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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
PJ confirms involvement in Amazon series!
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Lindele
Gondor

Jun 8, 4:22pm

Post #26 of 99 (2156 views)
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Yeah i wasn't referring to directing [In reply to] Can't Post

I always assumed PJ wouldn't direct. I'm talking about the cinematic world. For someone to say that the design can be improved upon baffles me. To see someone come in and have the cultures look totally different would be jarring and a mistake IMO. Not only for continuity to the films, even if they want to start over I'd say any designers would be hard pressed to improve upon what Lee, Howe and Weta have done.

To say that PJ wasn't the best director to bring the world to the screen, I disagree with. That doesn't mean he should direct every Middle-earth episode going forward. I just think the world is too good to improve upon.


uncle Iorlas
Bree


Jun 9, 7:35pm

Post #27 of 99 (2024 views)
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I have heard speeches of this kind before. [In reply to] Can't Post

And they do weary my ears, but by the same token I understand well that I won't suddenly reverse your stance by stating the contrary. Anyway I already did and it obviously didn't take.

Because I have a moment to spare just now, I'll lob some particulars to consider, for the sake of argument I suppose. This is the internet after all; isn't pointless argument the point?

So you mention the music. I can't honestly remember it but it seemed serviceable; he hired a soundtrack composer who did what a soundtrack composer does. Not one for the books like Star Wars or Shawshank, but fine. Here's what I do remember: it never shut up. So for example, I bet not one soul in the world who saw the movie but hasn't read the book could tell you that in Moria, it is quiet. Whatever, that's trivia on a scale of PJ gaffes, but that is a directorial choice.

World building and design--that's taking him on right where he's strongest, and I acknowledged as much. The Shire looked great, Bree was better than my own imagination of it; sets in general were superb. Costumes looked great, although disappointingly uniform--the hobbits get better treatment, but mostly everybody looks like they live in a homogenous, historically unspecific D&D setting. But whatever, it looked good. Props and such all great. NZ landscapes a downright revelation. All fine.

The problem tends to arise whenever any character opens his mouth to talk. Why is everyone shouting constantly? Why all the aggression? Not only is Gimli reduced to a slapstick moron, even Elrond is a snarling dimwit. "Men are weak!" How does any part of that relate to anything the character ever said or thought? Starting with the very creed of "strength" as cardinal virtue, which might suit Boromir, but hardly wears well on the master of Rivendell. Frodo bellows "I will take the ring" into a room of already shouting people, glaring as though angry. Poles apart from the reserved, self-effacing, soft-spoken Frodo we know. Why would everyone turn around and take him seriously, delivered that way?

There are too many incidents to name of characters degraded to cardboard oafs, events that make no sense or leave the plot incoherent, and above all, good dialogue jettisoned in favor of really bad dialogue of Jackson's own coinage. Complaining about, say, endless physically impossible fight choreography seems pedestrian when literally every single thing done or said by any character is garbage.

But there we are. You use the word "perfect" more than once to describe these movies when honestky I cannot see one single admirable trait about them except that they are visually well rendered. I don't see much hope in debating from there (although if you would like to be a little more specific about something or other that is perfect, I'll hear you out).


All that aside, though, remember, I'm not even arguing (at this juncture) that this new tv show should try to improve on PJ. As I say, even a different variety of bad would be a relief at this point.


(This post was edited by uncle Iorlas on Jun 9, 7:44pm)


uncle Iorlas
Bree


Jun 9, 7:41pm

Post #28 of 99 (2016 views)
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I think you have this backward. [In reply to] Can't Post

Amazon doesn't have any rights to grant or withhold, not until the estate grants them first. But who among us has read the contract? They could well have stipulated approval powers for themselves at any number of points in the process, and conditioned the whole deal on that. They have every reason to, for money and for pride. I would. I think when the dust settles out we'll find that the estate is in this up to their eyeballs, at least in these early stages.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 9, 11:00pm

Post #29 of 99 (1945 views)
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The Estate's Involvement [In reply to] Can't Post

And that is what gives me some hope for a more faithful adaptation. Not that 'faithful' must equal 'good', but let's be optimists! Wink

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


MoreMorgoth
The Shire

Jun 10, 2:23am

Post #30 of 99 (1915 views)
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Hemingway [In reply to] Can't Post

The great writer Hemingway described the ideal process of turning film into a book. The producer and the writer meet on a deserted beach at midnight and one tosses the book to the other and they toss a briefcase filled with money back and the two never talk again.

