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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
thoughs on The Hobbit and Movie #2

keithf777
The Shire

Apr 30 2008, 3:28am


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I'm kind of excited at the prospect of finally getting The Hobbit and a bonus movie as well. I’m probably one of the few that says ‘bring on another movie!’ despite the potential for disaster. Here are some hopes and fears:

First off The Hobbit should be a grand film in terms of length. One of the things that helped the Lord of the rings story fit into 3 movies successfully is the way that the story breaks into 3 plot threads after Fellowship which run sort of parallel through the next 2 books, allowing jump cuts and other devices to keep things moving through the films. Yeah, yeah, I love Tolkien's masterful writing just like everyone else, I grew up with it for Christ's sake. But I'm also a fan of Peter Jackson's ability to keep the movie exciting and well-paced when it could have gotten bogged down. The movies never seem slow to me, even in the expanded editions, which I love and consider to be close to definitive (they'll be truly definitive after Jackson adds another 30 minutes to each ;o) ).

The Hobbit, however, has no parallel plot threads to capitalize on, just one linear plot with a lot of stuff going on and less fat to trim. One of my pet peeves about the LOTR movies was the hacking of Tom Bombadil from the story, but I could understand the move from a filmmaker’s perspective. But the loss of a character like Beorn from The Hobbit (which I dread and almost thoroughly expect, just as with the Rankin Bass version) would have much more impact on the story, not only because he aided the party by giving them shelter and interrogating a goblin, but due to his major role in the Battle of Five Armies. That battle itself in fact is covered quite quickly in Tolkien's narrative but will require a lot of screen time. You have a quest on a scale of that in Fellowship, an encounter with a dragon which should not be rushed through, and on top of everything else a full-scale battle to cram into one movie. What I am getting at with all of this, as I said to begin with, is that The Hobbit should be long. At least as long as ROTK if not longer.

Since Peter Jackson pushed for long movies and longer special editions it can only be hoped that del Toro's vision will be similar. His running time for the Hobbit will be the first real indication of whether he 'gets it' or not. Any attempt to clock The Hobbit in at anything significantly under 3 hours will be misguided in my humble opinion. Peter Jackson's ability to make epic length movies with great pacing is what really made these movies work for me. It's also why I have doubts about anyone else being able to achieve what he did. But Guillermo del Toro is one of the best gambles out there, so we'll see.

Speaking of Tom Bombadil, Jackson, Boyens and Walsh have a great opportunity to redeem themselves with Tolkien fandom by bringing this great character into the story being prepared for film #2. Now I wouldn't generally condone writing a character into a movie just for the sake of it (or to make someone else happy, for that matter), but on the other hand Bombadil is such a multi-faceted character (check out a great essay: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/...o+heroes-a0163972510 ) that there ought to be many possibilities to work him into a brand new story in a compelling and relevant way.

I'm going to pause here for a general suggestion to fandom and moviemakers to consider. I think the title of movie #2 should be The Ranger (starring Viggo Mortensen).

Certainly there is lots of speculation about which actors might reprise their roles from LOTR in movie #2 and how it would tie in with the Trilogy. But as much as I like Elijah Wood in the character of Frodo, the character of Aragorn is much more complex and has so much more history to explore. What happens to Bilbo and the Ring (nothing) between The Hobbit and FOTR is pretty well documented. What happens to Frodo is also nothing, or maybe he could have some sort of adventure but then that would change the intentions of Tolkien for the character in a major, major way, wouldn't it? I don't care if he's popular… a story based around him wouldn’t make sense. It would be great if Frodo appeared in the movie for a cameo, but The Ranger and what happens to bring his character into the LOTR story we saw in the movies is much more relevant and important. It's really of parallel importance to Bilbo finding the ring. What events led up to Aragorn sitting at that table in the Prancing Pony? There is further depth that could be added to the Arwen & Aaragorn story (however, the movie should not be just an Aragorn/Arwen drama… Tolkien wouldn’t ever have bothered with a simple love story). If you look up Aragorn on Wikipedia you’ll find a brief history that condenses Tolkien’s appendix writings into a few paragraphs and sets the mind a–wandering. Certainly Aaragorn’s search for and questioning of Gollum could work it’s way into a plot, bringing King Thranduil (of Mirkwood) into the plot as well… a tie-in to The Hobbit (and the Trilogy… Thranduil is also the father of Legolas). Side note: I’ve always wanted to know more about the relationship between the wood-elves of Mirkwood and the Elves of Rivendell. Aragorn's relationship to Elrond could be further explored. Strider knew Tom Bombadil as well. What was their earlier relationship like? What of the other Istari? Radagast could be brought into the story. What other regions could be explored? Arnor? Ered Luin (Blue Mountains)? Forodwaith (I always loved that name)? The Witch-Realm Of Angmar (didn't you always want to know more about that?)? Great possibilities.

