The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Lotr as one movie



Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jun 23, 10:20am


Views: 3344
Lotr as one movie

I do remember it said that Lotr was originally going to be one movie, rather than 3. Now even if this movie was 3 and a bit hours long and the extended DVD 4 and a half even if they had thought of extended DVD's in those days, still an awful lot would have had to have been cut out, so I wonder how it should have gone. Some bits might have to have been summerisied drastically and maybe some schematics slightly altered to fit. For example, Gandalf is captured by Saruman at Isengard. Then he escapes. Yet later on, we come to Isengard. So, I am thinking, why not just leave him at Isengard and not have him escape? We could catch up with him their. Which of course would mean that he would not die which would be a surprise for people. We could always kill him off and have him resurrected later on or simply not bother.
I am also looking hard at Saruman. Not the first person to do so, I am sure. But do we really need him? We already have on all-imposing villain in Sauron and I am a bit uncertain if we need another one. He could be chopped out of the film altogether. Quite a few issues could happen this way. Also, looking at the movie in general. I think that we might have to concentrate on one aspect of the books and either leave out or drastically cut the others. We could either concentrate on Frodo and Sam and only show a little the war part of the book or do the opposite. I have to think that I am leaning towards the former.
Actually I say a four and a half hour DVD, I wonder if one could have a 5 hour long DVD at a real stretch? Anyway, I wonder how such a movie would look!


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 23, 11:43am


Views: 3300
Well

The basic idea of any one-film version - certainly the Miramax one - was to amalgamate Rohan and Gondor, including the events (Helms Deep/Pelennor) and characters (Boromir/Eomer, Theoden/Denethor).

Its still a lot of plot to cram in, and even at four-and-a-half hours you'd have probably ended up with a breathless film.


Noria
Gondor

Jun 23, 2:49pm


Views: 3285
A single film LotR would look pretty bad, IMO.

Jackson and Walsh were going to quit the project rather than try to make LotR as one movie and they were right. So much would have had to have been left out or condensed that the result would be unrecognizable as LotR.

It would be interesting to read the two film treatment that Walsh and Jackson wrote for Miramax.

Thank you, Bob Shaye of New Line, for three great movies.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 23, 7:09pm


Views: 3265
Also

Zimmerman and Boorman's treatments were for one film each. I admittedly don't know enough of the Zimmerman version: We only know of it through Tolkien's gripes, and in all honestly he makes a lot of Zimmerman's filmmaking instincts sound like Jackson's. Although I believe his film was to be largely animated.

But I've seen Boorman' script and, having seen his Excalibur (which cannibalizes a lot of ideas from his Lord of the Rings script) and being mortified by it, I think his film would have been atrocious. Both in terms of his creative ideas, the condensing of the narrative, and Boorman's directorial instincts.

I think the Beatles had the idea of a single Lord of the Rings film, too. They approached some good directors - Kubrick, Lean, Antonioni - but...let's just say its not a story that lends itself to being a Beatles vanity project. Plus, they wanted to be in charge of the soundtrack...


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 23, 7:14pm)


Paulo Gabriel
Rivendell

Jun 25, 6:29am


Views: 3205
Totally agreed.


In Reply To
even at four-and-a-half hours you'd have probably ended up with a breathless film.


Yep.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Jun 25, 3:59pm


Views: 3169
It would have been...interesting, to say the least

I for one am just glad, incredibly glad, that the Miramax deal fell through.

"We are Kree"


Omnigeek
Lorien


Jul 2, 9:41am


Views: 2830
Agree on all points


In Reply To
Jackson and Walsh were going to quit the project rather than try to make LotR as one movie and they were right. So much would have had to have been left out or condensed that the result would be unrecognizable as LotR.

It would be interesting to read the two film treatment that Walsh and Jackson wrote for Miramax.

Thank you, Bob Shaye of New Line, for three great movies.