Let the writers write their books as it is the craft they know well.

Let the filmmakers make movies as it is the craft they know well.

This is the same Estate who directed illustrator Ted Naismith NOT to put too much emphasis on the dark or evil parts of the Silmarillion when he had that job to do. That kind of sweeping early decision restricts what we then see forever when we pick up that book.

I do NOT want to see the same kind of nanny overseeing with the TV adaptions.

Cash the big check and enjoy the money and let people do their job.


uncle Iorlas
Bree


Jun 10, 3:21am

Post #31 of 99 (1919 views)
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that's not without merit [In reply to] Can't Post

but I'm not sure if the parties involved will have seen it that way.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 10, 4:09am

Post #32 of 99 (1915 views)
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So... [In reply to] Can't Post

...respect the book, but make the movie your own. I can't really disagree with that.


In Reply To
The great writer Hemingway described the ideal process of turning film into a book.


With all due respect, I think you got that backwards (not that movies don't get turned into books).

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


MoreMorgoth
The Shire

Jun 10, 4:17am

Post #33 of 99 (1907 views)
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backwards [In reply to] Can't Post

you are completely correct - I did get it backwards. Thanks for the correction.

Now I am smiling thinking about the Sasha Baron Cohen bit where Ali G tries to convince a book publisher they should follow up on the success of the LOTR films by making...... think of it ....... LORD OF THE RINGS: THE BOOK!!!!!!

Only to be informed that is how it started int he first place.

A really great bit.


(This post was edited by MoreMorgoth on Jun 10, 4:19am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 10, 5:06am

Post #34 of 99 (1901 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...there are actually 'movie storybooks' of the Hobbit movies, authored by Paddy Kempshall and Natasha Hughes (the latter for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Storybook). And, no, the first one does not begin with the line: "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

I am somewhat reminded of the story of the young movie studio executive who burst into his boss' office with great enthusiasm. "I've got a terrific idea!" he said. "Let's remake The Wiz -- white!"

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 10, 5:07am)


squire
Half-elven


Jun 10, 1:03pm

Post #35 of 99 (1862 views)
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It's funny, but [In reply to] Can't Post

where in Hemingway's parable does it say anything about 'respecting the book'?

This brings us to the question of what it means to make a film (or other adaptation) of a book. What if the title is literally the only recognizable thing about the finished product: It says "The Lord of the Rings" on the movie poster, for which millions of dollars were paid to the book's owner, but the film is actually an original screenplay about King Arthur's (fictional) 8th century invasion of the Western hemisphere?

Or, more applicably, couldn't the film adaptation make the case that Sauron is a misunderstood genius, Mordor an advanced and progressive industrial state, and Aragorn and the other 'Wise' of the West all brutal lords who exploit their estates of oppressed peasants? (I'm not making this up).

Respect? What is respect for a book, when filming it? Does the briefcase full of money really pay for anything besides the right to the title?



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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 10, 2:58pm

Post #36 of 99 (1848 views)
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My assumption. [In reply to] Can't Post

My post reflected what I see as the ideal. If you don't like or respect the original story, why bother to adapt it? Unless you're simply the hack who was hired by the studio (no insult meant to hacks; it's an old and honorable profession).

Granted, there are movies reputedly based on books that bear little or no resemblance to the alleged source (I, Robot comes to mind) or that make significant changes (such as the movie of The Scarlet Letter that provides a happy ending).

Oh, I know that you are not making up that one example. I remember reading about the Russian reworking of The Lord of the Rings.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 10, 2:59pm)


MoreMorgoth
The Shire

Jun 10, 9:57pm

Post #37 of 99 (1802 views)
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respect [In reply to] Can't Post

Respect is evident in the quality of film that one makes from the source material and NOT to the slavish placing of each page on the screen to please book purists.

I would say that the world wide lover for the Middle-earth films, the 17 Academy Awards including best film, and the overwhelming praise from film critics demonstrate a great deal of respect for the source material.


