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PJ Facebook comments & The Silmarillion

Cillendor
Lorien

Aug 6 2013, 5:42pm

Post #1 of 21 (747 views)
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PJ Facebook comments & The Silmarillion Can't Post

If you read the comments of Peter Jackson's recent posts about wrapping up production on The Hobbit, you'll see a large amount of them are requests for him to film a series on The Silmarillion. I think most of us would agree that this idea is preposterous, not to mention impossible. But I have another solution for those who want to see what is arguably the greatest book on Middle-earth come to life.

I think an animated series would be the best route to go. It could be all CGI, like Star Wars: The Clone Wars but stylized for Tolkien, or it could be traditional in more of a highly detailed anime format. Either way, I think that this would give the writers a lot more freedom to follow the text as it's written and tell the complete story.

The problem with making a movie out of The Silmarillion is that there are only a few stories that could be adapted for a 2- or 3-hour movie. Most of the stories have characters who can't be introduced without taking extensive liberties, and most of them draw out and carry on into further events. Also, there are few happy endings to appeal to non-fans.

Thus, I think an animated project like this would be a good way to give hardcore fans a visual representation of The Silmarillion without having major revisions to make the story fit within the limitations of cinema.

I would hope that if this is ever done, whoever does it would keep the character designs for people like Galadriel, Elrond, Isildur, Elendil, Gil-galad, and Círdan consistent with the Peter Jackson franchise, if only because it just makes sense.

If such a thing were successful, the first season could tackle the First Age (or depending on how detailed it gets and how long each episode is, half of the First Age). The second season would then finish the First Age or just be about the Second Age. There isn't a lot to go off of here, but there is Aldarion and Erendis from Unfinished Tales, and Helge Fauskganger's outline for a Westernesse movie could be adapted for this format. The second season might still run short, but with a little bit of work I think they could draw this out into ten episodes.

The third and final season would be dedicated to the Third Age. There are many stories here to tell. The Battle of the Last Alliance, the friendship between Rohan and Gondor, and the Coming of the Wizards are just three. And if they writers wanted, they could even do their own versions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to finish up the series.

All of this would require creating extra dialog. They couldn't be 100% faithful to the text. But by not catering to a movie theater audience, they would have a lot more freedom to stick to the events in the story.

The storytelling style that I think would work best is the one employed in Star Wars: Clone Wars the microseries. The first two "seasons" were short clips about five minutes each with very little dialog. They just served to show what the characters were doing. The last season had more of a plot to it. The last frame of the final episode led directly into the opening of Revenge of the Sith.

It may very well be that most or all of you think this is a terrible idea and just shoot it down. That is okay. Please just do so politely and explain why you think that way. I've just had this idea for a while now and didn't know where else to share it so that someone who could do something with it would see it.

Thank you.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Aug 6 2013, 6:42pm

Post #2 of 21 (400 views)
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The Silmarillion: Chronicles of The Elder Days [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd read a Silmarillion Comic Series!

I'd probably not watch it on TV though.......

Comics are the way to go!!!!! IMHO


malickfan
Gondor


Aug 6 2013, 6:51pm

Post #3 of 21 (396 views)
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Personally I'm (almost)completely against any more of Tolkien's books being adapated...but if they had to do it then Animation would be the way to go [In reply to] Can't Post

I won't bore you with the details as I have made my views on The Silmarillion being adapted very clear numerous times (put simply it dosen't need to happen, and if did I dread to see how they would commercialise it- to be brutally honest the notion of someone writing loosely inspired fan fiction based on books left unfinished by Tolkien isn't one I agree with)...but I too have long thought an animated take would be interesting to see in principle-it would make the tone of the book, reiligous imagery and timeframes much easier to put across and wouldn't have to pander to Peter Jackson fans (no offense intended) or the 'average' moviegoer-from the animation alone it would be clear its a very different beast, it would certainly be a bold move-if your going to adapt such a impossible book you might as well go all out.

