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I knew the Tolkien estate was opposed to the films...but Christopher disowning his own son???...And a couple of questions regarding the Tolkien estate

malickfan
Gondor

Sep 5 2012, 10:29am

Post #1 of 16 (990 views)
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I knew the Tolkien estate was opposed to the films...but Christopher disowning his own son???...And a couple of questions regarding the Tolkien estate Can't Post

I just stumbled across this old article and I've got to say I was a little shocked! I was unaware Chrsitopher's feelings went that deep...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...the-family-tree.html

I'm mean sure the films weren't perfect adaptations but they probably did more to further Tolkien's reach than any other cause (I myself and almost all of my then friends were totally unware of Tolkien when the films came out), and helped improve sales of the books alot. I can see Christopher's points to an extent:

http://www.examiner.com/...h-newspaper-le-monde

But all the same this seems a little extreme to me. The books were never going to be 100% faifthful, and he could have got involved as an advisor-JRR did sell the rights so obviously wasn't opposed entirely (that said I hope the Tolkien estate NEVER sells the rights to The Silmarillion-non book readers who I've explained the plot to are under the impression that 'The Book sounds boring but Peter Jackson could make a cool action film...' and quite a number asume the LOTR films were an improvement because they were shorter-I can see why C. Tolkien does get annoyed when PJ is associated more with LOTR than his father...)

Have any more of Tolkien's children/grandchildren commented on the films? (Didn't one of them appear in ROTK?)

And does anyone know who would take over the Tolkien estate when Christopher passes on? Would there be a chance of further films?

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’



geordie
Tol Eressea

Sep 5 2012, 12:22pm

Post #2 of 16 (638 views)
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On the other hand - [In reply to] Can't Post

- here's what Christopher has to say:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/...tainment/1697884.stm

Obviously this is a family dispute, and it would be impertinent for me to say anything further on the matter; except to say that as things stand it's one man's word against another's; and to note that at the time Simon came out with this he had a book to plug.

As for your other questions - I don't know if any other family members have said anything in public about the films, though Tolkien's great-grandson Royd appeared in RotK - as I understand it, he was in NZ at the time, and pJ invited him onto the set. Gave him a costume and Viggo's wig, and popped him into a scene for the extended dvd. He's a nice bloke, Royd.

As for the family's future plans - I don't think they've made these public. Christopher's son Adam was involved with the publication of Sigurs and Gudrun; some are guessing he'd be the one to step into his father's shoes. As for sale of the film rights to Silm. and the rest; I don't know. I hope not.
.


(This post was edited by geordie on Sep 5 2012, 12:27pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 5 2012, 2:51pm

Post #3 of 16 (626 views)
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Instructive snippet [In reply to] Can't Post

From the 2001 BBC article you liked to:


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"The suggestions that have been made that I 'disapprove' of the films, vent [sic] to the extent of thinking ill of those with whom I may differ, are wholly without foundation."


It seems even then fans had difficulty telling the difference between comments made about the film and comments made about the film makers.

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on 0 secs ago)


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Sep 5 2012, 3:48pm

Post #4 of 16 (586 views)
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Obstinance [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I can see why C. Tolkien does get annoyed when PJ is associated more with LOTR than his father...

The articles alludes to the same thing where it quotes Simon Tolkien, "'We had no control over the films whatsoever,' Tolkien explains. None the less, he was keen to be supportive of the project; his father, however, disagreed. 'The Tolkien estate's viewpoint, which was perfectly valid, was: we've got no control over it, so let's not get involved.'"

The Tolkiens and the Estate might have avoided that by following Simon's example of including themselves in the process and owning their part in it. They exiled or isolated themselves instead and that is wholly their own responsibility. If what Christopher's son Simon says is true, then Christopher went so far as to throw out his baby with the bathwater. True or not, the fact that the perception is believable and credible based upon Christopher and the Estate's behaviors, I think, speaks volumes.


Solicitr
Lorien

Sep 5 2012, 4:18pm

Post #5 of 16 (586 views)
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All wet [In reply to] Can't Post

That old Telegraph piece was highly misleading... and Simon, who had both an axe to grind and a book to plug, played a part in ensuring it was misleading.

The fact of the matter is that Christopher had a very rocky relationship with the son of his estranged first wife for a very, very long time before Peter Jackson ever thought of making his films. Simon was never "kicked off the board" because he was never on the board in the first place: when it was created in 1996, he wasn't invited. And although CT has never been explicit, Simon has been so, or close to it: he was all in favor of selling out for maximum cash. This is after all the guy who auctioned off the First Edition JRRT autographed for his beloved Aunt Jane Neave, and after her death presented it personally to his grandson as an heirloom. Just think: Aragorn wastepaper baskets! Frodo Snuggies! A line of LOTR coffins! (I am NOT making that up- CT denied that very request).

CT has never been about the money; he like all four Tolkien children, lives very modestly (what some have called his "mansion" in France is just a farmhouse), and his suit against New Line was over being ripped off, not trying to squeeze every penny out of films he never wanted made in the first place.

CT did indeed see PJ's work, or at least the first film, and his comments wetre NOT complimentary. I can at least quote what he said publicly, in an interview with Le Monde:

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"They gutted the book, making an action film for 15-25 year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk...The gap widened between beauty, serious work, and what it has become, is beyond me. Such a degree of commercialization reduced to nothing the aesthetic and philosophical significance of this creation. It remains for me only one solution: turn your head."



