Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Well, They Are Back

Following up on previous reports to the contrary, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are back onboard for the Hobbit movie.

Two things in that press release that trouble me:
  1. A Hobbit sequel is in the works as well.
  2. Jackson and Walsh are acting as executive producers. There's no word on whether they're going to adapt the book as they did for The Lord of the Rings, or whether Jackson is going to direct the films.
To be honest, I don't care that much about The Hobbit and whether it gets a decent film treatment, but I'd hate to see Jackson and Walsh wasting their time. One King Kong was bad enough.

(On a personal note, I realize it's been quiet around these parts. That may not change until the end of the month--though obviously the end-of-year roundups will appear on schedule--but I have lots of good stuff planned for January.)


paul said...

How depressing. What I read is that the first movie will be the actual Hobbit, and the second will be an in-between movie bridging the Hobbit with Fellowship.

Peter Jackson and Co. have no subtlety for Tolkien's works. Courtesy, nobility, intelligence? Out the window. Look for this turkey to concentrate the bulk of the three hours on the battle of the five armies.

Or, as other more worthy souls have put it, yet another "battle that ate the film."

Joliet said...

I think the only way to enjoy LOTR-the-film is to completely forget that there's such a book, and maybe have some drinks beforehand. I expect the same will be true for the Hobbit. However, weirdly enough, I think that there's a chance that the Hobbit sequel will be a better movie, because there's no actual book to cram into an X-minutes treatment. I don't think it'll actually be a Very Good Movie, but it can be less stressed and more well-formed.

Abigail Nussbaum said...

I should probably say that I liked Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings very much. It's by no means a perfect adaptation, but more of a variant on Tolkien's story - sometimes worse than the original, sometimes better, often just as good, but always a work in its own right that manages to create the same sense of grandeur, grief, and glory that I associate with the novel, and clearly driven by a deep affection for it. Which, I think, is in some ways a more difficult task than a merely faithful adaptation. If Jackson were attached to direct and/or adapt The Hobbit, I'd be more excited about this project.

Carl V. said...

If one has spent any time at all watching the many wonderful documentaries about the making of the films on the extended edition DVDs, it is impossible to say that Peter Jackson and all those involve didn't have the utmost respect for J.R.R. Tolkien the man, for his works, and for the artistic interpretations of his works that had come before them.

That being said, I am worried about what these films may be like with Jackson being less involved in their making than he was in the LOTR trilogy. I'm taking a wait and see attitude.

And to continue to negate any sense of credibility that I may have, I have to say I liked King Kong. It was a film made in the only way that a homage to the original pulp film could be made. It has pulp sensibilities and is alot of fun.

paul said...

Certainly there are elements of the movies that hit the mark, and I enjoyed certain scenes for what they were.

The work done on the films come off as a homage in the DVDs. It also stands as a testament to the sheer amount of workhours crunching special effects and scenes into shape. I don't know if I found that a good thing.

My objection comes from the direction that the LotR films are nowhere near good film-making, let alone a good adaptation or even in the spirit of Tolkien.

A good place to start for understanding how mangled the films are would be here: http://arthedain.netfirms.com/

It's a hard position I find myself in, being an all-out naysayer to the films, as so many people found them genuinely thrilling. As joliet said, if one has a stiff drink and lowers one's expectations, then yes. I can let myself watch the scrubbing bubbles of the dead, or radioactive Galadriel without laughter.

I can't help but think PJ and Co. being removed from the actual hands on work might be a good thing. There's always the chance it'll be good in spite of itself.

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