The works of Hayao Myasaki (Studio Ghibli) or the 'Tale of the Three Brothers' segment in Deathly Hallows Part 1 as visual templates could be interesting to see, and I guess a small part of me would welcome the idea of someone else having a shot at the material (providing they do something more interesting this time) if The Estate had approval on scripts and marketing.


But I seriously doubt the Tolkien estate would grant the rights to the other books (especially as Tolkien didn't seem very enthused about the animated film of LOTR in pre-production during the 60's, or drama in general) I doubt any cinematic or televsion adaption could be faifthful, or popular enough to warrant the high budget (lets face it-it wouldn't really benefit the book anyway, a film would give the imagery to the audience for them, simplfiy or expand on the books themes and language, making it pale or boring in comparison-would you really fancy reading through Tolkien's archaic complicated, yet barely sketched narrative after watching a fully fleshed out action blockbuster? I think not), and I dread to see The Silmarilion commercialised to the same level as TH or LOTR, (personally I don't fancy collecting Feanor and Morwen action figures at Burger King).


Whoops...I guess I did ramble on in boring detail. Oh well them's me thoughts Wink

The Talking Purse is Awesome, deal with it.

But he isn't quite as aweome as Cirdan.


malickfan
Gondor


Aug 6 2013, 6:53pm

Post #4 of 21 (383 views)
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Actually that's not a bad (or overly painful idea)! [In reply to] Can't Post

A 100% faifthful graphic novel version of The Silmarillion Ilustrated by Ted Nasmith might be bearable Wink

The Talking Purse is Awesome, deal with it.

But he isn't quite as aweome as Cirdan.


CuriousG
Valinor


Aug 6 2013, 6:56pm

Post #5 of 21 (387 views)
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Welcome, Cillendor [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the news about PJ's FB page, along with your view on how the movies could be made. We're a generally polite bunch, so no fear of being snapped at!

I think many people agree that even a trilogy of 3-hour movies wouldn't do justice to The Silmarillion, but certainly a TV series could with all that extra time, and certain chapters of The Sil would fit neatly into a one-hour episode, whereas others would be multi-part episodes. Or are you suggesting this be a movie-only option?

I personally would not be a huge fan of anime for this adaptation since I think it appears simplistic, whereas Tolkien's world implies great detail, but Star Wars-style (or PJ-style) cgi would be great. Breaking it up by Ages initially seems appealing, but I think there's so much in the First Age that I would have it cover 2 seasons, then the other Ages would get 1 season each. I think the 2nd Age could be filled out with more information on the creation of the Rings of Power, what Sauron is up to in MEarth (quite a bit, while Numenor was looking the other way), what happened in Khazad-Dum, and lots about Numenor, both on its island and in its forays into MEarth. The 3rd Age, of course, has plenty to keep it going, so maybe it could be 2 seasons also.

I agree that especially the First Age is dark, but as for fan appeal, I find Game of Thrones pretty dark, yet it has a big fan base, so I think all the tragedies of The Sil could win viewers. (I personally feel beat up by the end of the book, but I enjoy it in spite of that. And it does something right for me to get so involved in it that I do feel beat up and don't idly and indifferently wonder who will die next.)

Yes, there would have to be a lot of adaptations, and a lot of characters would have to have dialogue and stories invented for them. From reading so much rage on The Hobbit board, I'd predict the same for The Sil, and I'm a purist myself, but I see no alternative. Fingon, for example, is High King of the Noldor, and his death in the Nirnaeth is a great blow to the whole war effort, but who was he, really, and why should we care about him? He's just one example of someone needing a lot of invented development to make the narrative work for viewers. Even as a book lover, I'd be disappointed if he received the same scant attention in a film version that he does in the book. "Look, there's Fingon! Oh, now he's dead."

Thanks again for sharing you thoughts on how this could take shape. Now if only someone could get the movie rights...


