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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Earlier Attempts to write a Screenplay


Mar 1 2013, 1:37pm

Post #1 of 15 (497 views)
Earlier Attempts to write a Screenplay Can't Post

Wow... I already knew about the first version that Tolkien himself commented on.

But I never knew about that second "sexual" version. How weird.

Reading the remarks to those ideas, makes me thankful again we have had PJ, FW and PB to look after these great books with much more care, respect and dignity!!!

I'll take female-power Galadriel anytime over mostly everything I had to read in there:


(Most probably know this already.)

(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 1 2013, 1:40pm)


Mar 1 2013, 2:22pm

Post #2 of 15 (299 views)
Ugh. Things could have been a lot worse, it appears [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting that.

I've read the books enough to accept them as is, but I understand Zimmerman wanting to put more magic into the movie. I always thought there should be. Maybe not in all the ways he does, but I wanted more wizardly acts overall, and he was was probably right that most audiences would too.


Mar 1 2013, 5:32pm

Post #3 of 15 (286 views)
Good god [In reply to] Can't Post

If Boorman had made the film he would have become one of the most hated people on the planet, it seems. As much as I loved his film 'Excalibur', an adaptation of Tolkien that bears no respect for the source material is about as interesting as toilet paper, as far as I'm concerned.

"These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!"

"THESE are Rhosgobel Rabbits! I'd like to see them try...."


Mar 1 2013, 5:37pm

Post #4 of 15 (283 views)
It sounds... [In reply to] Can't Post

... like something that would come out when you threw LotR and Game of Thrones in a mixer...


Mar 2 2013, 5:04am

Post #5 of 15 (269 views)
What if Tolkien actually got to see Jackson's Version? [In reply to] Can't Post

That article got me to thinking about if Tolkien could see Jackson's version what would he think of it? I mean PJ's adaption is the closest anyone has ever come to matching the books sure we didn't have a lot of chances to do so before modern technology but I don't see anyone making another LOTR adaptation anytime soon I'm sure there would be but not anytime soon, mainly cause people don't want to touch it I've been working on my own version of The Hobbit for 5 years. and when it comes to LOTR I am to intimidated by Jackson to even try it. his version is not perfect by any means but they are still some darn epic films.

But back to what Tolkien would think, I know most of his family hates them but I don't think he would at least not to the extent they do, there are some things he would protest. I think he would protest the same things the purists do Sam leaving Frodo really sticks out though, I believe he would make a fuss about not hearing a rooster crowing when the Rohirrim arrive, I think I read somewhere that it was one of his favorite things he did in the books. But overall I think he would like it, I think he would understand why some things had to be changed to translate to film. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and show him the films and blow his mind lol


Mar 2 2013, 9:43am

Post #6 of 15 (258 views)
I think... [In reply to] Can't Post

... his reaction to the first script shows that he was open to changes, even quite harsh ones.

I think he would have accepted a lot.

What would have been hard for him is probably the way the "action" works. But that has not that much to do with the fact that same action isn't in the books - but that things like that worked very differently in movies back when he lived and what he knew. I think that might also be one of the issues Christopher has with the movies - or in fact a big part of these generations.

What is hard to judge is how he would have reacted to the change of characters. I think he would not have minded characters like Glorfindel dropping out and Arwen getting a bigger role - as the love story essentially stayed what he had envisioned, also with the link to Beren and Luthien, who were so dear to him.

Faramir and Denethor are maybe another important issue. I personally believe that had he been involved in an early stage and PJ and Company had discussed it with him, he might have accepted why it would be really difficult on screen to explain why the Ring has so little effect on Faramir. I always believed this was one of the best changes they made and therefore have some hope JRRT might have accepted it too.

The Shire episode in the end is, however, is something I can see him hating to be left out... as well as Aragorn going Rambo on the Mouth.

All in all... I think he would - at the very least - have appreciated the efforts the filmmakers and scriptwriters of LotR put in the attempt to keep his spirit alive. He would have had a very long list of comments, remarks and also criticism - but since he says himself that he always hoped others would pick up where he left off - as it happens with all true mythologies - I think he might also have felt some sort of satisfaction and pride.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 2 2013, 9:46am)


Mar 2 2013, 10:27am

Post #7 of 15 (240 views)
I think he would have tolerated it [In reply to] Can't Post

I really can't imagine that he would have enjoyed it. It's like taking Tolkien's baby, severely editing it, and then throwing it back in his face.

