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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
4 scriptwriters?

The Shire

Apr 25 2008, 3:18pm

Post #1 of 16 (432 views)
4 scriptwriters? Can't Post

So I read in all those interviews that Del Toro is working on the script with the original LOTR 'trio'. Is it normal for a movie to have 4 scriptwriters? Will they all get credit for writing the script? Or maybe only del Toro is writing and PJ, Fran, Philippa are 'just' helping( ? ) Crazy

Tol Eressea

Apr 25 2008, 3:38pm

Post #2 of 16 (245 views)
There are many movies with more than four [In reply to] Can't Post

Teams of six are not uncommon. I think this fact will work as a strength for the script. It seems as if Del Toro gets The Hobbit a little better than PJ, at least, I don't know about Fran and Phillippa.

However, the legendary trio do have better knowledge of the material for the sprequel. It will be an interesting, and I think rewarding balance.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Apr 25 2008, 3:46pm

Post #3 of 16 (276 views)
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

So I read in all those interviews that Del Toro is working on the script with the original LOTR 'trio'. Is it normal for a movie to have 4 scriptwriters?

Four or more scriptwriters usually signals a bad movie. Note there were four writers credited for "The Two Towers" a film which many fans consider problematical.

Will they all get credit for writing the script?

To get credit, any writer contributing to the original script must have done at least one third of the writing of the final screenplay. Any writer who revises an existing script must have done at least one half of the writing of the final version. A "writer" could actually be a team of writers, such as in the example of "Jackson, Walsh, & Boyens".

Or maybe only del Toro is writing and PJ, Fran, Philippa are 'just' helping( ? )

It's probably the reverse. Usually what happens is that the director (and each of the actors, and producers, and cinematographers, and set designers, and costumers, and etc.) get a copy of the original script. They then add notations and suggestions (sometimes a LOT). All the annotated scripts are then sent back to the writers so they can squeeze in all the suggestions into a final screenplay.

I would imagine Del Toro is closely working with Jackson & Co. in integrating his "director's notes" into an existing script. (That there is an existing script is what greatly relieves me! I'd hate to hear that only now were they whipping something up!!)

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.

The Shire

Apr 25 2008, 3:50pm

Post #4 of 16 (236 views)
thanks Darkstone! [In reply to] Can't Post

looking forward to see what they come up with Smile


Apr 25 2008, 4:28pm

Post #5 of 16 (216 views)
I'm thinking there are really [In reply to] Can't Post

2 (Phillipa & Fran) with editing/additional work/contributions done by Peter and GdT. With the success of LotR, I'm sure they would all agree that the principle scripts/screenplays are in safe hands with Our Fair Ladies.

Cripes! I wish I was a fly on the wall during those heady days of pulling it all together. Philosophy, history, personalities, twists and turns! Fascinating conversations, fersher! *twitch*

sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

TORn's Observations Lists


Apr 25 2008, 4:30pm

Post #6 of 16 (216 views)
I had a hard time [In reply to] Can't Post

believing they were not doing something with ideas, notes and direction. I think it started back when they were writing for LotR if not during the filming process. This is so exciting!

sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

TORn's Observations Lists


Apr 25 2008, 4:36pm

Post #7 of 16 (225 views)
I suspect GDT ... [In reply to] Can't Post

...will be more involved with the script than director's notes.

He is an excellent screenwriter in his own right with a very strong sense of story and structure, talents that will be quite welcome on this project. I for one hope GDT is deeply involved in script development.

As for these two movies...I'd bet there are undoubtedly outlines and possibly rough drafts, at least the Hobbit, already done, but nothing like a finished script yet. The collaborative method PJ/Fran/Phillipa employ is a far cry from the script writing merry go round of some Hollywood productions which go through multiple writers and script doctors who change and tailor the screenplays to the particular (usually non-writing) producers. director and stars attached to the movie at various points throughout development. Often many more hands are involved with a screenplay than the credits indicate.

Tight structure and scripting wasn't a particular virtue of TTT, or even some of ROTK. I don't think TTT quite recovered from the original 2 script structure - the seams showed a bit. I don't expect this sort of thing to be an issue for TH - it is self contained. There's not change of game plan midway and a mad rush to do anything different than the original plan. The second movie will stand or fall on its own merits.


