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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"The first thing that becomes clear
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SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 5 2008, 5:08pm

Post #1 of 31 (1813 views)
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"The first thing that becomes clear Can't Post

-when you lay out the cards its that there are -no doubt- two films in here. The second one is that the characters and their functions in the narrative (including Beorn) are very specific and thematically relevant." (bold added)

This quote from the man of the hour seems to be more than a big hint. Thoughts?


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Nov 5 2008, 5:09pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Nov 5 2008, 5:23pm

Post #2 of 31 (1388 views)
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One spine too many. [In reply to] Can't Post

In “Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade” screenwriter Willaim Goldman (“The Princess Bride”) notes that “good screenwriters have to discover the spine of the story and stick to it”.

Jackson tried to make FOTR into two films, one about Frodo, and the other about Aragorn. He eventually realized that the spine of the book was Frodo and the Ring. Aragorn's story was a distraction to the main story. So he cut it.

Hopefully GDT will eventually find the one true spine of The Hobbit.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 6 2008, 9:15am

Post #3 of 31 (1348 views)
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I suspect [In reply to] Can't Post

it's a problem of the double climax. Smaug's destruction of Laketown and defeat by Bard feels like a finale and has great cinematic opportunities, but leaves the central characters of the tale (Bilbo and the Dwarves) far from the action. You might call it the wrapping up of the travel portion of the film, and the fulfillment of the Dwarves' original quest (to take back the Mountain and the gold). It's a handy stopping point. The real crisis for our heroes comes at the Battle of Five Armies, which I expect will be the centerpiece of F2. That battle, bringing in elements of politics among the Free Peoples and conflict with the forces of evil which is not foreseen at the beginning of the tale, is a precursor to the events of the War of the Ring in many ways and could easily be told in such a way to set up smoothly for LOTR. I expect it will end up being in effect the "bridge" film, possibly with some added material. Having both in one film would create odd pacing - it's even a little odd for a book - and would probably confuse an audience of non-readers as much as ROTK's multiple endings, which didn't even include the Scouring.

Is the one true spine of the story the Quest and the Dragon? Or is it the danger of greed, lust for power, and the return of the Shadow? Smaug belongs to the first, the Arkenstone and the Five Armies to the second. One is the lighthearted children's fantasy story, the other the growing darkness which forms the backdrop of LOTR. I'm not sure either could take full precedence over the other without damaging the story. They're both crucial, they're both quite separate. The thing that connects them is the Ring, which is used at critical points of both storylines. And, of course, continues on to be the central factor of LOTR.

I'm not necessarily a fan of the two-film idea, but I can see some reasons GDT might lean that way. Treated carefully, it might work out. Lighter first film, darker second film as it transitions into the mood of LOTR. .....I might be talking myself into this. TongueSmile

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Nov 6 2008, 3:51pm

Post #4 of 31 (1228 views)
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The more I think about it, [In reply to] Can't Post

the better I realize they will probably mix scenes from the Hobbit book with scenes from the Appendices. Like, watching the Hobbit book story for a while, then jump to what Gandalf was doing at that time, connecting his doings with the Necromancer and what happened in Dol Guldur or jump to a White Counciul - if you know what I mean! I can't see the Hobbit story made straight and then just Appendices for movie 2. It would be much more challenging from a script writing point of view. So, my bet is for two mixed up movies with scenes showing different characters and their doings, all leading to one meaningful final scene of F2 which will make the transition to LOTR.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth starting October 15 on the Main board

I believe


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 6 2008, 4:40pm

Post #5 of 31 (1227 views)
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And the rest of us as well [In reply to] Can't Post

A very thoughtful argument Silverlode.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 6 2008, 4:43pm

Post #6 of 31 (1265 views)
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Hey! [In reply to] Can't Post

We're trying to squeeze out a third or fourth film here! Unimpressed

(Though your idea does make a lot of sense considereing the nonlinear minds we are dealing with.)


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Nov 6 2008, 4:43pm)


Larewen
Lorien


Nov 6 2008, 5:56pm

Post #7 of 31 (1196 views)
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If only it would happen [In reply to] Can't Post

It is difficult to wait for the two to begin with, but knowing there won't be any after that is a bit sad. Tongue More wouldn't be so bad, would it?

