to] Can't Post

Iím pretty sure the barrel escape was always the planned ending from the start.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 23, 12:38pm

Post #90 of 255 (1454 views)
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Same frame; different house? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
AFAIK PJ is operating essentially with GDTíS structural blueprint


More or less;Guillermo del Toro is given credit on the scripting.


In Reply To
Meaning GDT also came to see the barrels as a divider.


Perhaps, perhaps not. GdT had his ideas on how to proceed, but when Peter Jackson took over the directing duties he had his own notions about the movies. And the studio had its own input.

#FidelityToTolkien


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 23, 8:57pm

Post #91 of 255 (1425 views)
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Not always [In reply to] Can't Post

There was talk about a bridge film for some period of time under GDT's development.

I just have trouble believing that many script adjustments could be made on the fly given the time crunch they were on. Supposedly one of the biggest reasons why it went from 2 films to 3 was they felt the structure wasn't quite working, which would imply they didn't have enough time to really nail down the original shooting script.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 23, 11:04pm

Post #92 of 255 (1419 views)
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The "Bridge" film [In reply to] Can't Post

was a concept that was brought up numerous times. Obviously, The Hobbit was always on the filmmakers mind to some extent, because it was part of their original pitch and they actually started some early development on it before even touching The Lord of the Rings. The idea of a Bridge film came up later.

During preporduction on The Lord of the Rings, Jackson first brought up the idea of shooting some of the "interstitial" material and possibly adding it into The Lord of the Rings:


Quote
One idea I've got (if the trilogy is successful) would be to gather the cast together again and shoot another couple of hours worth of scenes to flesh out The Lord of the Rings as a more complete "Special Edition". In other words, we would write and shoot the Tom Bombadil stuff, or scenes involving Gandalf and Aragorn hunting Gollum, and his capture by Orcs ... and any number of other bits of business that we can't fit https://www.herr-der-ringe-film.de/v3/de/news/tolkienfilme/news_19958.php


Then, in early development of The Hobbit at the tail end of The Lord of the Rings, Jackson and New Line talked about doing one The Hobbit film and one "Lord of the Rings prequel". In late 2006, Jackson spoke about talking about this with Mark Ordesky "several years ago."
https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2006/11/19/24053-peter-jackson-and-fran-walsh-talk-the-hobbit-2/

Then Del Toro mentioned it at some point, but I don't think it ever got beyond abstract discussions. Del Toro very quickly moved from this train of thought to a two-film version of The Hobbit. Knee-points considered were the opening of the Bard's appearance, the Hidden Door or Smaug leaving the mountain: all three of which form a cliffhanger of some sort.

Jackson, once he took over, did originally want to incorporate more of the "interstitial" material into The Battle of the Five Armies, as in the commentary he talks about having considered incorporating Viggo and Liv into the epilogue, etcetra. But he wisely chose against it.

The bridge film isn't a bad idea - it could work to the effect of an intermezzo - but it was easier to string the relevant appendices material where it was concurrent with and pertient to the events of The Hobbit, moreso than the events that take place in the interim of the two works.

That said, that there are gaps between the two trilogies isn't necessarily bad. Even within a single movie, there are often time-jumps during which we the audience miss out on some developments and have to catch up.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 23, 11:16pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 24, 1:44am

Post #93 of 255 (1388 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

Conceptually, the 'bridge" film was part of the original two-film structure before Guillermo del Toro decided that splitting the original story into two films was a better way to go. The first movie would be a fairly straightforward adaptation of The Hobbit itself while the follow-up would fill in the gaps between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, possibly including such things as the hunt for Gollum and the betrothing of Aragorn & Arwen.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 24, 1:48am)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 24, 3:34am

Post #94 of 255 (1379 views)
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Thanks for that link [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadnít seen that email before and luckily I wasnít around during those years because I always had slow internet back then so I didnít bother looking into updates. I didnít even learn about the hobbit being made till late 2008 when I came across that live Q&A that PJ and GDT did online together.

I wonder if the bridge film was going to show the attack on Dol Guldur as if it happened after the hobbit or would it overlap the hobbit story just showing Gandalfís point of view?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 24, 4:19am

Post #95 of 255 (1377 views)
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The White Council, Dol Guldur and the "Bridge" Film [In reply to] Can't Post

I have always assumed that the White Council's assault on Dol Guldur would have most likely been part of the "bridge" film, if it had been made. Including it as a subplot within the main narrative of The Hobbit would have made it much more difficult to tell within the runtime of a single movie. As we've discussed, any single-film adaptation of The Hobbit would probably feel rushed unless some elements of the story were cut.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 24, 4:20am)


FrogmortonJustice65
Lorien


Apr 24, 10:45pm

Post #96 of 255 (1304 views)
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I think two movies would suffice for a Hobbit adaptation. [In reply to] Can't Post

Two fairly regular length movies - certainly not LOTR length.

I base this argument on two principles:

(1) Faithfully adapting the Professor's work is an unadulterated good. See: the high points of the LOTR trilogy but also the high points of the Hobbit trilogy: the Unexpected Party, Riddles in the Dark, Inside Information.

(2) Including material not explicitly adapted from the Professor is risky. Sometimes it is not too big of a distraction, as was largely the case in the LOTR film trilogy. Other times it is a distraction. See, the low points of the Hobbit trilogy: elf/dwarf romance, Nazgul detours, etc. The less we are explicitly adapting the Professor's writing and borrowing his dialogue, the more we are left to rely on the inventions of the filmmakers. I think the company behind writing the LOTR and Hobbit films are great writers in their own right, but they can't compete with Tolkien himself. The further we stray from Tolkien, the further we inch towards fan fiction.