BOSW
The Shire

Jun 22, 1:08am

Post #38 of 99 (1445 views)
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I'm Not Watching It [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm happy for PJ's fans. But I've decided not to look at these things anymore. I know most will. I don't think it can possibly be worthwhile. But I've sworn off all adaptations, sequels, series, franchises etc. Life is too short when you already know what you're going to get. They always lie and then trash the classics I love. I'm probably in a minority group. I just love Tolkien too much to look at whatever this turns out to be. And I really do enjoy reading more :)


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 22, 2:56pm

Post #39 of 99 (1419 views)
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That's not an adaptation, that's a re-interpertation [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
This brings us to the question of what it means to make a film (or other adaptation) of a book. What if the title is literally the only recognizable thing about the finished product: It says "The Lord of the Rings" on the movie poster, for which millions of dollars were paid to the book's owner, but the film is actually an original screenplay about King Arthur's (fictional) 8th century invasion of the Western hemisphere?

Or, more applicably, couldn't the film adaptation make the case that Sauron is a misunderstood genius, Mordor an advanced and progressive industrial state, and Aragorn and the other 'Wise' of the West all brutal lords who exploit their estates of oppressed peasants?


What you're describing isn't an adaptation, but a re-interpertation, which is also a common and valid practice in films: Stanley Kubrick made a point out of adapting stories from books as opposed to writing original screenplays, and yet often he would deviate from the story he was adapting to the point that it can't be considered a straightforward adaptation: The Shining being the best example. Most of Steven Spielberg's catalog consists of adapted screenplays (from books, plays and historical events), many of which (Jurassic Park, to name one) are changed or even infused with themes not present in the novel. Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs deals much more with feministic themes than the novel does; Mel Gibson's Braveheart departs from the historical account to infuse the story with 20th-century patriotic themes which clearly do not exist in "The Wallace" on which the screenplay is most directly based.

The difference between adapting and re-interperting a literary work lies in what it is about the story that you are changing. Each story has an essence - the main cast and their characteristics, the basic contuor of the plot, style of dialogue, the main themes of the work and the general tone of it. Everything else - anchiliary characters, secondary themes, specific plot-points and setpieces - all are fair game for the filmmakers. If you change something about the essence of the work - infuse it with new themes or remove an existing central theme, change or remove one of the main characters - you've re-interperted the work. If you've maintained the essence of the story, yours is still a faithful adaptation, even if you changed just about everything else about the story.

Such changes to the external elements of the work are required, with the exception of a very specific type of literature that was written to read like a screenplay. Otherwise, literary works tends to have a completely different sense of ebb-and-flow to films, and as such require far more from the screenplay than just an abridged form of the novel: stuff needs to be not just shortened but sometimes removed entirely, while other stuff needs to be embellished or created from scratch, some stuff needs to be shuffled around, etcetra. The most faithful adaptations are therefore the ones that deliver the essence of the work in the most cinematic package possible - that's the ultimate way to honor the piece - by making it into the best movie it can possibly be.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 22, 2:57pm)


KingTurgon
Rohan


Jun 23, 7:56pm

Post #40 of 99 (1349 views)
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If PJ's in [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in. Can't wait to see the series! I am really curious to see how they will weave the series in with the 6 movies. I really hope Howard Shore returns as well!

1) FOTR 2) ROTK 3) AUJ 4) TTT 5) DOS 6) BOFA


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 23, 8:22pm

Post #41 of 99 (1350 views)
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Peter's not confirmed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Look at the more recent threads. Reports have been conflicting and PJ's status is still in question; he does not seem to be directly involved, though he might be acting as something of a consultant.

It's far too early to know anything about who might be scoring the show.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 23, 8:25pm)


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 23, 8:22pm

Post #42 of 99 (1342 views)
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I wouldn't know about Shore, but... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm in. Can't wait to see the series! I am really curious to see how they will weave the series in with the 6 movies. I really hope Howard Shore returns as well!


I can't imagine Howard Shore being the main composer any more than I can imagine Jackson being showrunner. Both men work on the big-screen, and can't really make a long-term commitment to a television series.

However, just like Jackson can be involved in some capacity and help keep the show congurant with his vision, if only in broad strokes, so too can Shore write a couple of themes for TV composers to adapt. John Williams just did a similar thing for a spinoff property in his musical saga.

