Now that PJ has pretty much thrown the coffin lid on The Silmarillion being made...how do you feel? and why?
Me I'm unsure- a film would have to be very different from the book and miss alot out to flow dramatcially, and the fantasy aspects may be a bit far out for most cinemagoers (i.e.The Valar, the complex names, multitude of characters, tlaking wolve spirits etc), its more or less unconnected to LOTR so I can't work out how it would be marketed...It's my favorite of tolkiens books because of this complexicty, and to be honest although the imagery and storylines could make gripping cinema I'm mostly relived that PJ and co won't be able to tamper with it...
I also voted for (not sure if i was meant to vote for more than one thing but it reflects how i feel) which is glad as i think a film wouldnt do it justice. I think as you do, it would have to be very different from the book, perhaps focusing on one of the stories from the book, e.g. Luthien and Beren or Children of Hurin.
It is also my favourite of Tolkien's books though that does seem to change depending on which one i am reading at the time, lol.
Ultimately i think it could be done alright but its too complex and all encompassing taking in things from before time all the way up to the end of the third age/beginning fourth age, so because of that i am happy i can be left with my own images.
I think the results of the poll will change quickly to sad though!
While I love LOTR as an adaptation (and most likely TH as well), I just don't think the Silmarillion can be done justice yet. I'd rather careful planning was done, rather than having a film for film's sake.
I already knew it wasn't a possibility, so PJ's response was just a statement of the obvious to me. The rights to the Silmarillion are simply not on the market to anyone. And frankly, I don't think most of the stories in the Sil have appeal to a mass audience, certainly not like the hobbit-centric tales, so I don't see it being anywhere near as successful even if it were made. Tragedy doesn't usually make it big at the box office (well, unless you stick a love story in, a la Titanic, but that would incense the fans). A big budget cable series, perhaps, but even there I think a lot of liberties would be taken. I'm perfectly happy to let the Silmarillion stay on the page rather than the screen.
I think It definitely isnt going to happen whilst Christopher Tolkien is alive
[In reply to]
I think all the money in the world wouldn't be enough to make him sell the rights as i don't think its about money.
Obviously Christopher is an old man now and i'm not wishing him dead or anything but its not like he is going to be around more than 15 years from now? So it will be interesting to see what the Tolkien Estate do after he has passed away. My belief is they will continue in the same manner as Christopher did - not selling the rights.
Copyrights last 70 years from the death of the author i think, so if The Silmarillion has Christopher as having the copyright then it will start when he passes away, or it started from when the book was published I'm not sure, either way it is many years to go still. Finally i think a copyright can be extended, i know in the USA it definitely can as Disney didn't want Mickey mouse to be in the public domain so they got the law changed so copyright can be updated forever seemingly.
I pick the first option, for I think a film cannot do justice to The Silmarillion. The book has lots of story interwoven and I think it would be very complicated to adapt these into a film without taking to much liberty which will created an outrage from the fans. And I am not talking about what content they would let aside. Perhaps sticking instead to one story as The Children Of Hýrin could be less complicated. In any case, the Tolkien Estate would not yield the right to adapt any of these stories. That's not gonna happen. They are strongly against The Hobbit to be adapted and it seems to me that they would do everything they can to protect The Silm if anyone was seeking the right to adapt it. That is understandable in my opinion.
(This post was edited by sam90 on Jul 20 2012, 6:22pm)
Since the Tolkien Estate bitterly regret to have sell the right to adapt The Hobbit and LOTR as confirmed in a article published by the newspaper Le Monde that interview J.R.R Tolkien's son Christopherwhich TORn made available on the website it should shatters all hope of those who had some of seeing The Silmarillion or The Children Of Hýrin adapted... So, indeed, a real possibility it isn't and seems to never have been. It is beyond PJ decision and I think that his employer would not been able to get the right to do so if ever they seek it. It is likely that LOTR and The Hobbit is all that is gonna be adapted on screen of Tolkien's work.
(This post was edited by sam90 on Jul 21 2012, 6:27pm)
I can see how the lid is on the coffin ... but I don't know how well nailed shut it is
Who knows what the future will hold - especially the distant future (such as after the scope of copyright applicability or in a different emotional/social climate where people are more ready for something like this etc.)
The Silmarillion's complexity and content doesn't strike me as *film* material--as in something that would be released in the theaters. It could--maybe--be adapted into a series though I guess the battle for ratings vs. true-ness to the material might result in...meh. Watching HBO's GoT series probably influenced my *maybe a series* thought for TS but in all honesty I am totally OK with there not being any type of filmed version. (Plus, the *no rights* factor!)
She's younger than Christopher and women tend to live longer (and we know the Tolkien genes are long-lived anyway).
I'm glad. It's fairly well-known here that I don't believe the best possible job was done on LotR and what gives me hope for The Hobbit is that Mr Jackson is finally a 'big enough' director to tell the moguls to shove it when they try to interfere with a film. It is my HOPE that Bob Shay was the REAL reason that swaths of LotR (sadly nearly ALL of TTT and more than I'm comfortable with on RotK) were just TERRIBLE and that given control over his own work that Mr Jackson will redeem himself with the 3-part The Hobbit. I'm already VERY happy that it's now a trilogy as that gives me some hope that this will be so.
As for The Silmarillion though, one movie would NEVER do it justice. Three might not be enough as each of what Tolkien called The Great Tales (Beren and Luthien, The Tale of the Children of Hurin, and The Fall of Gondolin) are worth a full movie on their own and there might perhaps be enough good material for one more as well. Oddly, though I'm very much a 'purist' on what Tolkien DID publish, I have much less heartburn about stuff being added where he DIDN'T publish. I believe that if an author wrote it and published it then that should never be deviated from when filming (say, minutiae like Aragorn's eyes being grey). BUT if the author was silent then I'm more than happy to have the filmmaker fill in those blanks AS LONG AS it fits well with the story and does not jar my suspense of disbelief. In THAT sense, The Silmarillion is far MORE forgiving to be made into film than anything of Tolkien's that has been done so far.
To finish my opening, I believe that after both Christopher and Priscilla pass into the West (and I fully believe BOTH are deserving of such an honour) that the rest of the family will test the market and eventually sell the rights to The Silmarillion. I believe Christopher and Priscilla will choose the initial heir with care so that it does not happen within perhaps 10 years of their passing, but I do think that it's far too valuable a commodity to stay the full 70 years w/out being sold - it will be more valuable sooner rather than later after Christopher's passing. Finally, addressing the opinion on this thread that The Sil is too esoteric to be appreciated by the masses, that might be true, however with targeted marketing and today's media even those films have a far greater chance than ever before of being a success. It will be up to both director and distribution/production companies to be savvy in reaching the very large audience that will cherish it being brought to the screen if the product is QUALITY.