Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cimmerian sighting: High hopes and black fears for Del Toro's The Hobbit

Casting for The Hobbit has apparently begun, the news of which means that I’m back to split feelings of incredible exhilaration, and a terrible, impending doom. The Hobbit was my introduction to fantasy literature and made me a lifetime reader, both of the fantasy genre and of literature in general. It’s an important, central work for me and for many others.

While of course we’ll always have the book, regardless of what we get in the final film product, my fervent hope is that producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo Del Toro get the movie right. It’s too important to screw up.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site.

7 comments:

David J. West said...

Brian

I am also wanting to see the most vocal of all Tolkiens troll's. And given Del-Toro's love of him I wouldn't mind seeing Ron Perlman as Beorn.

One thing you didn't address is where are they going to break the film in half?

Once the party escapes the Misty Mountains? The rescue by the Eagles? Or perhaps a good cliffhanger-when the dwarves are imprisoned by the elves.

For the pretty boy aspect you briefly mentioned they could reasonably throw in a Legolas cameo.

My own opinion here I really hope that female dwarf is a red herring, I know "They" say movies need a female character, but the book has stood up very well without one-why mess with a winning formula?

Not gonna argue that they do mess with it though.

That GM said...

Absolutely brilliant read (over at the Cimmerian). Tnx so much for another excuse to read about Hobbits and not do 'sensible work' this grey December-day.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Great break-down, Brian. I can't imagine how they could screw this movie up - as you say the book is perfectly filmic, with the ups, downs, and reversals all needed for the medium. It's interesting how a few books like this (Treasure Island is another in this filmic mold) seem to stump filmmakers. I should think all the tough work is done!

Maybe it's a director problem - putting a 'stamp' on it and letting one's ego get in the way of an already perfect film story. That's the only pitfall I can see here - del Toro might want his Hobbit to be noticeably "different" than Jackson's, and in doing so, screw it up by erring too much in one direction or another.

Brer said...

Back on November 9 I published a joke blog entry (at http://brer-powerofbabel.blogspot.com)on the casting of Dawn French as Bombur, thinking it outlandish, but rather in character for Phillipa Boyens. Now I feel queasy.

Just to make a suggestion, I think Colin Firth would make a good Bilbo.

Brian Murphy said...

David: Good question on where the film should break. I'm thinking after they are rescued by the eagles ("Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire"). That would allow the second film to start off with Beorn and then on into Mirkwood. But then Beorn may get cut because part 2 wouldn't start with the requisite "bang."

Damn, I'm worrying about Beorn too much.

The GM: Thanks man!

Eric: That's probably the danger here, Del Toro wanting to put his stamp on the project and make it "his." Like bringing any novel to the screen, he's going to have to do some adapting and modifying. But he should take a cue from Jackson's films, the best parts of which were straight out of Tolkien, undiluted and unedited.

Brer: I would not have thought of Colin Firth, but that just might work. I haven't seen a lot of him, but he seems to have a good sense of humor and English-ness, which is a + for the role.

M. Gray said...

I am stoked to see this film. Are you a Peter Jackson fan? I don't think I could choose a better producer for this.

Brian Murphy said...

M. Gray: I do like Peter Jackson and, despite my reservations, I'm obviously stoked too.

Here’s a link to a review I wrote about The Lord of the Rings films a while back.