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The Hobbit will now be made into three films: too much?

(109 Posts)
BelfastBloke Fri 17-Aug-12 19:30:14

Do you think this is solely a money-making exercise, or are you happy at so much bang for the buck?

Film One - up until the barrel escape
Film Two - all of Smaug and Laketown until his death
Film Three - Battle of Five Armies and its fallout

It's all extended because there's all the stuff in the LOTR Appendices timeline about the White Council and their suspicions about who the Necromancer might be, and then their attack on Dol Guldur and driving him out (SPOILER he later arises as Sauron in Mordor).

Is this the geekiest first post ever?

BelfastBloke Sat 15-Dec-12 10:02:18

I'm interested in this notion that the story is being 'stretched'.

Most people who haven't seen the film (and some reviewers who have) grumble that the filmmakers are putting in things which aren't in the novel, and are stretching the material.

It seems to me that it's a misconception based on the differences between novel and film.

When Tolkien writes, 'The Goblins chased the Dwarves and captured them', how much screen time should that chase take? Should it take the two seconds it takes to read that sentence? Or is it legitimately developed into a massive chase sequence - because we're watching an action film?

When Tolkien writes, "All the Dwarves grumbled and groaned, but eventually congratulated Bilbo", what does that mean? What do they actually say? And if the screenwriters are going to come up with things for them to say, isn't it better if each dwarf has his own character, so that what he says has some emotional heft (funny, sincere, etc)? Complaining that Tolkien never wrote Ori as a hippy, or whatever, is meaningless because he only sketched the personalities of a couple of the 13 dwarves, other than Thorin. But they have to have things to actually say.

When Tolkien doesn't really describe the Battle of the Five Armies, because Bilbo is knocked out, does that mean the filmmakers should not film the Battle? And if they do, how long should that battle take?

BelfastBloke Fri 14-Dec-12 08:13:56

Went to see the film last night.

Basically thought it was very good.

Trills is correct: "to fill 3 films (or even 2) they'll need to have a lot of stuff that was not in the book."

Most of this stuff - all based on Tolkien's 'The Quest of Erebor', 'Durin's Folk', and Appendices to LOTR - was executed excellently.

BelfastBloke Fri 21-Sep-12 13:10:29

You're right, Trillian. Good thing they do have lots of stuff that was not in the book, but was happening within the same timeframe as the events of the Hobbit.

I'm not saying it will work, I'm saying there's enough stuff that it could well work.

Obviously the studios want 3 films because of money, but there is enough stuff for three films to be justified artistically as well. How it's executed is another matter...

Skivvytomany Fri 21-Sep-12 08:36:00

Bloody autocorrect dh not hdtv

Skivvytomany Fri 21-Sep-12 08:35:00

Mmmmm aarogan and legolas. I think I need to watch lotr again just to remind myself of the storyline, honest it's got nothing to do with how gorgeous they are when they are dressed like that.
I'm looking forward to the hobbit but three parts, that's a long film. It's just reminded me of when we went to cinema to watch the first part and my HDTV went in a huff cos it never had a proper ending. He didn't know that it had three parts lol.

OatyBeatie Fri 21-Sep-12 08:28:14

The charm of the book is that it is just the tiny visible tip of a massive hidden iceberg of myth and history, so that the ring is just a trinket, and the journey is lighthearted. If you drag the iceberg into view you lose the story that was written and get a different story, which loses what was characteristic of the book in the first place.

Trills Fri 21-Sep-12 08:21:20

I am just repeating my assertion that to fill 3 films (or even 2) they'll need to have a lot of stuff that was not in the book.

BelfastBloke Thu 20-Sep-12 23:24:58

By that token: are you saying that, because the Hobbit was unconscious throughout the Battle of the Five Armies and it is therefore barely described in the book, the filmmakers should not film the battle?

Trills Thu 20-Sep-12 21:22:49

I don't remember all 13 dwarves having distinct personalities in the book...

BelfastBloke Thu 20-Sep-12 21:05:20

Oh well...

