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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
LOTR vs Hobbit as Filmable Movies

DunedainRonin
The Shire

Dec 19 2007, 6:35pm

Post #1 of 21 (595 views)
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LOTR vs Hobbit as Filmable Movies Can't Post

Okay, for the moment lets pretend that we didnt hear the news that there is going to be a sequel movie to the hobbit to tie in hobbit and LOTR.

Tolkien once said that LOTR was an unfilmable book. And for the most part, it is correct. You could not have filmed it page by page, and I agree that what PJ did was wonderful and did the book justice. Just as he said, it was his interpretation...

So now that that has been said..

what of the Hobbit? I read it long ago, and I thought it had more of a followable story than LOTR does...does anyone disagree that this one will be "easier" to write out...


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 19 2007, 6:45pm

Post #2 of 21 (356 views)
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I think The Hobbit as a single movie [In reply to] Can't Post

would be easier to script than LOTR due to the first book's linear narrative. In some respects I think you'd need to approach the book as a detailed outline and flesh out the script so that the characters are more visceral, but certainly you don't have the problem of diverging storylines that Fran, Phillipa, Pete and Steven Sinclair had to grapple with for TTT and ROTK.

However, LOTR had deeper themes which made the story so rich for screen. That is something that will need to be developed for the Hobbit film if it is to not pale and falter in comparison to LOTR. I'll be very interested to see how the scriptwriters fit The Hobbit alongside LOTR as part of the same larger story.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea


Dec 19 2007, 6:59pm

Post #3 of 21 (316 views)
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Yep [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
However, LOTR had deeper themes which made the story so rich for screen. That is something that will need to be developed for the Hobbit film if it is to not pale and falter in comparison to LOTR. I'll be very interested to see how the scriptwriters fit The Hobbit alongside LOTR as part of the same larger story.



This is something that fans of the Hobbit and its more childish style (for lack of better term) will probably be disappointed with in the film version of the Hobbit. They have to tie it in with the LOTR films, and setting a new tone probably would not work. I imagine that the film will be much darker than the Hobbit book.

I, myself, am wondering if they are going to be putting in the 'tra la la la' elf song from Rivendell. They can just translate it into Sindarin and have the elves sing it all slowly... Laugh

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Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 8:06pm

Post #4 of 21 (277 views)
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Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the deeper, richer themes of LotR that make me -- well, not less than enthused, just not turning cartwheels -- over a Hobbit movie. I like The Hobbit just fine, but it's never sent the cold chills down my spine the way LotR (book and movie) does.

So yes, while it would be easier to script The Hobbit, a faithful script would be lighter than LotR, and adding weightier matters to it to reflect LotR would change it from the story it is.

I'll be very interested to see how it's handled, especially since I've been sensitized by the many adaptation discussions and debates here on TORn.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!"


Reptile
Rivendell


Dec 19 2007, 8:13pm

Post #5 of 21 (279 views)
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I agree, but I have some concerns [In reply to] Can't Post

I have mixed feelings about the filmability of The Hobbit. I think the story is great, and I particularly like the way it flows from action sequences to thoughtful interludes. What Iím having trouble with is that the story is told more as a childrenís tale, with the somewhat talking-down narration. On the one hand, I like the narration, and I think it would be great to preserve that in the movie. But I think it would be kind of off-putting for adult audiences. If thereís a way to handle this, Iím sure Peter can figure it out.

"If you listen closely, you can hear the gods laughing."


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 8:22pm

Post #6 of 21 (285 views)
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The Hobbit is more than rich enough. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the greatest of filmmakers, Satyajit Ray, once wrote that a long short story is the ideal source for adaptation to feature film length. Novels are actually too long and rich to adapt without loss. R.W. Fassbinder's film version of Berlin Alexanderplatz is sixteen hours long, and still doesn't include everything from the 600-page novel. So filmmakers have to subtract from, not add to, The Hobbit, unless they plan to turn it into a ten-hour film. And the book is plentifully rich: when Tolkien began writing LotR, he wrote to his publisher that he was worried he'd already used up all the characterizations and themes in creating the earlier book. Certainly LotR is plentifully richer, and deeper: that is precisely the reason that the films had to cut out so much of Tolkien's complexity. A filmmaker truly sensitive to Tolkien's work should have no trouble find more than enough to work with in his 1937 masterpiece.

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Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 8:31pm

Post #7 of 21 (268 views)
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Ah, but.... [In reply to] Can't Post

A filmmaker truly sensitive to Tolkien's work should have no trouble find more than enough to work with in his 1937 masterpiece.

This is the crux of the issue, isn't it?

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!"


Curious
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 8:45pm

Post #8 of 21 (263 views)
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Maybe they should turn it into three films, then three more films for the gap years! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think The Hobbit presents all kinds of challenges, especially when filmed after LotR is already in everyone's minds, and they expect a prequel.


Lunamoth
Rohan

Dec 19 2007, 9:23pm

Post #9 of 21 (272 views)
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Elfy differences [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote

I, myself, am wondering if they are going to be putting in the 'tra la la la' elf song from Rivendell. They can just translate it into Sindarin and have the elves sing it all slowly... Laugh


Oh yes, and I do recall the Elves in the Hobbit being much more child-like and silly than in LOTR, as would be most appropriate when telling a story to children.

If Elves can get so drunk they pass out, allowing the dwarves to escape as they did in the Hobbit, it sort of negates the extra scenes wherein Gimli and Legolas get into a contest over who can better hold their liquor.


