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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What about four movies?
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brotherbeck
Rivendell

Nov 23, 10:01pm

Post #51 of 52 (434 views)
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Correct Me If I'm Wrong... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am very rusty, so I could be remembering this all wrong - but I seem to recall that both the Beorn and Dol Guldor storylines were heavily changed due to the structural change from two films to three. I would very much like to know how things like Dol Guldor, Thrain, Beorn and The High Fells played out in the original scripts.

I have been a very vocal critic of The Hobbit trilogy as at the end of the day for me they are a huge missed opportunity, probably the biggest cinematic one in my lifetime. Yet I still feel with proper time and planning, Peter Jackson and the other filmmakers could have made three absolutely incredible Hobbit films at the length these films are. If they had had adequate pre-production time and had written a trilogy of scripts ahead of time. I truly believe the last minute split from two to three films and everything that that entailed hurt this trilogy beyond repair.

I personally don't think three 3-hour films is the ideal way to go for an adaptation of The Hobbit (and related appendices) - but if I had a chance to snap my fingers and make something so I would much, much, much, much rather get PJ & the crew & all the actors back to NZ for another massive round of reshoots to fix any and all problems that came up as a result of logistics or lack of studio faith than I would see some other completely different creative team take a fresh crack at adapting The Hobbit.


Chen G.
Rivendell

Nov 25, 1:21pm

Post #52 of 52 (298 views)
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The main things to get expanded upon were the Dol Guldur and Woodland Realm subplots, and the characterization of Thorin and Co.

Nevertheless, none of these "subplots" originated from the move to three films: Tauriel and the love story were there from early drafts, and Dol Guldur was said to have been brought up in the earliest discussions with Guillermo Del Toro.

Really, I think the pre-production woes on The Hobbit have been grossly exaggerated. Hell, most film trilogies have no pre-planned sketch what-so-ever. The Hobbit had three scripts. Not finished scripts, but scripts nonetheless.

Being more specific, The High Fells were always going to be there. The inclusion of The High Fells does make narrative sense - if you're going to write The Necromancer as a mystery story, you can't have his lair be Gandalf's first stop in uncovering that mystery.


Where the split affected this was in its placement: originally, they were going to be in film one, right after The White Council. After leaving the High-Fells, the storm clouds that Gandalf sees were supposed to be the same ones that rained on the company as they traversed The High Pass.

While moving it to the second film doesn't make a lot of geographical sense (Rhudaur is next to Rivendell), I think it does make a lot of narrative sense. There's something refreshing about the first film not having Sauron as a major antagonist, and the end-of-the-world stakes that come attached to that character.

The inclusion of Thrain is a bit more complicated to decipher. There's enough foreshadowing in the first film and in production material that it seems that they were always going to have him in Dol Guldur. Hell, wasn't he glimpsed in the first trailer of An Unexpected Journey?

Generally speaking, I don't think that expanding on these subplots necessarily made them worst. I think as much as people dislike the Tauriel/Kili subplot, making it shorter was only going to make it feel all the more contrived and half-baked. One the reasons that it doesn't work for me within the framework of The Battle of the Five Armies is that much less time is devoted to it, compared to The Desolation of Smaug - where it mostly works.

To further support this argument, one of the main elements that weren't fully formed in the original previz was The Battle of the Five Armies itself, and the move to three films only benefitted that, because it gave the filmmakers a whole extra year to come to grips with it.

The only other major setpiece not to be fully formed in advance was the climax of The Desolation of Smaug. It was certainly sketched during principal photography, but didn't fully come into shape until post production on the second film.

Having not read The Hobbit in years at the time of the trilogy's release, I was anticipating Thorin to face-off Smaug within a few minutes of the opening of An Unexpected Journey. There are elements that prefigure it, even if unwittingly: In Bag End, both Ori and Kili both seem to think that they're headed to a confrontation with the dragon, and I always took Gandalf's "do not enter that mountain without me" as saying that he intended to deal with the dragon himself, or at least be there should he come after the Dwarves.

I actually think its good that it doesn't get "set up" more explicitly than that: for anyone who approaches this trilogy without preconceptions, the notion that the Dwarves will try to kill Smaug goes without saying. You don't need to spell everything out to the audience to the letter.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Nov 25, 1:25pm)

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