Oct 5 2012, 7:47am
...just "artistically compromised."
I want whatever is artistically best for the film. I still think that Peter Jackson wanted 2 3-hr or almost 3-hr long films ("We're really bad at doing short films") b/c way back when Del Toro was on the project, even as far back as 3 yrs ago, at a press conference they both said "There's only one logical place to break the films." and many of us speculated it was at Barrells out of Bond, which according to the EW Scroll, later turned out to be correct. I really think Peter had this endng locked down yrs ago, (and Shore was working the basic structure of his score around this basic breaking point.) As far as the EE went, he must have thought he could keep these running times/lengths and get his extra sooting time for any EE if he wanted to, (with the additional material for each EE being much less than each LOTR one, maybe half an hr for each film.) Maybe the total running time of each film would be roughly the same in the end; but what matters here is the structure of the overall narrative. He must have been assuming that he;d end up getting his way in the end, even with the additional Appendices material filmed (and I still don't think the decision to go to the Appendices to show, say, Dain or the Goblin Wars was sudden either--I think he came to that decision early on.) But, unlike his dealings with New Line, he could not budge WB.
I always think directors are conservative and they want to do things the way they always do. I don't think Peter wanted any of his films, esp the last one, to have a "summer blockbuster" instead of potential "Oscar rating" film either (Summer instead of Christmas.)
I really do think in the end Peter would have wanted 2 3-hr films plus a shorter EE, if that served the films' best interest artistically. I personally don't think he is greedy or in it for the money. After all, he didn't want to do the project in the first place b/c of the huge expectations; he wanted whatever was artistically best for the films, if anything b/c of the immense pressure to match the artstic brilliance and quality of LOTR. (I know, I know, Mr Shelob..your opinion of LOTR....but looking at it from his POV.) For example, if LOTR was being made today and by WB in the same fashion, I don't think WB would have done what NL did and lessened costs by working with foreign distributors (a decision WB could have easily made and saved lots of money, if they had looked at NL's precident). If LOTR wre made today,I can easily see them insisting that Peter follow the general triend started by their HP7 production and splitting ROTK in half, which given the legnth of the ROTK EE certainly would have been possible (they could easily have split the theatrical running time to end with Grond like in the EE.)
Wth the useage of extra material from the Appendices, you can say that a 3-film structure might be better, BUT that is only if the material used is RELEVANTto the events in TH and Bilbo's growth as a character (and Thorin's parallel downward character arc, if these are the 2 central characters of TH and the spine of the story. For all its meanderings, nowhere in LOTR did things get really off the beaten track--the focus always came back to the Ring. Peter took out the right material from the books.)
If all this extra stuff is just politics for politics sake, then it'll be irrelevnt. The focus has to revolve around Bilbo and Thorin *at all times*...whatever happens, the audience must be held to that every moment.)
The thing to rememberhere is that WB historically does not like long films. They never have, and since HP, they've only gotte worse. The decision to split HP 7 into 2 was taken by the film-makers, and as someone who read all the HP books and is familar with the overall narrative as well as Deathly hallows the novel in detail, it was the only logical decision, a decisionmost of the fans agrred with. AS long as the series was, it was amazing how many major loose threads still remained at that point and given her huge, sprawling cast, *every single detail* of Book 8 was important to resolving all the conflicts bult up over the course of 7 books, and you couldn't pull out even minor characters like Luna Lovegood's father, b/c even that character was a party to central plot revelations. Even the camping scenes served a purpose (sorry.) Ironically, HP fans had been calling for Books 4 nd 5 to be split in half for yrs, given how poorly film 5 in paticular turned out. Which in retospect would have been the right decision for those films. (IF done right and not just as a slavishly faithful to the book narrative.)
HOWEVER...unlike most other projects in Hollywood which are dragged out this long, for HP it was necessary, b/c we were following a brilliantly written and constructed plot, with doezens of characters, each of whom had a role to play...where each film had to be a stand-alone film on its own, in addition to adding up to a grand overall narrative. (Tere are fans--and I can easily see you among them, MR Shelob, if you have read Rowling's books) who argue that a couple of the books themselves run on too long, and maybe for Book 5 this is true...but the central narrative is still complex enough even when you boil things down, you can't, say, have dreamed of having 6 books and not 7. And no, I don;t have time to argue this point...)
I think that WB hates long movies and has insisted on this way b/c they want to have the most streams of evenue possible...it's THEY who want to "milk" this sponge out as long as possible. Shorter theatrical running time to get the most showings, summer 2014 instead of Chistmas b.c they didnt have a 2014 summer blockbuster lined up and it;s the first time in 11 yrs they didn't have one (they're the only studio in Hollywood which as consistently made over a billion dollars per yr since 2001 and they want to keep this record going), PLUS an EE for each film. And the argument they;ve presented, that fans having to wait too long between films 2 and 3, doesn't wash-that's not a problem with Peter, who knows the "wait" between LOTR films was mitigated with the release of the EE's. Again: I don't think Peter is moivated by greed to the point where he would compromise his own film. He darned well knows that any media reaction painting him as "Peter Lucas" is a very real danger, and all these years he has dreaded not living up to expectations.
(This post was edited by Sunflower on Oct 5 2012, 7:55am)