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How different would LOTR and the world of Tolkien media be different if the movies were filmed today?



Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 27, 8:40pm


Views: 894
How different would LOTR and the world of Tolkien media be different if the movies were filmed today?

Very different, according to the opinions of this writer in Paste:

Peter Jackson’s LOTR Was an Improbable Miracle, and We’re Lucky to Have It

"Yes, Marvel films, Godzilla films and even Star Wars entries have occasionally been handed to relatively untested indie directors in recent years, some who have ended up fired as a result, but an entire trilogy, adapting what would now be seen as a motherlode of IP that is ripe for exploitation? If all three entries in a series as important as Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy were written and directed by different people, to deleterious result, then one can only imagine how badly the tonal whiplash of jumping from director-to-director might have marred LOTR."

https://www.pastemagazine.com/...peter-jackson-s-lotr

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 27, 10:03pm


Views: 856
As much as I like Thor: Ragnarok

this article about tonal whiplash sure rings true. Somehow the fiery, tragic end of Asgard "wasn't so bad" and allowed for jokes up until the end. Then we start Avengers: Infinity Wars with virtually every Asgardian slaughtered (well, half of them, at least), and yeah, that was whiplash.

We do have the benefit of hindsight on LOTR. The previous attempts to film it produced mediocre results at best. Why not give a not-hot property to an indie director and let him make all 3 books?


FrogmortonJustice65
Lorien


May 27, 10:26pm


Views: 852
"it’s all too easy to make the assumption that a valuable IP like the works of J.R.R. Tolkien was always bound to be adapted into a series of blockbuster smash hits"

^ that line really resonates with me. On Reddit I have seen people make claims along these lines --- that the source material is so strong that PJ basically bumbled his way into directing a historic critical/commercial success despite being incompetent and distasteful.

While there are valid criticisms of all 6 PJ films, I think this misses the mark. Tolkien himself acknowledged how unwieldy and difficult to adapt LOTR is. I am very grateful the films turned out the way they did. Thanks for sharing this article.


squire
Half-elven


May 27, 11:09pm


Views: 850
It's a good question, and Vorel handles it pretty well.

But I was surprised he didn't address the question of whether the LotR films' reception drove the cultural phenomenon of fantasy films in the 2000s, or was simply a product of that phenomenon. Obviously, it's not either/or, but also obviously it's hard to discuss how a studio would approach making Lord of the Rings into a film series in 2020, when 2020 in this sense just cannot be imagined as an alternate world in which a LotR film trilogy has not already been made by Peter Jackson.

It reminds me of the occasional joking question of how Tolkien's book The Lord of the Rings would be received in today's world of fantasy literature. It's impossible to imagine what today's fantasy literature genre would read like without the Tolkien influence from back in the 1950s, but the LotR is also unmistakably dated in many ways that might less acceptable, or marketable, today.

Vorel also conjoins, in the interests of a big-picture view, the related film genres of high fantasy (LotR, etc.), science fiction (Star Wars, etc.), and comic book superheroes (Marvel, etc.) as they've dominated the popular film box offices for the two decades that he's writing about. He assumes that a proposed LotR project today would be unacceptable without the studio being assured that an endless series of spin-offs and sequels were included in the rights (Eowynning, right, ha, ha..), but in this assumption he omits the existence of an actual individual author (which the other genres do not have), the role of the Tolkien Estate in representing that author's wishes and vision, and the legally limited rights included in the original sale of the books for filming back in the 1960s. Would the lack of spin-off possibilities really doom a proposed fantasy trilogy by a well-known and prestigious author (whose audience was not just nerds before Jackson's films, no matter what he says)?

I tend to doubt it. It's the Amazon series that's the anomaly here. That 'spin-off' is really only happening because Christopher Tolkien finally retired from his guardianship, not because the industry today demands that all blockbusters must become franchises and 'universes'.

