Originally Posted by martok2112
Well, like I may have said before, they might not only be doing this just for big bucks and profit, but as I recall, it's been probably about some 10 years since RotK graced the big screen...and now, with this new movie, this prequel, PJ and company are probably thinking: "The fans have waited ten years for only one movie? That would seem like an injustice to them. Let's give them a substantial reward for their patience."
My roommate, who is a big time fan of the LotR books, and all others associated with them (The Hobbit, The Cimarillion....sp?) seems to think that one way Jackson could stretch out The Hobbit into a fairly decent trilogy is to utilize elements of The Cimarillion as backstory woven into scenes in The Hobbit. The Cimarillion, as I understand it, is not so much a novel to be read, but a source book of history and back story for Middle Earth.
Less the Silmarillion, more the Appendices of LotR and the Book of Lost Tales. Although they use the Silmarillion to flavour bits of the film, like where Radagast mentions that the giant spiders must be "the spawn of Ungoliant!" Ungoliant being the mother of all giant spiders, literally and figuratively. And also from the backstory of the Witch King of Angmar, whom they discuss when peering at the "Morgul blade".
Originally Posted by samwiseb
Well he seems to be doing a pretty impressive job with it so far.
Re the Silmarillion, I suppose you could think of it as a very distant prequel to the trilogy (unlike The Hobbit, which technically isn't a prequel having come first). However it's painted on such a broad multi-generational canvas that most of the time you can't really deal with it in visual terms. The size of it almost makes the second darkness of Suaron seem like a mere footnote by comparison (in fact the final chapter essentially covers the material that was prologue to the movie trilogy).
It's always interesting to me how fantasy stories allude to an even more magical or dangerous past then whatever is seen in the present story. I mean it's almost like "Well, okay, then why are you telling us this story instead of that one?" In the trilogy, things like the Balrog and Shelob are leftover relics from a time that predates even the War of the Ring. The implication being that Gandalf and his companions wouldn't even stand a chance of victory in a world where such things were actually commonplace. Well The Silmarillion is that larger world. Any one of its chapters could almost make a movie unto itself, if perhaps a made-for-TV movie at that. But I don't even think it's possible to adapt the whole thing. There are way too many characters, and very few speaking parts within the prose. There isn't even really a spectator's point of view; you're mostly dealing with maps and family tree diagrams just to keep yourself oriented. I've read the bloody thing twice and both times I've forgotten most of the characters and details. Maybe it's like reading all the compiled Greek myths as a history text compressed into one book. Turin Turambar is my favorite chapter, I think just because his character appeals to the devil's advocate side of my own personality.
Definitely couldn't adapt the whole thing, but there are definitely a good number of the stories that could have dramatised versions.
Originally Posted by MigueldaRican
Another criticism of the movie is the tangents. I wouldn't call them that, it's misleading. I will respect the criticism that it seems like they're doing to The Hobbit what they did with Iron-Man 2: a movie that could have been an awesome film if they didn't dedicate half of it to setting up for "The Avengers".
The difference between "Iron-Man 2" and "The Hobbit" (films) is that IM2, a shorter film than "Unexpected Journey", seemed confused about which plot to dedicate its time to. And thus far "The Hobbit" (films) is using the obligation of making longer, multiple films to include both the full content of "The Hobbit" books and still concentrate on material that makes the movies prequel setups to LotR.
I wouldn't go so far as to say Jackson is just taking ALL the Tolkien side stories and appendices and throwing them at the films whether relevant or not. When the film isn't dealing with "The Hobbit" plot it's dealing with the prequel setup for LotR and mostly using Gandalf and his frequent exits from the group to do so.
He's inventing a lot of scenes and dialogue but thankfully sticking to Tolkien's style while doing so. Unless you include the nitpick of naming a hedgehog Sebastian (which is another nitpick that I'll probably comment on at a later post).
He's invented scenes, but thankfully used mostly stuff that Tolkien had written after the Hobbit and LotR to do so. So I can forgive that.
The problem with the name Sebastien is that it is of Greek origin, and Tolkien mentions in the Appendices that he specifically avoided names of Greek or Latin origin because in Middle Earth the equivalent of Greek and Latin influences come from Elvish. (He broke this rule for some Hobbit names, which were mentioned only in a diminutive form - but he did stuff like changing "Sam" from a shortening of the Hebraic "Samuel" to a shortening of the decidedly more Anglo-Saxon "Samwise".) Sorry, I nitpicked on your behalf.