Morthoron
Gondor


Aug 6 2013, 7:29pm

Post #6 of 21 (383 views)
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It will be a cold day in Angband... [In reply to] Can't Post

before anyone gets the film rights for any further projects based on the works of Tolkien. And I am not altogether certain that will change with Christopher Tolkien's eventual demise.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



elostirion74
Rohan

Aug 6 2013, 8:36pm

Post #7 of 21 (352 views)
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an individual story is probably a better option [In reply to] Can't Post

It´s interesting to hear about idea, but personally I think the story of the Silmarillion is too large and complicated to fit the format of a series. Even a series, whatever the style, need some group of characters which you can follow for most of the time and the Silmarillion doesn´t really fit that bill. I also fear that the power of the stories would end up being diluted as the series progressed.

I don´t particularly feel the need for an adaptation of The Silmarillion, but if any kind of adaptation was made based on the material, I think the best option would be to single out just one individual story adapted as one or several films, three at most. The most obvious and the best developed story for such a purpose is that of the children of Húrin, since it´s a powerful, tragic family saga with a restricted set of distinctive characters you can follow.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Aug 7 2013, 12:51am

Post #8 of 21 (336 views)
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Series yes, animation no. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never seen animation work of the quality that would be appropriate for the essential stories from the Sil. But I completely agree that some sort of series (e.g. the kind of high-quality work that HBO does, although there may not be enough sex for HBO) would be better than even several movies.

Besides, when the far-distant day comes when the Tolkien Estate licenses The Sil, film technology will be advanced enough to handle it.








Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Aug 7 2013, 1:00am

Post #9 of 21 (328 views)
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High-quality, full animation is expensive [In reply to] Can't Post

You seldom find full animation used outside of animated features and theatrical shorts, especially these days when theatrical shorts have all but died out. At the same time, there are animation studios (mostly in the Far East) that turn out terrific limited animation as long as they are provided a sufficient budget. Studio 4°C is arguably the current leader of the pack.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 7 2013, 2:47am

Post #10 of 21 (354 views)
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Have you seen... [In reply to] Can't Post

this? Stunning, and definitely something I'd love to see finished.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Aug 7 2013, 4:45am

Post #11 of 21 (322 views)
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Similar but..... [In reply to] Can't Post

A bit more realistic in style.

I'd LOVE to see a manga version.


Terazed
Bree

Aug 7 2013, 5:33am

Post #12 of 21 (309 views)
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The old fashioned route [In reply to] Can't Post

To do a film based on the Silmarillion there really is only one version that can work. Pick a character and start the story in the middle just before that character undergoes an event of universal human significance. There are many stories in the Silmarillion that could be used. Use the story to explore the character's response to this universal situation and add backstory to give significance. It is a formula that has worked since at least the Illiad and that Tolkien, as a student of mythology, would have understood. It might have even been the way Tolkien thought as he put together the many stories that make up the Silmarillion over the decades.

I think you might not all agree on the movie/movies that are produced because in the end mythology is a very personal thing and each indivual finds different things in themselves that are brought out by the story and a director in the end has to choose a direction on his/her own beliefs.


demnation
Rohan

Aug 7 2013, 7:26am

Post #13 of 21 (330 views)
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In my ideal world [In reply to] Can't Post

there would be no Silmarillion film or show of any kind, much less an animated one. And for the foreseeable future, it seems my ideal world will continue to exist.

"In the beginning the Universe was created.This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Aug 7 2013, 11:36am

Post #14 of 21 (305 views)
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I would love to see the Silmarillion bought to life on film [In reply to] Can't Post

TV would probably be the best medium, but only if it was faithful to the writing unlike most of what we have. So sorry no PJ and Co. I get the feeling many peoples concerns for a Silmarillion on film are of a hatchet job.

I believe much of Tolkiens concern about translating his work to film was due to a lack of technological means, probably unrealised at the time, although having the means does not guarantee a successful end result.


malickfan
Gondor


Aug 7 2013, 11:52am

Post #15 of 21 (314 views)
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Put it much better (and shorter than I did) [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
there would be no Silmarillion film or show of any kind, much less an animated one. And for the foreseeable future, it seems my ideal world will continue to exist.