Finally, one can respectfully disagree with Vorel's analysis that Jackson's adaptation was, basically, perfect. Voltaire was neither the first nor the last to mock those who believe that all's for the best in this best of all possible worlds - that is, that no early 2000s adaptation could have been better written or filmed than Jackson's adaptation.



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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 28, 1:12am


Views: 834
Spin Offs


In Reply To
Vorel also conjoins, in the interests of a big-picture view, the related film genres of high fantasy (LotR, etc.), science fiction (Star Wars, etc.), and comic book superheroes (Marvel, etc.) as they've dominated the popular film box offices for the two decades that he's writing about. He assumes that a proposed LotR project today would be unacceptable without the studio being assured that an endless series of spin-offs and sequels were included in the rights (Eowynning, right, ha, ha..), but in this assumption he omits the existence of an actual individual author (which the other genres do not have), the role of the Tolkien Estate in representing that author's wishes and vision, and the legally limited rights included in the original sale of the books for filming back in the 1960s. Would the lack of spin-off possibilities really doom a proposed fantasy trilogy by a well-known and prestigious author (whose audience was not just nerds before Jackson's films, no matter what he says)?

I tend to doubt it. It's the Amazon series that's the anomaly here. That 'spin-off' is really only happening because Christopher Tolkien finally retired from his guardianship, not because the industry today demands that all blockbusters must become franchises and 'universes'.


Even without access to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales or the HOME volumes I can think of a few potential sequels (or mostly prequels actually) to The Lord of the Rings that fall within the film rights. The most obvious, naturally, is The Hobbit (assuming that it wasn't adapted first in this hypothetical). Others are suggested in the appendices. The Fell Winter could be adapted as a story of survival in the Shire in the face of White Wolves, starvation and brutal weather. "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" could be a film unto itself if not an entire series. The fall of Arnor and the end of the line of the kings in Gondor are ripe for adaptation. And other possibilities have certainly been suggested over the years.

#FidelityToTolkien


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 28, 1:14am


Views: 834
I understood this comment by the author...


In Reply To
(whose audience was not just nerds before Jackson's films, no matter what he says.


...to be a simplification of how film studios viewed the story, not the author's personal opinion.

There's a discussion on another board (RR, I think) about how much Tolkien has influenced the fantasy genre. It's intriguing to consider how different the fantasy and SF landscapes would be without the publication of LOTR.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 28, 12:29pm


Views: 782
"We're lucky to have it!"

This definitely says it for me. We were first lucky that Professor Tolkien wrote the world into being, and Jackson brought to film like no one else could, imho. The risks he/they took doing 3 films at once and thrusting through so many problems and landmines to achieve The Lord of the Rings trilogy is nothing short of a filmic miracle.
If they were done today by someone else, I don't think they ever would have even tried doing multiple films at one go. We're witnesses to an incredible creation of filmic history and a storyteller's wonderful imagination and reverence for Tolkien's work. We're so lucky!


“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength." – Theodore Roosevelt


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CuriousG
Half-elven


May 29, 11:22pm


Views: 689
Wait, I thought Tolkien wrote the books AFTER Jackson made the films?

Jk! I won't forget PJ's director commentary on the films and the choices he he said made, especially to keep the narrative moving (which meant cutting out things like Tom Bombadil and abbreviating various long sections). He made films that A LOT of non-Tolkien lovers ALL OVER THE WORLD fell in love with, which can't be said of Rankin & Bass or Bakshi, so there's no way he bumbled along and the content somehow made the films for him. You're right: we owe a lot to both author and film maker.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 30, 1:50pm


Views: 605
That's the myth ;) //

 



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“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength." – Theodore Roosevelt

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 31, 1:54am


Views: 558
Is Harry Potter mentioned?

The explosion of fantasy in the past 25 years surely owes a lot to that series of books and films.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jul 10, 4:22am


Views: 44
It just was ;)

And I totally agree!




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We have been there and back again.



“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength." – Theodore Roosevelt

TIME Google Calendar