My daughter's favorite line to quote:

Sam: Nothin'. Just a bit of seasoning. I thought maybe if we was havin' a roast chicken one night or something...
Frodo: Roast chicken?



Larewen
Lorien


Nov 6 2008, 6:01pm

Post #8 of 31 (1268 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

Now that didn't hurt, did it? Wink

I'm just glad that I am not creative enough to even speculate. Much more fun reading your ideas and just waiting to enjoy the films. Smile


Quote
. .....I might be talking myself into this. TongueSmile


My daughter's favorite line to quote:

Sam: Nothin'. Just a bit of seasoning. I thought maybe if we was havin' a roast chicken one night or something...
Frodo: Roast chicken?



burrahobbit
Rohan


Nov 6 2008, 8:38pm

Post #9 of 31 (1239 views)
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Yes, that seems to be the writers' approach [In reply to] Can't Post

GDT's latest comments strongly hint towards splitting The Hobbit film. You make a good case that two aspects of the story, the Quest for the Dragon and The Battle of the Five Armies could fit into a two film structure. The first film describes Bilbo's journey from a homely hobbit to a brave adventurer, and the second is a darker tale where greed comes to the fore and Bilbo develops moral courage, though can't prevent a terrible battle.

It's difficult to try and identify exactly how Film 1 could end smoothly. Previously I posted an idea about ending Film 1 before the company learn of Smaug's death, as I think a triumphant end to Film 1 with the dwarves reclaiming the treasure (and leaving all the consequences for Film 2) would not have the right tone.



Quote
"I expect it will end up being in effect the "bridge" film, possibly with some added material."

"The thing that connects them is the Ring, which is used at critical points of both storylines. And, of course, continues on to be the central factor of LOTR.
"


I hope second film continues to be Bilbo's story, creating the continuous narrative that GDT talks about. I think links to LotR need to be subtle. There's lots of thematic and atmospheric links- tension between dwarves and elves, rumours of the Necromancer. But emphasising the ring doesn't seem to be the best approach for me- it's a magical boon in The Hobbit, and a symbol of evil in LotR. Any hints of the future peril of the ring go against the grain of The Hobbit story.


        
     View my Hobbit Film Adaptation Discussion


Anglachel
The Shire

Nov 6 2008, 9:06pm

Post #10 of 31 (1241 views)
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two-films for Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I am not totally convinced the "two-film" idea is the best way to go, I have to agree that ending the first movie after the destruction of Smaug is the best place to do it. This would be the most effective place in terms of cinema especially for those who have not read the book. At this point, our adventurers are left inside the mountain wondering what has happened to Smaug and the audience knows what they don't. They have seen the lakepeople kill Smaug and then they will wonder, "Ok, the Dragon is gone. What will the people do? Go after the gold? What will Thorin & Co. do when they get there?" etc., etc...cue dramatic music, roll credits, to be continued. This is a much better idea, imo, than trying to build a second movie from the appendices material. That, to me, seems like a disastrous route to take.


Darkstone
Immortal


Nov 6 2008, 9:15pm

Post #11 of 31 (1193 views)
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Again, that would mean a third film [In reply to] Can't Post

After New Line makes The Hobbit (whether in one, two, three, or more parts) they still have the film rights to make an original prequel.

So what would *that* film be about?

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



simplyaven
Grey Havens


Nov 6 2008, 9:35pm

Post #12 of 31 (1173 views)
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I know you're trying :))) [In reply to] Can't Post

But I don't see it happening. It would mean the scrpti writers to come up with tons of dialogue that never existed in Tolkien works. I just don't think they would risk all the negative response from Tolkien fans.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth starting October 15 on the Main board

I believe


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 6 2008, 10:48pm

Post #13 of 31 (1202 views)
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Welcome to TORn Anglachel [In reply to] Can't Post

You will find many here that share your pov about the Smaug climax and a film made from the appendices. However, I'm up for a few more. For instance:
Hobbit CCCI: The Hobbit, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Hope to hear more from you!


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Nov 6 2008, 10:54pm

Post #14 of 31 (1171 views)
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Mae govannen, Anglachel [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome and well met! Always nice to see new faces around these boards.



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Son of Gondor
The Shire

Nov 7 2008, 1:05am

Post #15 of 31 (1201 views)
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Good place to split, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Anglachel, I agree with you that it is the best place to stop the first movie if they split the book in two.