Agreed on all points. I think the original 2 film treatment would be interesting for academic study but thatís about it. Way too much to trim to get down to a manageable time for 2 films.


Solicitr
Rohan

Jul 3, 1:46am


Views: 2806
Yet...


In Reply To
I for one am just glad, incredibly glad, that the Miramax deal fell through.


...the Weinsteins got a big chunk of the money anyway. For doing nothing.

Gotta love Hollywood.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jul 3, 9:51am


Views: 2796
Except get the rights that made it all happen

Harvey Weinstein may be a despicable person, but his part (and that of his brother, Robert) in making these films possible and getting them underway is undeniable.

Of course, he was as much of a bother as he was an assistance, trying to not only cut the films down but also wanting a more predominantly american cast (that's where casting ideas like Nicolas Cage sprung from) but still.

The world isn't so simple, and sometimes bad people have a part in the making of something good. Our enjoyment of The Lord of the Rings needn't be tainted by the Weinsteins involvement any more than our enjoyment of The Aviator.

Its true of other projects and producers, too. Sam Spiegel wasn't a particularly nice man, and is said to have used his influence on a 16-year-old Theresa Russell. Doesn't make some of his productions any less brilliant.

Plus, producers aren't as integral to the film - as it appears on the screen - as the director, screenwriter and cast. And even then, do we need to hate The Shining now because Kubrick was a jerk to his cast? What about Hitchcock? Heck, people still watch Polanski's old classics.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jul 3, 10:00am)


Noria
Gondor

Jul 3, 2:30pm


Views: 2766
Yes Weinstein did get the filming rights for Jackson

Even if he later tried to take them away.

Miramax also paid out millions for PJ's team and Weta to get started on design and pre-production.

Of course Miramax got all their money back and then some plus a producing credit but that's the cost of doing business in Hollywood.

But it was New Line who had the vision to see what could be.

.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jul 3, 3:28pm


Views: 2763
Jackson had a ďfirst-look dealĒ with the Weinsteins

Having distributed his The Frighteners, Jackson had to pitch whatever idea he had for another film to Miramax, first. When he has the choice, he likes to switch production companies: having made films for Universal, Disney and Warner Brothers.

Being that Jackson originated the idea, he did have the privilege of taking it elsewhere. It was *his* idea to do The Lord of the Rings.

Thatís genuinely very unique: Coppola didnít originate the idea of doing The Godfather. Lean didnít originate the idea of Bridge on the River Kwai; Spielberg didnít come up with Jaws, etc...and itís true of all of his filmography.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jul 3, 3:34pm)


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jul 15, 10:07am


Views: 2646
Well, maybe

Though one advantage might have been that the punter would only have pay for it once rather than three times! But I still would be interested in how such a movie would look and if it could be done well.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jul 15, 11:57am


Views: 2639
Yes

I believe those were the words of Robert Shaye when he asked for a trilogy: "Why would you charge people for two tickets when you could charge them for three?"

But that's cinema for you: we get to enjoy a film, they get paid. Its as simple as that. By any rate, its just six films: not two dozen and counting like the MCU.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15, 12:23pm


Views: 2637
MCU


In Reply To
But that's cinema for you: we get to enjoy a film, they get paid. Its as simple as that. By any rate, its just six films: not two dozen and counting like the MCU.


Yes, but there's a pretty big difference here. The two trilogies are only telling one story apiece. The Marvel Cinematic Universe consists of multiple stories, most of them stand-alone narratives.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


CMackintosh
The Shire

Sat, 8:20am


Views: 223
would've made for an interesting interpretation

There's still hope that someone'll think he (or she) can pull it off, and will screw up even more monumentally than the animated films we've survived previously. So we'll wind up with several differing threads of interpretation - the big, expansive, PJ-style interpretation, versus the small, tight style first seen in the animated films of the seventies.
Would it be even remotely possible for the various (putative) film scripts prior to the PJ ones, to be released for the benefit of the jesters amongst us? (And the radio scripts if at all possible?)