I think there is enough material in the Hobbit and enough unique locales worth bringing to life through the magic of film --- Rivendell, Goblintown, Beorn, Mirkwood, Laketown, Erebor, etc --- that two films are warranted to prevent some of the Professor's material from being unduly excised. I think an adaptation of the Hobbit would suffer more from having one of these episodes cut than an adaptation of LOTR would suffer from having, say, Tom Bombadil cut.

But three films were clearly excessive. As has been pointed out in this thread, it's true that the LOTR trilogy cut back and forth from Frodo and Sam's journey (featuring no chase scenes, big baddy Orc hunting them to amp up suspense etc.) and Aragorn's more action-packed plotline. But this works because both Frodo and Aragorn's narrative are part of the same plot and intrinsically connected. You can't resolve one plot line without the other. If Frodo and Sam don't succeed, Aragorn never becomes king. If Aragorn doesn't muster the forces of good to confront Sauron and create a diversion, Frodo and Sam can't succeed.

Gandalf's business with the White Council is considerably more tangential to Bilbo's humble adventure, despite the writers' best attempts to portray these narratives as interlinked, so cutting back and forth between those plotlines feels more like a sidequest than a plot arc intrinsic to the story of THE HOBBIT.

As it is, we have a three film adaptation of the Hobbit with amazing highs but some material that is extraneous or irritating. There is definitely a higher quality set of two films in there somewhere, had the filmmakers had a bit more discipline. I would start by cutting out much of the Gandalf solo material (breaks my heart because McKellen is nothing less than a treasure) to center the narrative firmly around the dynamic between Bilbo and Thorin, which is the heart of the films and the book IMO. Eliminate some cringey dialogue and pare back some of the LOTR fan service, and you'd have a quality film.

The biggest challenge, IMO, in fixing the Hobbit trilogy lies in dealing with Azog. I do think it helps to introduce a clearer antagonist when writing a film that is meant to be mass entertainment, but I'm unsure how I'd execute it.


(This post was edited by FrogmortonJustice65 on Apr 24, 10:47pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 24, 11:40pm

Post #97 of 255 (1296 views)
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Two thumbs way, way up [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 24, 11:56pm

Post #98 of 255 (1290 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I wouldn't want to cut up and rework Jackson's Hobbit. Better to start from scratch and author an entirely new adaptation using the two film structure. I do think it would be essential to include the White Council subplot rather than leave Gandalf's disappearance at the eaves of Mirkwood unexplained. And maybe some other references to the greater legendarium could be worked in. But no Azog. No tombs deep in the mountains. No half-baked love story (if you're going to invent a love story at all, why not between Bard and his future wife? Yes, I'm discounted the possibility that he's a widower).

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 25, 12:00am)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 25, 8:24am

Post #99 of 255 (1248 views)
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Thorin and Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I would start by cutting out much of the Gandalf solo material (breaks my heart because McKellen is nothing less than a treasure) to center the narrative firmly around the dynamic between Bilbo and Thorin, which is the heart of the films and the book IMO. Eliminate some cringey dialogue and pare back some of the LOTR fan service, and you'd have a quality film.

The biggest challenge, IMO, in fixing the Hobbit trilogy lies in dealing with Azog. I do think it helps to introduce a clearer antagonist when writing a film that is meant to be mass entertainment, but I'm unsure how I'd execute it.


In the film, the Dol Guldur material is quite intristically wedded into the Quest itself. It impacts it in more ways than one and is essential to its success.

Also, to say that "the dynamic between Bilbo and Thorin, which is the heart of the films" is to fundementally miss the point, I think. Its the equivalent of saying that the heart of Lawrence of Arabia is the relationship between Lawrence and Ali. It isn't. The heart of Lawrence of Arabia is the relationship between Lawrence and...Lawrence. To see how he deals with his own megalomania, his own recklessness, his bloodlust and sadism.

The same is true of Thorin. His relationship with Bilbo is just one facet of an incredibly complex and challenging character, one who is hiding a lot of pain and anxiety under a shell of arrogance and resentment. To see him deal with that, to grapple with the heritage of his forefathers, to see what means he will find justifiable for his end - that's what's truly fascinating here. Straight out of Aristoteles.

Easily the best character of all six films.
EASILY.


In Reply To
No half-baked love story (if you're going to invent a love story at all, why not between Bard and his future wife? Yes, I'm discounted the possibility that he's a widower).


I will say, that Tauriel loses Kili with their love entirely unconsummated (not even a kiss!) does fit the tragic sweep of The Battle of the Five Armies, in a way that having it be Bard and his wife wouldn't.

Reminds me Layla and Majnun and those kinds of "virgin love" stories. When people say that "it went nowhere" they are, again, fundementally missing the point.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 25, 8:33am)


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 25, 4:41pm

Post #100 of 255 (1176 views)
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Therein lies the problem [In reply to] Can't Post

Lawrence of Arabia is called what it is called because it is, as you say, a movie that is primarily about Ö Lawrence of Arabia. The Hobbit is called what it is called because it is, in fact, a book that is primarily about a hobbit. While a filmmaker adapting a book has wide latitude to take from the book what most moves them, his or her job is still to capture the primary spirit of the book. Otherwise they should be making some other movie. The primary title of each of the three films of the trilogy is not "Thorin of Erebor" or "The Dwarf". It is "The Hobbit." There is much that I love about the films, and much that I love about the portrayal of Thorin (though I think it misses the boat in several fundamental ways), but the primary place that the filmmakers lost their way, is in making Thorin the primary character rather than Bilbo.

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

The Hall of Fire

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