But, I wonder how the second movie will pick up from there; I mean, of course there's Bilbo finding the Arkenstone, and the battle of the Five Armies, but what next? You cannot have an hour of Bilbo and Gandalf coming back to the Shire, and then to the auction at Bag Ends! If so, what's next?

The only reason they would split the Hobbit book in two movies, is that they'd put the White Council and the Dol Guldur battle in movie one, and something like Aragorn and the Rangers of the North, Gandalf and Gollum, and Balin's quest for Moria in movie 2.

And would it mean movie 1 lasting 3 hours, and movie 2 a little less?

Just my two cents. Wink


xy
Rohan

Nov 7 2008, 8:29am

Post #16 of 31 (1115 views)
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a telling quote indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the absolute backbone of the story is Bilbo's coming of age story, tucked beneath the "quest" of the Dwarves. He really grows inside and conquers his fears.

I don't know how they plan to make two movies out of that though.


burrahobbit
Rohan


Nov 7 2008, 11:08am

Post #17 of 31 (1216 views)
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There's a lot of story in those few chapters! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Son of Gondor- welcome to TORN! Smile

There's a lot going on in those last few chapters. For one thing there is a dramatic and very movie friendly character relationship between Bilbo and Thorin. At first Bilbo is held in great esteem by the dwarves, given the wonderful mithril coat by Thorin as thanks for his great bravery in the quest. Then Bilbo becomes anxious at the building of the defences, and the communication with Dain. On finding the Arkenstone Bilbo hides the jewel from the rightful owner. When Bard and the Elven King arrive and attempt to bargain, Thorin's selfishness leads to open hostility. Bilbo is dismayed by the conflict, and he makes the daring decision to go over to the 'enemy' with the Arkenstone. Thorin's furious reaction and expulsion of Bilbo is a key point, and this clash is not resolved until after the Battle of the Five armies, when Thorin is mortally wounded and asks Bilbo's forgiveness. It's a really strong emotional arc for a film story I think.

Also I'd envisage certain parts of the story being moved slightly to fit into the two film structure. For example after Esgaroth is destroyed there is an important part of the story when the people come to terms with the disaster, sparking animosity towards the dwarves and propelling Bard forward as their leader. These events would make more sense as part of Film 2. Similarly backstory on Dale's glory days with Erebor (contrasting with the emerging conflict of the races in BotFA, describing Bard's lineage) fits into Film 2, as does Thorin's reminisces of the Arkenstone's beauty.

I think there's at least two hours of film time in the last few chapters up to Thorin's funeral, given the above and the likely epic treatment of BotFA. Then I'd imagine the return journey including a bit of Necromancer story and Balin visit (possibly Frodo adoption?) filling about another half hour to an hour. I don't see any Aragorn story or a major focus on the White Council fitting in to this Film 2 structure.



        
     View my Hobbit Film Adaptation Discussion


burrahobbit
Rohan


Nov 7 2008, 11:17am

Post #18 of 31 (1152 views)
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Creating anticipation for the sequel [In reply to] Can't Post

Hiya Anglachel! Smile

Completely agree about the importance of giving the audience a "what happens next?" feeling at the end of Film 1. It's a bit like the end of FotR, we need some kind of emotional conclusion between the characters but we also need to feel that the adventure is to be continued. That's what I like about finishing Film 1 before the company have got the treasure- we see Bilbo is leading the party so emotionally we see he's found his bravery and respect to the dwarves, but the audience are also excited to find out what's going to happen next when they reach the horde and discover Smaug's demise.


        
     View my Hobbit Film Adaptation Discussion


Anglachel
The Shire

Nov 7 2008, 11:01pm

Post #19 of 31 (1256 views)
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Good points here (Burrahobbit's post) [In reply to] Can't Post

This shows there is an ample amount of material for a second film which would carry a lot of tension up to the Battle of Five Armies. The best thing is that it is all material from the book or very close to the book. This is good.


Guillermo
Rivendell

Nov 8 2008, 3:13am

Post #20 of 31 (4226 views)
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Hola- [In reply to] Can't Post

Well- As I said before, EVEN when you lay out the cards fro the story beats contained within the book (before even considering any apendix material) the work is enormous and encompasses more than one film. That's why we are thinking of the TWO INSTALLMENTS as parts of a single NARRATIVE. That's why I keep putting down the use of a "bridge" film (posited initially). I think the concept as such is not relevant anymore. I believe that the narrative and characters are rich enough to fit in TWO films.