In fact there are so many possibilities you could almost make another trilogy with The Hobbit as part one… ok, well maybe I’m going overboard but what the hell. I’m a firm believer in messing with tradition so I have none of the canonical issues that many Tolkien fanatics have. The books are the books… the movies are a different animal. Why not have some fun?

Anyway, as I’m bringing all of this what-if scenario stuff up, I'm thinking two thoughts that I want to throw out there and then I'll shut up. First of all, Fran, Phillippa and Peter should use every speck of information that they can find in the books and appendices to develop the story as closely as they can to something Tolkien himself might have concocted. If there's any more obvious thread to develop than the story of Strider I can't imagine what it would be. Obviously they will have to create a lot, including a major dramatic plot device to carry a story so it's not just a documentary of 40 years of history... but of course they know all that. I hope they can succeed. Secondly, and just as importantly to me, I think to make the story feel the way Tolkien feels, and to make the movie feel the way a Tolkien screen adaptation feels, they need to write a narrative that they can't possibly film. Give it depth that couldn't be touched in 3 hours. Then make the best movie they can from that starting point. Again, this is probably already obvious to them.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall as they toss ideas around. I for one am excited to see what they might come up with. But I pray that they follow the path of Aragorn. And I am also nervous for them because they will be up against such a great deal of scrutiny. Making a story and a film of the story that are worthy of Tolkien as well as their own previous effort is probably a much more daunting task than the original trilogy was.

So I guess I'll stop there. I was gonna make some cast suggestions but I've already gone on too long so I'll save that for some other time. I would love to hear what people think about some of my comments. Cheers everybody!
Keith Fotheringham
Ballston Spa, New York

Subject User Time
thoughs on The Hobbit and Movie #2 keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 3:28am
    About Beorn's "-major- role in the Battle of Five Armies". N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Apr 30 2008, 4:43am
        learning more from a fan-fiction film... keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 4:59am
            Not even then. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Apr 30 2008, 5:22am
                Not even then... so true keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 5:52am
                    Indeed not! N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Apr 30 2008, 5:56am
                        It's interesting, N.E. Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Apr 30 2008, 5:31pm
        Beorn's role in The Battle Of Five Armies keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 5:13am
            Well N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Apr 30 2008, 5:25am
                The Battle Of Five Armies... show it or not? keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 5:38am
                    Not sure I agree about "epic" entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Apr 30 2008, 9:20am
                        sorry, but I think The Hobbit IS an epic book... and the Battle IS an epic battle keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 4:44pm
                            Definition(s) of "Epic" Mirabella_Bunce Send a private message to Mirabella_Bunce Apr 30 2008, 4:55pm
    Welcome to the boards! Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Apr 30 2008, 4:55am
        Hi Niskayuna! keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 5:40am
    If they make a movie on Aragorn then it should be a trilogy... Unspoken_Request Send a private message to Unspoken_Request Apr 30 2008, 2:03pm
        Possible spoiler in my previous message Unspoken_Request Send a private message to Unspoken_Request Apr 30 2008, 2:20pm
            Dol Guldur.. an obvious thing I forgot about... keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 5:15pm
                Wether in two movies or three, Unspoken_Request Send a private message to Unspoken_Request Apr 30 2008, 5:23pm
    that Worrisome Sequel... Mirabella_Bunce Send a private message to Mirabella_Bunce Apr 30 2008, 4:43pm
        Some of GDT's interviews could reassure you Unspoken_Request Send a private message to Unspoken_Request Apr 30 2008, 5:17pm
            so now there becomes a need for three movies! keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 5:36pm
                Beorn FrodoEyes Send a private message to FrodoEyes Apr 30 2008, 5:53pm
                Check out this thread Unspoken_Request Send a private message to Unspoken_Request Apr 30 2008, 6:26pm
                    Beornagorn... not :) Mirabella_Bunce Send a private message to Mirabella_Bunce Apr 30 2008, 7:22pm
                        I fear Bardagorn more Unspoken_Request Send a private message to Unspoken_Request Apr 30 2008, 8:23pm
                            Don't give them ideas!!! Mirabella_Bunce Send a private message to Mirabella_Bunce May 1 2008, 12:42am
                        Beornagorn NO! just Beorn... Aaragorn in his own movie ;o) keithf777 Send a private message to keithf777 Apr 30 2008, 11:39pm
            Perfect! I love it! Mirabella_Bunce Send a private message to Mirabella_Bunce Apr 30 2008, 7:06pm

 
 
 

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