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Silmarillion Trilogy announced, Peter Jackson to direct!


Mar 31 2013, 11:37pm

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Silmarillion Trilogy announced, Peter Jackson to direct! Can't Post

After the success of the ”Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the first installment of the “Hobbit” series fans were continuously debating if New Zealand director Peter Jackson were going to make a film version of “The Silmarillion”. Until now this topic was under a big question mark and not just because it is a book with an entirely different narrative structure. The main issue was the situation with the copyrights: as opposed to “The Hobbit” and “LOTR” the rights to “Silmarillion” are with Tolkien Estate and its head, Christopher Tolkien, son and literary heir to the Professor. Christopher Tolkien was known to be very reserved about movie versions of his father’s works. A stalemate – until now.

Today an announcement was made which is going to give fans another chance to dive into the world of Middle-Earth on the big screen. Peter Jackson has struck a deal with Christopher Tolkien and will be directing “The Silmarillion”!

The most interesting aspect in this matter is of course Christopher Tolkien’s motivation. The 88-year old son of John R. R. Tolkien who is living in France, was in fact blaming the “Lord of the Rings” film adaptation last year in an interview for its bad influence on the audience. Why did he change his mind? The reason was “The Hobbit” by Peter Jackson which opened this winter. Throughout the Net community an interesting phenomenon occured: many fans of Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy didn’t like the “Hobbit” movie. On the other hand, many purists who used to loathe PJ’s LOTR, were quite positive about “The Hobbit”. This phenomenon seems to be at work with Christopher as well. In his last interview to the French newspaper “Le Monde” he was unexpectedly full of praise for Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit”:

- I already told that Peter Jackson eviscerated the [LOTR] book by turning it into an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25. But it is quite different with “The Hobbit”. This book was conceived by my father as a children’s book from the beginning. And to my great astonishment, the director made something deeply poetical and deep out of it. It is considerably closer to the spirit of Middle-Earth depicted in “The Silmarillion” and “The Lost Tales”, than the original “Hobbit”.

Christopher Tolkien described more precisely what he liked about “The Hobbit”.

- The thing of utmost importance to me was to prevent omissions from the original text. That was my major objection to “The Lord of the Rings” film. On “The Hobbit”, the script writers chose a different path: they extended it with the help of the materials from LOTR “Appendices”. This is a clear sign of the dedication of the filmmakers in studying the works of my father as well as of the seriousness of their approach. […] But the main reason was the depiction of the Elves from Mirkwood and from Rivendell. In comparison with the faulted “Lord of the Rings” this is an entirely different matter. For the first time I have seen real Middle-Earth elves, the ones my father was writing about.

After this interview things went surprisingly fast. A few weeks after its publication Peter Jackson visited Christopher Tolkien in his estate in South France and they started first negotiations. The exact details remained secret until this morning, when Warner Bros. released the following press release.


After successul negitiations between Peter Jackson (Wingnut Films) and Christopher Tolkien (Tolkien Estate) the “Silmarillion” film trilogy was greenlit. Pre-production work on it is scheduled to be started immediately after the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. The production companies will be Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer.

The multiple Academy Award winning New Zealand director PETER JACKSON has effected an exclusive deal with Tolkien Estate about J.R.R. Tolkien’s book “The Silmarillion” which was released posthumously. The film rights were exclusively granted to Peter Jackson’s company Wingnut Films for realization as a film trilogy. Christopher Tolkien of Tolkien Estate will be involved as Executive Producer to maintain creative control over the work of his father.

Peter Jackson: “I am very glad to have this chance to visit Middle-Earth yet unseen on film. What we showed you in “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” are just leftovers of the former epic events which happened during the First and the Second ages. “The Silmarillion” has many emotional stories and full-scale battles and I can’t wait to show them to you. The War of Wrath is such an epic battle that our WETA artists will have to have some sweat over it.”

Philippa Boyens, co-producer and co-writer: “The script will not be an easy one. “The Silmarillion” is an entirely different book – it’s like Middle-Earth’s Bible. But it has some excellent, very personal stories which we can translate into cinema language. The choir of Ainur – you will be astonished about what we did to it. You will have tears in your eyes, I promise.”

The script writers have support from an unexpected source. Christopher Tolkien, head of Tolkien Estate, literary heirs to J.R.R. Tolkien’s works will be actively involved in the project, maintaining creative control.
Christopher Tolkien: “To support the script writers in this uneasy task Tolkien Estate will support them in any way possible. We granted Peter Jackson access to the archives of the Bodleian Library which are closed for the public. On the other hand we received creative control over the script during the entire length of the project. I am sure, with united forces we shall create a film true to the spirit of my father, targeted for a more mature audience. After all this film will be another motivation for the viewers to read the original book.”

In recreating the former glory of Middle-Earth, the landscapes of Beleriand, Numenor and Valinor the cinematographers’ team around PJ will once again rely on the unique New Zealand landscapes as well as WETA’s team of designers. Also, the team of concept artists which consisted of Alan Lee and John Howe will have a new member. The Canadian Ted Nasmith who depicted the world of Silmarillion with an astounding level of detail and who twice declined the offer to work on Middle-Earth films, has finally agreed to collaborate with PJ.

Nasmith: “Until recently I was sure I wouldn’t be able to live in New Zealand for such a long time. However after visiting it I found out I was wrong – this country is absolutely stunning. And after all – when will I get the chance to work together with such amazing colleagues?”

