Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good news on The Hobbit front: "Sequel" idea nixed

So if you haven't already heard the news, Empire Movie News is reporting that Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson have nixed the idea for a "bridge" film between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The revised plan is to do just The Hobbit, albeit broken up into two films. You can read the story here at Empireonline.

As you may recall, back when The Hobbit (film) was originally announced, del Toro and crew had planned on two films: The Hobbit, as well as a hazy sequel, the latter to be based on Tolkien's loose notes of the 60 years in between The Hobbit and the start of The Fellowship of the Ring.

This idea is now off the table, which in my opinion is a Very Good Thing. With all due respect to del Toro and Jackson--talented filmmakers both--creating their own stories of Middle Earth was a recipe for disaster. Tolkien's imitators are legion, and none of his literary successors in my opinion have come close to equalling the unique feel of Middle Earth or its mythic depth. I was skeptical of this sequel business from the get-go and I'm glad to see it's fallen through (I was picturing some ham-fisted quest storyline with cameos by every single actor in the LOTR films, and a half-assed Sauron origin story tacked on).

There will be complaints that The Hobbit does not need to be made into two films, it's a money grab by New Line Cinema, etc. There may be some padding needed to make two complete films, but hell, I'll gladly fork down the dollars to watch them both. I also note that although The Hobbit is only 280-odd pages, there's a whole lot of adventure and events crammed between its covers. I think you could make a nice clean break after Bilbo recovers the ring and he and the dwarves emerge from the Misty Mountains.

But then again, this is coming from someone who'd give his eyeteeth to see a full-on Silmarillon and Children of Hurin done in the exact spirit of the books. Maybe one day...

6 comments:

noisms said...

You could probably make about a dozen films out of the Silmarillon!

Splitting the Hobbit in two is probably a good idea. I hope they keep both halves below two hours though. My bladder couldn't stand yet another 3-hour epic.

Falze said...

woohoo! awesome news!

Welleran said...

Very good news! I second the call for a Silmarillion and/or Hurin movie.

Brian Murphy said...

It goes without saying, but I'd gladly watch a dozen Silmarillion films, too.

Jim Henry said...

What might work well, for both Tolkien purists and people familiar only with the Jackson LOTR films, is to do a Silmarillion movie adapting 3-4 of the best stories from the Silmarillion with a frame story involving Bilbo telling the stories to Frodo, Sam, Pippin & Merry at Rivendell. Canonically Bilbo wrote & recited his poem about Earendil during the Rivendell episode.

Kind of like Dickens framing The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge with a story about Sam Weller & Mr. Pickwick et alia telling stories...?

Otherwise, I'd prefer to see one film per story.

Brian Murphy said...

Jim--not a bad idea for filming The Silmarillion.