BelfastBloke Thu 20-Sep-12 09:57:00

Remember that all 13 dwarves will have individual characters, some of them comedic, and that will take a fair amount of screen time. Also Radagast, Bard, and Tauriel will be established as somewhat important characters. And there are three named Goblins, who might get a bit of backstory.

Also remember any of these can be turned into long action sequences, in a movie. Battles especially.

Hobbit pt1: An Unexpected Journey
-the trolls
- Misty Mountains
- goblins
- finding The Ring
- Riddles in the Dark
- battle in GoblinTown and Killing the Great Goblin
- Gollum
- Wargs battle
- eagles,
- House of Radagast
- House of Beorn
- entering Mirkwood
- capture by giant spiders and rescue
- locked up by Wood-elves

Hobbit pt 2: The Desolation of Smaug
- elf-guard characterisation (love interest between Legolas and Tauriel?)
- escape by barrels
- The Company arrives at LakeTown and rest there for a while
- characterisation of the scheming Mayor
- characterisation of Bard as a major character including back story
- flashbacks to the Battle of Azanulzibar (Goblins v Thorin's ancestors)
- journey through Dale to the Lonely Mountain
- finding the secret door
- Bilbo's encounters with Smaug the Dragon.
- establishment of Radagast's character
- Radagast discovers the Nazgul have been released from tombs
- Gandalf investigates who the Necromancer is in Dol Guldur.
- Meetings of the White Council
- suspecting Saruman
- Battle of Dol Guldur
- Sauron flees to Mordor

Hobbit pt 3: There and Back Again
- Smaug attacks Lake Town
- Bard kills Smaug
- Bard becomes ruler after loads of political strife with the Mayor
-The hunt for the Arkenstone in Smaug's treasure
- elves and men make demands
- Dwarves fortify the mountain and send for reinforcements
- the dwarf army arrives, led by Dain Ironfoot
- Bilbo tries to use the Arkenstone to broker peace
- the Battle of Five Armies
- Beorn turns the tide
- Bilbo returns home via Rivendell.
- Sauron builds a new empire in Mordor

BelfastBloke Thu 20-Sep-12 09:33:07

You're wrong, Trills. And that's something I rarely think.

FrankelSaysRelax Thu 20-Sep-12 09:13:55

I think the reason it is being padded out is, much as with LOTR, they are filming stuff from various Appendixes to add to the back story.

It's been a very long time since I read The Hobbit, and I never managed LOTR, but there are plenty of sources to draw from for additional material.

Have you seen the production videos on YouTube? There are 8 now, each about 15 mins long. They're very informative and everyone looks to be having a blast!

Trills Thu 20-Sep-12 08:38:04

To fill 3 films they would (IMO) have to have more "extra stuff" than actual "The Hobbit".

It's a children's book. Not a particularly long one. There's not 2 films worth of stuff in the book itself.

OatyBeatie Thu 20-Sep-12 08:34:10

It's very odd, making into three films. A large part of the charm of it is that it is relatively slight, a simple children's story. The subtitle "There and Back again" captures that simplicity.

Perhaps the three instalments should be:

1. There ...
2. ... And Back Again
3. Milking the Franchise

BelfastBloke Thu 20-Sep-12 08:27:19

There are five different endings to the new trailer

The Gollum one is the best.

FrankelSaysRelax Wed 19-Sep-12 18:10:02

FYI, BC is playing Smaug (via motion capture) and the Necromancer.

Also, he is a sex god - FACT grin

FrankelSaysRelax Wed 19-Sep-12 18:05:12

New trailer released today.

BelfastBloke Sun 26-Aug-12 20:43:07

Hey JustSpiro I watched one of the production videos; it was quite fun actually.

The tiny actor who stands in for Bilbo (wasn't he in Willy Wonka film as ALL the Oompa Loompas?) said he wanted to play Legolas; and then at the very end of the video they have a fight sequence of him dressed as Legolas.

JustSpiro Sun 19-Aug-12 21:58:13

They don't give much away at all but it's really interesting to see all the stuff going on behind the scenes. Seeing John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) rock up on set to meet his 'dad' Gloin, was brilliant! grin

BelfastBloke Sun 19-Aug-12 21:33:42

No, I prefer speculating.