The pre-production work on „The Silmarillion“ which will be created as a trilogy will commence immediately after the work on the second “Hobbit” film, “The Desolation of Smaug” and will occur simultaneously with the post-production of the third film, “There and Back Again”. As Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson will start working on the script, the WETA designers will start working on the appearance of the past ages of Middle-Earth.

Richard Taylor, WETA Workshop creative director: “In Lord of the Rings we have witnessed the fall of the Third age of Middle-Earth; on “The Hobbit” we saw its Indian summer. On “The Silmarillion” we will see the young world of Arda. If you compare the costumes of the Elves who came to Helm’s Deep with those from the Battle of Last Alliance and those from the Exile from Valinor, you’ll see how the shape of their helmets has evolved over time. The difference is very subtle, but it is there.”

Warner Bros. spokesman: “We are very glad that Mr. Jackson and Mr. Tolkien have reached a mutual agreement and are looking forward to work on this project. We want to seize the opportunity when the Hobbit creative team is still assembled and ready to work. Therefore the work on “The Silmarillion” will start just after “The Hobbit” with the targeted release date for the first film set for December 2015.”

As always, there will be old and new partnerships in merchandizing. The high-quality collector’s statues and weapon replicas (like Grond, the mace of Morgoth; Ringil, the Sword of Fingolfin or Aiglos, the Spear of Gil-Galad) will be produced by WETA Workshop; the company Bridge Direct has secured licenses on action figurines (the first to arrive are “Luthien riding on Huan” and “Eru conducting the Choir of the Ainur”). Also, Warner Bros. struck a deal with McDonald’s fast food chain: for each premiere of the “Silmarillion” films there will be special thematic menu creations (“Noldor Burgers”) as well as special gaming events (“Collect three Silmarils and win a journey to New Zealand”).

However, there are still unanswered questions. The titles for the individual installments are yet unknown. There is no information on probable actors who are to play such famous “Silmarillion” heroes like Beren, Luthien and Morgoth. The film company refuses any comment any questions on these topics.

Source: Henneth-Annun

(This post was edited by TheHutt on Mar 31 2013, 11:38pm)

Subject User Time
Silmarillion Trilogy announced, Peter Jackson to direct! TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Mar 31 2013, 11:37pm
    No Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Mar 31 2013, 11:39pm
    Early April Fool's? tarasaurus Send a private message to tarasaurus Mar 31 2013, 11:40pm
        It's already April 1 in many parts of the world.// Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Apr 1 2013, 2:53am
    Nice try :P // imin Send a private message to imin Mar 31 2013, 11:46pm
    Yeah right nobofthepony Send a private message to nobofthepony Mar 31 2013, 11:47pm
    haha pretty sure this is an april's fool TheWhiteRider Send a private message to TheWhiteRider Mar 31 2013, 11:48pm
    I've heard Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Mar 31 2013, 11:48pm
    I think I just threw up in my mouth Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Mar 31 2013, 11:52pm
        .. tarasaurus Send a private message to tarasaurus Mar 31 2013, 11:56pm
            it's not a whole day :) // imin Send a private message to imin Apr 1 2013, 12:00am
                well, ya know tarasaurus Send a private message to tarasaurus Apr 1 2013, 12:02am
                    Lol yeah was just trying to make it better for you imin Send a private message to imin Apr 1 2013, 12:03am
                        Hahaha tarasaurus Send a private message to tarasaurus Apr 1 2013, 12:05am
                And on a global Internet Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Apr 1 2013, 12:02am
    However Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Mar 31 2013, 11:53pm
    Unsuccessful April fool joke... Patty Send a private message to Patty Mar 31 2013, 11:57pm
    Good grief! Aragalen the Green Send a private message to Aragalen the Green Apr 1 2013, 12:10am
    for those of us who would love for this to be Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 1 2013, 12:11am
        For those of us who would hate this imin Send a private message to imin Apr 1 2013, 12:13am
            i'm going to tell manwe. Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 1 2013, 12:18am
                Haha very good! i wonder what he will say?! :P // imin Send a private message to imin Apr 1 2013, 12:34am
            Same here Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Apr 1 2013, 12:20am
                if you look closely at the photograph Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 1 2013, 12:33am
                    Hm Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Apr 1 2013, 2:31am
            I'm with you, imin Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 1 2013, 4:26am
        It would keep Jackson busy for the next decade or two. Inferno Send a private message to Inferno Apr 1 2013, 3:31pm
            indeed Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 1 2013, 4:44pm
    I almost bought it... Spaldron Send a private message to Spaldron Apr 1 2013, 12:15am
        Me too shadowdog Send a private message to shadowdog Apr 1 2013, 2:05pm
    bwaaaaa haaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa swordwhale Send a private message to swordwhale Apr 1 2013, 2:15am
    Thank god it's ... DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Apr 1 2013, 9:39am
    See what happens - geordie Send a private message to geordie Apr 1 2013, 9:47am
    Noldor Burgers demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 1 2013, 12:08pm
    LOL totoro Send a private message to totoro Apr 1 2013, 12:39pm
    Unfortunately... TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Apr 1 2013, 10:36pm
    Expeliamis! grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Apr 2 2013, 2:06am
    The trailer is already on YouTube! Hun200kmh Send a private message to Hun200kmh Apr 2 2013, 5:55pm


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