In fact, much like Jackson's visual vision, Shore's aural vision is so comprehensive that most of the groundwork is already laid out for any other composer setting foot in this universe. Within the framework of Aragorn's origins story, Shore has already laid out two recurring themes for Aragorn, two for Arwen, one for their relationship, one for Numenore (its heritage likely to loom over Aragorn's story), three for Gondor, two for Rivendell (likely to feature prominently in this story), etcetra.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 23, 8:23pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 23, 9:23pm

Post #43 of 99 (1336 views)
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Try the Google Translate phone application - helps reading other languages. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not perfect of course but you get the main details,


BOSW
The Shire

Jun 24, 12:02am

Post #44 of 99 (1314 views)
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Yeah, but.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Look at the more recent threads. Reports have been conflicting and PJ's status is still in question; he does not seem to be directly involved, though he might be acting as something of a consultant.

It's far too early to know anything about who might be scoring the show.


It does seem like they want the same design and environments, possibly musical themes, from the films, so its bound to turn off people who didn't enjoy PJ's "vision" of Middle Earth.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 24, 12:43am

Post #45 of 99 (1307 views)
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Okay, but... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It does seem like they want the same design and environments, possibly musical themes, from the films, so its bound to turn off people who didn't enjoy PJ's "vision" of Middle Earth.


While a few folks were certainly turned off by Jackon's Hobbit movies, quite a few liked his Lord of the Rings quite a bit. And even the later films had their fans. For the most part, the movies looked and sounded gorgeous. Amazon could do worse.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 24, 12:45am)


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Jun 24, 2:24am

Post #46 of 99 (1286 views)
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That's right! Thank you, Eruonen, [In reply to] Can't Post

I know it, but it just didn't occur to me to use it for that purpose in this context here!!! Blush Now I'll know better... Wink

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Jun 25, 2:27am

Post #47 of 99 (1083 views)
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That would be.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
While a few folks were certainly turned off by Jackon's Hobbit movies, quite a few liked his Lord of the Rings quite a bit.


....an understatement, ha ha. Tongue

My sympathies go out to those who want a fresh interpretation of Middle-earth, but there are far more people out there - a whole generation who envision Middle-earth through PJ's depiction - I think, who would "turned off" if the series wasn't set in that version of Middle-earth.

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that."
- Viggo Mortensen


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 25, 3:32am

Post #48 of 99 (1068 views)
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I wouldn't go that far. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
My sympathies go out to those who want a fresh interpretation of Middle-earth, but there are far more people out there - a whole generation who envision Middle-earth through PJ's depiction - I think, who would "turned off" if the series wasn't set in that version of Middle-earth.


I'll go as far as saying that most of those fans would at least want the series to be informed by the look and feel of the movies. I, for one, do not want the show to share that narrative continuity.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Jun 25, 5:34am

Post #49 of 99 (1057 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'll go as far as saying that most of those fans would at least want the series to be informed by the look and feel of the movies. I, for one, do not want the show to share that narrative continuity.


The "look and feel" is largely what I'm talking about.

As far as continuity, I'd be perfectly fine myself if Amazon decided to jettison the movie-verse mythology PJ & Co. cooked up for 'The Hobbit'. But otherwise, I'd like to see narrative continuity (namely with the LotR trilogy).

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that."
- Viggo Mortensen


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 25, 2:05pm

Post #50 of 99 (1013 views)
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I can almost agree with you. [In reply to] Can't Post

There are only a handful of things in Peter Jackson's LotR films which might affect a show set before the War of the Ring, mostly to do with timing--where our director changed certain dates whether intentionally or by accident.

- Jackson got the year wrong for the end of the Second Age.

- He messed up the year of Bilbo's 'eleventy-first' birthday (and by extension both his birth-year and the year of the Quest of Erebor).

- Aragorn, in the legendarium, was 87 when Frodo first met him, but 88 by the time he met Lady Éowyn. Granted, it's possible that in the films, the folk of Edoras marched to Helm's Deep before March 1 (the date of Aragorn's birth).

- The ageing up of several characters who should have been almost 20 years younger at the time of Bilbo's farewell party. Not just Aragorn, but Sam, Merry, Pippin and Frodo himself (among others). Admittedly, this is a necessary consequence of eliminating most of the 17-year gap leading up to Frodo's departure.

It's a pain to try to recalculate the timeline of Aragorn's background by moving his year of birth back to either 2014 or 2015, making him either 25 or 26 years old at the time of the Battle of Five Armies. On the plus side (I suppose) that adds elements of novelty and uncertainty for even book-fans where they cannot know quite what to expect. Other changes, such as Jackson's use of the Army of the Dead, don't affect the story before the War of the Ring.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 25, 2:06pm)

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