JustSpiro Sun 19-Aug-12 20:19:35

Richard Armitage (be still my beating heart!) who plays Thorin is a couple of inches shorter than GMcT in RL so he had to wear lifts in his shoes and PJ thought Thorin should be the tallest dwarf grin!

Have you been watching the production videos?

BelfastBloke Sun 19-Aug-12 12:22:06

Graham McTavish was in the most recent Rambo film, beating up Stallone.

Benedict Cumberbatch has got no chance.

JustSpiro Sat 18-Aug-12 08:55:04

The tallest dwarf actor, Graham McTavish, is 6' 4 in RL!

Belfast I am in awe of your Tolkien knowledge - I enjoyed the LOTR films but tbh my main interest in The Hobbit is the Thorin factor! grin

BelfastBloke Sat 18-Aug-12 07:38:49

With reference to our above discussion of Aragorn, here's a SPOILER-heavy discussion of his age from

How old is PJ’s Gollum? And what could that mean?

A guest post by Elpidha Lirgalad

Ever since the release of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, some eagle-eyed fans have been asking why it appears that no time passes at all between Bilbo’s 111th birthday party and Frodo’s departure from the Shire.

What does Tolkienlore say?

According to the dates that Tolkien gives in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, 17 years pass between Bilbo’s party in TA (Third Age) 3001 to Frodo’s departure in TA 3018. In between, Gandalf and Aragorn hunt Gollum, and Gandalf reads the scroll of Isildur in Minas Tirith in TA 3017 just before returning to the Shire to warn Frodo about the Ring.

In the film, however, none of the hobbits have aged a day since Bilbo’s party. Even Pippin, who, using Tolkien’s dates, would have been 11 years old at the time of the long-expected party.

Peter Jackson’s alternate timeline…

Now, new evidence appears to confirm that Jackson always intended to remove this seventeen-year gap. Instead, he seems to have shortened it to merely the time it would take Gandalf to race to Minas Tirith and back to the Shire.

This places the events of The Hobbit 60 years, not 77, before Frodo’s departure.

In two interviews, Andy Serkis, who masterfully portrays Gollum through performance capture, referenced a 60-year gap between Gollum’s appearances in The Hobbit and LOTR:

Spike TV. “Gollum as we know him…he’s a little bit hotter, and looks a bit cooler… he’s 600 years old; but in this he’s 540 years old.”
Empire magazine. “He has lived on his own in this cave in the Misty Mountains for about 400 years. Four hundred and forty years, to be precise — 60 years before Lord Of The Rings.”
Gollum’s first appearance in the events of LOTR is, by Tolkien’s timeline, in the year 3019. If his encounter with Bilbo was sixty years earlier, it would have taken place in TA 2959, not the Appendix B date of TA 2941.

A ripple effect through the timeline…

This change could have a ripple effect for other characters and events, most notably Aragorn.

According to Appendix B, Aragorn was born in TA 2931 and grew up in Rivendell. In TA 2956, “Aragorn meets Gandalf and their friendship begins,” and he leaves Rivendell one year later to begin “his great journeys and errantries.” To Tolkien, then, at the time of The Hobbit, Aragorn was 10 years old and living in Rivendell as Estel, without yet having any idea of his heritage.

In The Two Towers Extended Edition, film-Aragorn tells Éowyn that he is 87 years old; since this scene takes place in TA 3018, film-Aragorn’s birth year matches book-Aragorn’s in Tolkien’s timeline.

With the shift in dates referenced by Serkis, however, film-Aragorn could be 28 at the time of The Hobbit and could even have met Gandalf three years earlier and have already left Rivendell.

Although there has been no indication of an Aragorn or Estel casting in The Hobbit, it is possible that he could be referenced in some way. If Jackson stays consistent with his own timeline, at the very least, we should not expect to see a ten-year-old Estel in Rivendell.

Aragorn would be 28 and might even have already left Rivendell to begin his adventures.

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