But then, another interesting thought. What would the films be like if Tolkien had *helped* Jackson make the trilogy? Evil


Mar 2 2013, 10:41am

Post #8 of 15 (245 views)
I could see that... [In reply to] Can't Post

... leading to some severe issues between Tolkien's wishes and the studio's demands with Jackson caught in the middle.

I don't think that would have been a good environment for filmmaking.


Mar 2 2013, 10:53am

Post #9 of 15 (229 views)
It works (to some extent) for modern-day writers though. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure J.K.Rowling and Stephenie Meyer had some input into their respective film franchises. Being in the background must really help when the production team come into some difficulty - perhaps they can't get the scene across right, or want more detail/information from the author. I wasn't suggesting that Tolkien should've been a director, but being part of it's production would have been fascinating.

I don't think the relationship would've been too strained if Tolkien had been involved in the making of the films. I imagine the films would have been a lot closer to the book. It would've been harder for Jackson to justify changing x, y and z, in front of the very man who originally wrote it. I imagine there are arguments on sets all the time, even between Boyens and Jackson.



Mar 2 2013, 11:14am

Post #10 of 15 (224 views)
I don't deny... [In reply to] Can't Post

... this can work. And of course this is all deeply hypothetical anyway.

But in general, I believe, the director can take some advice etc. but ultimatively he/she has to decide alone - and have the courage even to go against the wish of an author as many authors might look at the adaptation too much in book-terms and not enough in film-terms.

But this might just be me, as my personal opinion is that LotR - the movie - would have been worse (as a film) or at least lost some of its screen-power-moments if some scenes would have been closer to the book.


Mar 2 2013, 11:23am

Post #11 of 15 (226 views)
Oh, we do agree [In reply to] Can't Post

But in general, I believe, the director can take some advice etc. but ultimatively he/she has to decide alone - and have the courage even to go against the wish of an author as many authors might look at the adaptation too much in book-terms and not enough in film-terms.

I think we get to a similar conclusion, just via a different route. Wink

While I have no problem with C.Tolkien's stance regarding the adaptations, I do believe it's beneficial if the original author is involved in some way. If Tolkien had been involved, I'd hope he would be more open-minded to an adaptation, so that he was specifically there if they needed him.


Mar 4 2013, 2:43pm

Post #12 of 15 (173 views)
A dream or a nightmare [In reply to] Can't Post

For authors .....
on the one hand it must be a thrill to know that your work is liked so much that someone wants to make a movie of it. A dream come true.
But on the other hand, to then see what certain of those people would plan to do to it, would be a horror, a nightmare.

Given that any director worth their salt has a lot of their own creative drive, it is imperative that the author find a director whose creative vision they resonate with. Because that director's vision is going to show up in the movie, in one form or another.

I thought it was very, very interesting to see just how flexible and tolerant JRRT really was in trying to work with various people on a screen adaptation.

I hadn't read of this history, and I really appreciate that you linked it here, Arannir. Thanks! :-).


Mar 6 2013, 2:19pm

Post #13 of 15 (140 views)
wow! [In reply to] Can't Post

I had heard about the boorman attempt before but not the other stuff.let us just thank the gods that Peter Jackson and his colleagues managed to do what they have done.we may all have had ideas about certain things and differences of opinion on one thing and another but we really don't have anything to complain about at all!! What a donkeys breakfast it could so easily have been.cheers PJ,you are a top man Smile

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Mar 6 2013, 11:57pm

Post #14 of 15 (141 views)
Am I a bad fan for wanting to see the Boorman version? [In reply to] Can't Post

It sounds really bold and exciting and I love the idea of the history of the ring being told Kabuki-style. Of course, I would have hated it for having the gall to butcher my favorite book of all time, but I think it would have been fascinating nonetheless.

At least we have Excalibur.

Use Well the Days

Tol Eressea

Mar 11 2013, 9:05pm

Post #15 of 15 (147 views)
Thanks for posting this, [In reply to] Can't Post

it was a very interesting read.

While i'm glad Boorman went on to Excalibur, a film that i love, i'm sooo glad he passed on LotR-- some of that sounds too weird.

It's been so long since i've seen the Bakshi version, but i remember thinking it was pretty cool, if a tad confusing, when i saw it as a freshman in high school in the eighties (on VHS!). Is it really as bad as people say? I guess it's time to see it again...


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