From Japan (then NZ)

GDT


Kelvarhin
Half-elven


Nov 8 2008, 3:55am

Post #21 of 31 (1211 views)
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So [In reply to] Can't Post

it really will be The Hobbit Part One and Part Two.

Thank you again for clarifying that GDT.

Cheers
Kel x

*Gee I'd love your frequent flyer points Wink*


Valinor, O Valinor
Andavë yányë hyarya
Tumna yá nyčna minya fëa
An Valinor, lissë Eldamar

Kelvarhin's Universe~~~~~~~Laerasea's Travelling TORn Journal
One book to rule them all
One book to find them
One book to bring them all
And in TORn bind them
In the land of TORnadoes...where the brilliant play


Nienna
Rohan


Nov 8 2008, 4:14am

Post #22 of 31 (1134 views)
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Thank you for the clarification [In reply to] Can't Post

We now look forward to hearing of cast selections - you originally thought you would have some news for us by Christmas!!

We're still hoping - and panting for news!.


batik
Tol Eressea


Nov 8 2008, 5:28am

Post #23 of 31 (1090 views)
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I anticipate... [In reply to] Can't Post

that whether The Hobbit winds up being 1 or 2 films (with or without material from the Appendices) it will be being discussed here in 2018! Wink


Son of Gondor
The Shire

Nov 8 2008, 1:48pm

Post #24 of 31 (1064 views)
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So... [In reply to] Can't Post

It probably means that:

Film 1 is The Hobbit book, from the beginning till the death of Smaug (and the White Council/Dol Guldur scenes intertwined, a bit like Saruman scenes mixed with the main narrative in FotR...), as said earlier by GdT.

Film 2 will have the Arkenstone (greed themed) bit, battle of 5 armies, return to the Shire. A transition must be made between The Hobbit and LotR, so for the rest of the movie, the focus will probably goes on the Ring; what scenes of the appendices are about the Ring and its whereabouts? Gollum who left the mountains to get the Ring back, Gandalf finding him, and more close to FotR, Aragorn finding Gollum and bringing him to the Elves of the Woodland Realm?

I think they wanted to use the appendices, but there wasn't enough stuff to do a full movie with it, but in splitting The Hobbit narrative in two + the appendices stuff, the problem is solved.

Any thoughts?


squire
Valinor


Nov 8 2008, 4:56pm

Post #25 of 31 (1123 views)
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An interesting development [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for clearing up the direction you are going in. Elsewhere today on this board I argued that The Hobbit was naturally one film.

In anticipation of The Hobbit film over the past year, we tried to figure out the "two-film concept" for a book that is about one-third the length of LotR. We have debated whether an adaptation of a literary work to film expands to fill the production envelope, given that most books contain far too much story to reproduce faithfully on film. Many here noted that the LotR project was originally two films, expanded to three because the studio producer suggested it. (If I remember, some script problems in the final project have been explained by the writers as being "legacies" from the original two-film script that they never had time to rethink.)

Perhaps unrealistically, other fans have speculated that to make a really effective adaptation, New Line's LotR should have been six films, one for each of Tolkien's "books", which were only published in three volumes because Tolkien's original publisher had a limited production budget due to paper shortages in postwar England.

Here I wonder if the original Hobbit project -- one film of The Hobbit, and one "bridge" film to connect Bilbo's story to the beginning of LotR so as to create a seamless 5-film pentology -- has affected the production envelope in a new way. As you say, if you take The Hobbit and block out the story point by point, card by card, there's a lot of story! But if you were absolutely constrained by a budget and concept of one film only, surely the writing team would be forced to "adapt" the story to fit the 2-3 hour capacity. Simply put, some things would be cut! But since two films have always been acceptable, it seems that the adaptation is growing to fill the envelope, only in a different way than originally conceived!

Does The Hobbit really have to be two films? Too late for that now! But I have to say, I like the idea of a two-film Hobbit, better than a one-film Hobbit and a "bridge film" iwith a story and dialogue made up entirely by writers using a few notes in the Appendices from the "Tale of Years".

I wonder what would have happened if Bob Shaye had told Peter Jackson, "Two films? But Tolkien wrote LotR as six books. Why not make six films?"



squire online:
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Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
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