Apr 25 2008, 5:27pm

Post #8 of 16 (202 views)
intresting? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi - first time posting long time stalking...

i've taken this from the Ian McKellen website

Q: Recent news has surfaced that Guillermo del Toro will be directing "The Hobbit"; whilst any fans obvious choice for the film would be Peter Jackson, I believe that del Toro is a worthy replacement. I've recently wrote an essay on his film Pan's Labyrinth for a Film Studies course, and was wondering if you had seen it, and whether you agree that he has a distinctive and very expressive style?
A: I am one of the multitude who admires Pan's Labyrinth. Del Toro's imagination will match well with Tolkien's and I'm looking forward to seeing his projected screenplay for The Hobbit. Meanwhile we are in touch, so all looks well for a collaboration in Middle Earth in 2010.

anyone else think Ian know something we don't or shouldnt know?


Apr 25 2008, 5:30pm

Post #9 of 16 (207 views)
A fresh outlook for the script is actually a good idea [In reply to] Can't Post

After almost 12 hours of LOTR, I noticed a few repetitions in the way things were phrased. There are a number of noticeable "habits" the three screenwriters have developed which became rather obvious once you watched the trilogy more than one or two times.

IMHO, this diminishes my overall appreciation of the LOTR script. I like it very much, but it could have been a bit better. I find that some dialogue lines became rather unoriginal by the third movies because the same theme/style/effect had already been used in the first two movies.

For example, the scenes covering the White Council could easily (and annoyingly) sound like a sort of copy (in terms of dialogue) of what was said in the Council of Elrond, the mid-movie expositions in TTT (Galadriel with Elrond, Gandalf with Aragorn, Saruman talking to Sauron) and the final council in Minas Tirith (where they plan their diversion).

Therefore, I hope GDT will be able to bring something fresh to the dialogues. I also hope the original trio has had some time to freshen up their writing skills and ideas.

The Shire

Apr 25 2008, 5:48pm

Post #10 of 16 (194 views)
on a settle [In reply to] Can't Post

As long as Phillipa & Fran are involved im not worried about the script tbh.

it's good to have an end to journey towards, but it's the journey that matters in the end


Apr 25 2008, 6:00pm

Post #11 of 16 (195 views)
number of writers/ is there a scrpt already? [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To

I would imagine Del Toro is closely working with Jackson & Co. in integrating his "director's notes" into an existing script. (That there is an existing script is what greatly relieves me! I'd hate to hear that only now were they whipping something up!!)

-Well, it's pretty clear they haven't started on any actual scripting. Of course there will be detailed outlines by now (that's what GDT is talking about in the interview with Xoanon!) - but they will not have written actual scenes. I take it they will write it as a collective which is a good thing. GDT is very conscious of structure and the chances and traps of symbolism - while the other three will grant the tone to be similar. So, yeah - they are whipping something up right now. They certainly have carefully planned it and they are going to flesh it out in the near future.
The quality of a script got nothing to do with the number of writers involved though there are examples where scripts have been watered down by too many rewrites (which probably will not happen here, as it is not GDT's style).

Raptos a diis homines dici ...

(This post was edited by BlueMan on Apr 25 2008, 6:02pm)


Apr 25 2008, 6:41pm

Post #12 of 16 (178 views)
I Tend to Agree... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I think a fresh hand in the scriptwriting will be a big help.

The dialog in The Hobbit is so much more conversational, anyway, that there'll be less difficulty adapting it to screen. It's much, much more streamlined than LOTR.

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." -- E.A. Poe


Apr 25 2008, 8:05pm

Post #13 of 16 (190 views)
Screenwriters. [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope the original three are there but I don't want only one to get credit. Looking forward to what they come up with!

Take what you can, give nothing back!

Registered User

Apr 25 2008, 8:55pm

Post #14 of 16 (168 views)
Writers [In reply to] Can't Post

its fantastic that along with Del Toro we still have the big 3...whose back to front knowledge of all things Tolkien will make these movies nothing less than spectacular!

"Research your own experiences for the truth...Absorb what is useful...Add what is specifically your own...The creating individual is more important than any style or system." Bruce Lee


Apr 26 2008, 12:56pm

Post #15 of 16 (126 views)
I agree about the hobbit. More straightforward. [In reply to] Can't Post

Still I see a few challenges for the screenwriters:
1) They have to keep to a certain extent the same "semi-Shakespearean" tone as the one heard in the trilogy.

2) Obviously, very few dialogue has been written by Tolkien for the second movie. In the LOTR movies, the best dialogues, imho, were all taken directly from Tolkien (Many that live deserve death and some that die deserve life...). Still, I'm not too worried. The work of Tolkien is so vast. I think four passionate and talented screenwriters will likely be able to do better than three. They'll remember more of what the professor wrote.


Apr 26 2008, 1:00pm

Post #16 of 16 (173 views)
I think [In reply to] Can't Post

they are more into Tolkien than GDT. So, yes, I think they'll probably work to inject more of Tolkien and more of the LOTR movies into the Hobbit and its sequel.


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