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 19 2007, 10:32pm

Post #10 of 21 (250 views)
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Actually... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I recall a pre-FOTR interview in which Jackson said he was sort of glad that they weren't able to settle the problems with the rights to The Hobbit. (They'd originally intended to film it first.) He considered the story of The Hobbit too linear and simple to be challenging as a film project. Of course, now he's obviously quite eager to get at it.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.Ē



Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea


Dec 19 2007, 10:51pm

Post #11 of 21 (253 views)
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Legolas was bluffing [In reply to] Can't Post

About the drinking contests and whatnot; he is a pro.

After all, the Dorwinion wine that the elves drink in the Hobbit is much, much stronger than anything men can endure. Legolas was just pretending he was unfamiliar with it, and the ale they were giving him was in reality nothing to what he drinks at home ;)

At least, that's my take on it. I shall never forget the drunk guard and butler.

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GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Dec 19 2007, 11:44pm

Post #12 of 21 (246 views)
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Even Tolkien couldn't do it. [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean I've read somewhere that he couldn't successfully reconcile the tone and plot of The Hobbit with LOTR. After he wrote LOTR, he tried to come up with ways to make The Hobbit consistent with his later work. He never felt he succeeded.

Personally, I donít have a problem with the tra-la-la-lally. As Iíve said here before, The Wizard of Oz had the singing munchkins, and itís one of the most beloved movies of all time. Of the singing Elves, Reptile writes further down in this thread, ďBut I think it would be kind of off-putting for adult audiences.Ē Must Jackson make a movie for adult audiences? If so does having whimsical elements mean adult audiences cannot appreciate the movie? Maybe the world has indeed changed, but I hope Iím a romantic realist.

~~~~~~~~

Formerly known as GaladrielTX

(This post was edited by Galadriel on Dec 19 2007, 11:44pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 11:51pm

Post #13 of 21 (250 views)
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He rewrote the first chapters in "LotR" mode, c. 1960. [In reply to] Can't Post

They were finally published earlier this year as part of The History of "The Hobbit", John Rateliff's two-part study of The Hobbit manuscripts. Only a few people here have read that book yet, but more than a few seem to expecting it for Christmas. I haven't read them myself, but by all accounts Tolkien gave up, though not without writing some fascinating tidbits: The Forsaken Inn at last explained!

Nice point about The Wizard of Oz songs. When I was a kid, my family used to visit once a year with friends who owned a room full of musical instruments, including a player piano. After dinner the piano rolls would come out for a couple hours of singalong, concluding each time with a "Wizard of Oz" singthrough. I loved it.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Dec 20 2007, 12:00am

Post #14 of 21 (223 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was going to repeat my Wizard of Oz theory till someone said something nice about it. ;o)

~~~~~~~~

Formerly known as GaladrielTX


Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea


Dec 20 2007, 2:48am

Post #15 of 21 (205 views)
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Ooh, the Forsaken Inn? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh my. It looks like I need to add something else to my list.

I'd love to read these re-written chapters, especially if they explain some more elements. I'll have to go to Borders and see if they have it there.

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Curious
Half-elven


Dec 20 2007, 12:20pm

Post #16 of 21 (197 views)
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Not that eager. [In reply to] Can't Post

According to the WETA spokesman, it was Jackson who was reluctant to direct. The studios were willing to wait.


merklynn
Lorien

Dec 20 2007, 2:22pm

Post #17 of 21 (173 views)
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Why Jackson is interested now [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...I recall a pre-FOTR interview in which Jackson said he was sort of glad that they weren't able to settle the problems with the rights to The Hobbit. (They'd originally intended to film it first.) He considered the story of The Hobbit too linear and simple to be challenging as a film project. Of course, now he's obviously quite eager to get at it.



I think one of the reasons Jackson is eager now, is that MGM liked his idea of a two movie deal, allowing him to indulge himself with bridge material. He's talked about that idea for a while and now NL and MGM are basically letting him do it because it means more money for them and more satisfaction for Jackson.


Lunamoth
Rohan


Dec 20 2007, 2:45pm

Post #18 of 21 (171 views)
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Bluffing [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Legolas was just pretending he was unfamiliar with it, and the ale they were giving him was in reality nothing to what he drinks at home ;)

At least, that's my take on it. I shall never forget the drunk guard and butler.


Ah, bluffing! Hehe... fair enough explanation for me. :)

Never trust an elf! Evil


Curious
Half-elven


Dec 20 2007, 4:37pm

Post #19 of 21 (143 views)
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I agree. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ostadan
Rivendell

Dec 20 2007, 6:12pm

Post #20 of 21 (136 views)
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Fa-la-li-lolly [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[

I, myself, am wondering if they are going to be putting in the 'tra la la la' elf song from Rivendell. They can just translate it into Sindarin and have the elves sing it all slowly... Laugh


It is possible to interpret the Fa-la-li-lolly stuff as Bilbo's attempt to transcribe Sindarin, a language that he knew nothing of at the time. As you know, Bilbo's account of his adventure was not entirely accurate (especially the chapter entitled 'Riddles in the Dark').

This might even be possible to represent quite effectively in the film. Suppose that the filmmakers decide to stress Bilbo's growth from a rather silly homebody into someone who understands the Wide World much better. On the outgoing journey, the Elves' song would sound to Bilbo - and be portrayed - as the silly fa-la stuff he wrote in his journal. On the homeward bound version, the Elves might be singing the same song, but transformed - the fa-las are now Sindarin, the harmonies more subtle, etc. Bilbo now understands the Elves better. (PJ: I am available for consultation on this film. No charge.)


Curious
Half-elven


Dec 20 2007, 6:38pm

Post #21 of 21 (185 views)
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Could Bombadil's poetry also be a botched translation?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

 
 

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