So Peter Jackson's The Hobbit is retaining a part of Tolkien's novel that I thought would surely be left on the cutting room floor: The singing. Courtesy of The One Ring.net: "Thirteen Singing Dwarves and a Very Funny Hobbit".
From the article:
Many fans have been wondering whether 13 dwarves would become a generic mass in the film, or whether they would be fleshed out in the script to have individual personalities.
Dwarf actors William Kirchner and Peter Hambleton spoke on that: “We are thirteen distinct and strong personalities – but we are an ensemble as well”.
Speaking of ensemble, the dwarves confirmed they’d be doing their own singing. “It’s all staying very close to the book – yes, there WILL be singing.”
I've got to say that this is rather heartening after the less than stellar news I'd heard about this "Itaril" character. Although it morphs into a rather serious tale by the end, The Hobbit is much more lighthearted and whimsical than The Lord of the Rings. As such I'm glad they're keeping the singing, even if it's just "Far over the misty mountains cold; To dungeons deep and caverns cold." The deep-throated dwarven song in the dark of Bag End is one of my favorite scenes in the novel.
As I've said before I’ll be there on the opening night of The Hobbit, hoping that everyone involved in its making has the sense to hew closely to Tolkien’s story. It’s a simple formula, and therein lies success.
I'm looking forward to this as well.
After the LotR movies, I have zero faith in Jackson and company to deliver a cinematic version of The Hobbit that bears more than a passing resemblance to its source, but I'm nevertheless gladdened to hear there will be singing in the film. The lack of songs in the LotR movies was one of the things I most keenly missed, so I take it as a good sign that the same mistake isn't being made again.
After the LotR movies, I have zero faith in Jackson and company to deliver a cinematic version of The Hobbit that bears more than a passing resemblance to its source
I have much more positive take on the LOTR films (I have a review here, if you're interested):
That said, I hope (and it appears) that Jackson has the sense to not simply make The Hobbit into LOTR: The Prequel. Though seemingly a small thing, the singing to me is at least some confirmation that The Hobbit is quite different in tone to LOTR, at least until the latter third or so.
Other than a few minor missteps (I'm thinking of the spotlight eye of Mordor and the overuse of slo-mo at the very end, which kills rather than heightens the emotion) I loved the LOTR films. But this news of Itaril makes me quite nervous! Fan fiction indeed.
I think the singing would be much easier to implement in The Hobbit than The Lord of the Rings. Think about it: thirteen dwarves singing roaring refrains sounds exactly like what people might expect dwarves to do. Having Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli break into song might have stretched credulity for some, but the sense of community and camaraderie among the dwarves wouldn't.
My guess is that the tone of the film will be like the early scenes of the Shire in Fellowship, though hopefully a bit more dwarfy. Like Mal, I'm not expecting this to be my interpretation of Tolkien, but I can hope it'll be a fun film in its own right.
I'm thrilled about this of course.. The whole "unexpected party" chapter is probably my favorite bit of writing of all time.
Chip the glasses, crack the plates, thats what Bilbo Baggins hates.
I'm envisioning a frenzy of CGI cups and plates being hurled around the room and bilbo's head by a horde of dwarfs doing their best flying karamazov brothers imitation.
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