Why stop there, why not make a miniseries of Mr Bliss, or an Anime of The Fall of Arthur?

I personally hope (at the moment anyway) TABA is the last Tolkien adapatation made in my lifetime (And I'm 21)...

Of course if such an adaptation would feature the Talking Purse prominently I (and DanielLB) would probably be much more enthusiastic Wink


The Talking Purse is Awesome, deal with it.

But he isn't quite as aweome as Cirdan.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 7 2013, 9:58pm

Post #16 of 21 (269 views)
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It's not my preferred style [In reply to] Can't Post

But I still think it's excellent work, and definitely great to see all of those scenes from The Silmarillion, especially those that don't get much depiction.

An Alan Lee rendition would be perfect for me.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Cillendor
Lorien

Aug 8 2013, 4:06am

Post #17 of 21 (245 views)
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Thanks for the warm welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pretty okay with more dialog and stories being added as long as it stays true to the characters. I follow several LOTR fanatics on tumblr who write headcanons for characters all the time, especially for the Noldor, and their stories are brilliant. They take what is known about a character and then get inside their heads in a way that is unreal. Their fanfics are partly why I want to see this project done, because nothing they write is out of line with what Tolkien could have written, so I'd love to see their ideas drawn out more in detail.

The first time I read through the book, I couldn't keep characters straight at all. Your example of Fingon is good because I had no idea who he was. It's still very hard to keep it all straight. I need to actually see the characters to remember them well. It's the same reason why I didn't really enjoy LOTR or The Hobbit until I had see LOTR and had a good mental image of everything going on.


Cillendor
Lorien

Aug 8 2013, 4:45am

Post #18 of 21 (256 views)
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The Children of Húrin [In reply to] Can't Post

would be great for that purpose. Honestly, if done correctly it could even make a pretty solid stand-alone, live-action film. It'd be hard to show an entire life in one movie, but I think it could be done. While I would hope for consistency with Jackson's designs for Elves and Dwarves and Orcs (if you can call the Orc designs consistent, haha), I'd like to see another director get a shot at it.


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Aug 8 2013, 11:04pm

Post #19 of 21 (231 views)
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But remember one thing [In reply to] Can't Post

This is from a film-maker who recently said that he enjoyed deviating from Tolkien. Well, all very well, but if he does undertake should a project as filming the Silmarillion, in this one he should at least show respect to the source material. Or he can do a movie of his own version of the world's creation. Or if he is going to do his own stuff whilst cutting out half of the original material, his made up bits had better be a lot better than some of the material he has come out with so far!


sam90
Lorien

Aug 10 2013, 9:14pm

Post #20 of 21 (218 views)
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Could work but.. [In reply to] Can't Post

It would be difficult to adapt The Silmarillion for it is a bundle of mythology and legends of the first age. Obviously whatever the way it would be done, it would not please everyone. Inevitably things would be left out, modified ect. I am not enthousiastic about an adaptation of The Silm but after seeing what has been done with Game Of Thrones which is a very good series, I think there is hope for those who wish The silm to be on screen some day... I come to think that David Benioff and D.B Weiss might be suitable candidate to achieve such a challenge. Though they wouldn't have Tolkien as Producer as they do have George R.R Martin working with them. There is other challenges to overcome though, such as convincing the Tolkien Estate that this is a good idea...


(This post was edited by sam90 on Aug 10 2013, 9:17pm)


Cillendor
Lorien

Aug 15 2013, 2:50am

Post #21 of 21 (167 views)
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I think by the time this ever happens, [In reply to] Can't Post

the Tolkien Estate will be in new hands and maybe a little friendlier toward the film industry. But going back to an animated series, I can't help but think of Star Wars: Clone Wars, the original Cartoon Network microseries. There was very little dialog. Most of the show was just action. The reason why I think this could work for The Silmarillion is because the book tends to tell what happens, not what everyone is thinking and saying as it happens. It would be very boring with real people acting, but if the art and music were done correctly and the pacing was right, I think it could be really successful.

 
 

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