(This post was edited by Solicitr on Sep 5 2012, 4:22pm)


TomthePilgrim
Rohan


Sep 5 2012, 4:31pm

Post #6 of 16 (590 views)
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I've been following this for years . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember back in 2001 when I saw an article on how Simon had wished to assist the productions of the films and his father shut him down . . . and out.
CT is pushing ninety and seems to have a 'Rupert Murdoch'-like hold on the Tolkien Estate. He is the ultimate purist when it comes to his father's work. He seems to be working to avoid what has happened to many works . . . loss of copyright. I believe his goal is to maintain the control of the works of his father for as long as legally possible.
It's hard sympathize with him as he seems even more hardline than his father . . . however, as you said, it's very sad when PJ garners more attention when the books are discussed. The CBS This Morning bit last weekend is a perfect example, as it was the 39th anniversary of Prof. Tolkien's death, yet most of the clip seemed devolted to Peter Jackson and the Hobbit production.

I haven't seen any indications of an heir-apparent, although Adam did help him with the issue of Sigurd and Gudrun . . . the issue is of interest to all who love Tolkien, as the person that takes over from CT will be inundated (I believe) with offers for the rights to other stories . . .


The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the Road has gone
And I must follow, if I can

"Thorin sat up with a start. 'Something is not right,' he muttered to himself as he stood up and
looked towards the mirror . . . . . . . . . 'Durin's bones', he gasped, 'what's happened to my beard?'"


Solicitr
Lorien

Sep 5 2012, 4:46pm

Post #7 of 16 (552 views)
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see above [In reply to] Can't Post


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how Simon had wished to assist the productions of the films and his father shut him down . . . and out.


Simon the lawyer very cleverly conveying that impression without actually saying it, since it wasn't true. The breach with his father had already occurred before the films arose.

It's also untrue that Simon has been "cut off" as an heir to the Estate, since neither CT nor anyone else has the power to alter the terms of JRRT's will.


TomthePilgrim
Rohan


Sep 5 2012, 5:01pm

Post #8 of 16 (574 views)
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I agree with you . . .partially . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

The stories at the time of the premier of the LOTR we coached by Simon to his benefit . . . and it does seem that he had been on the outs with Christopher for some time.
However . . . his exclusion from the Board shows that there is a real rift . . .
. . . and The Tolkien Estate is not a powerless entity as you would describe . . .


The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the Road has gone
And I must follow, if I can

"Thorin sat up with a start. 'Something is not right,' he muttered to himself as he stood up and
looked towards the mirror . . . . . . . . . 'Durin's bones', he gasped, 'what's happened to my beard?'"


(This post was edited by TomthePilgrim on Sep 5 2012, 5:04pm)


Escapist
Gondor


Sep 5 2012, 5:12pm

Post #9 of 16 (545 views)
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mmhmm ... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I have the feeling that they are connected enough to have prepared their decisions about who they want to make movies with and write stories with already.

We see a lawyer together with a big movie making company almost taken down by them ... not powerless - no not at all


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 5 2012, 10:40pm

Post #10 of 16 (517 views)
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Solicitr? [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a name I haven't seen for a while. Welcome back!

I agree with what you have to say here.

'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


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 6 2012, 3:33am

Post #11 of 16 (483 views)
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Perhaps CT twigged that the production [In reply to] Can't Post

was only interested in buying legitimacy for itself rather than listening to their ideas? A lot of people will loan or sell their credibility to a project; CT doesn't strike me as the sort to do such a thing (nor would any gentleman imho, unless they actually believed in the project of course).

Seems a darned if you do, darned if you don't sort of situation really.


Quote
The Tolkiens and the Estate might have avoided that by following Simon's example of including themselves in the process and owning their part in it. They exiled or isolated themselves instead and that is wholly their own responsibility.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on 0 secs ago)

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Sep 6 2012, 3:35am)


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Sep 6 2012, 3:55am

Post #12 of 16 (478 views)
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Concerns [In reply to] Can't Post

That is certainly a valid and common concern, including for cynics of corporate behavior like me. But it is not the only path nor the only possibility if Peter Jackson is such a gentleman with integrity and respectful of the Tolkiens. Contractual enforcement, though absent in the issue of film rights, is not the only power Christopher has to wield.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Sep 6 2012, 3:58am)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 6 2012, 6:13pm

Post #13 of 16 (404 views)
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I agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think Christopher Tolkien had anything to gain by supporting the production. He wasn't going to influence what Jackson did (nor should he have; it was Jackson's production).

'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


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Sep 6 2012, 6:31pm

Post #14 of 16 (430 views)
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Invited [In reply to] Can't Post

Were they not invited?

One of the first questions from Christopher could have been, "Peter, will you afford me creative input of consequence?" From there it's yes or no, then some contractual haggling granting some level of binding influence. Or not, and he walks away with public foreknowledge of why. Did that happen, or was it not attempted? In such a situation, especially publicly, and Christopher might have found at the time that the court of public opinion would have been in his favor, if the production wanted the support of the Tolkien Estate, Jackson would be under public and corporate pressure beyond the absence of contractual creative control, to grant that creative control. I don't think this can be discounted as a possibility were it handled differently at the time.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Sep 6 2012, 6:33pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 6 2012, 6:37pm

Post #15 of 16 (420 views)
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My understanding is that they were invited to informally particpate [In reply to] Can't Post

But with the caveat that any input provided would be completely non-binding.

'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


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Sep 6 2012, 6:45pm

Post #16 of 16 (444 views)
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Ok [In reply to] Can't Post

If the non-binding caveat were indeed stated concurrently with the invitation, I can understand how it's not worth the time or consideration, possibly being a cynical attempt at implied support. I can also see that being up-front about it as somewhat generous of Jackson to make sure Tolkien knew he wasn't trying to trick him into a meeting before delivering the caveat.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Sep 6 2012, 6:46pm)

 
 

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