Peter Jackson would love to ruin The Hobbit


I adore the Lord of the Rings films, I really do. But I have always suspected that Peter Jackson would be the wrong person to direct an adaptation of The Hobbit, just because it’s such a different kind of story. And now, this interview at Ain’t It Cool News proves it:

If I was doing THE HOBBIT I’d try to get as many of the guys back as I could. I mean, there’s actually a role for Legolas in THE HOBBIT, his father features in it, obviously Gandalf and Saruman should be part of it. There’s things that you can do with THE HOBBIT to bring in some old friends, for sure. I have thought about it from time to time… Elrond, Galadriel and Arwen could all feature. Elves have lived for centuries. Part of the attraction would be working with old friends. I wouldn’t want to do it unless we could keep a continuity of cast. I have zero interest in directing a Gandalf who wasn’t Ian McKellen for instance. Strange to be even talking about it, for three years it’s been in this rights situation limbo. . . .

We think the two film idea is really smart. One of the problems with The Hobbit is that it is a fairly simple kids story, and doesn’t really feel like The Lord of the Rings. Tonally I mean. It’s always may be a little worried, but with two films that kinda gets easier. It allows for more complexity. At that implied stuff with Gandalf and the White Council and the return of Sauron could be fully explored.

That’s what we talked about this morning. Taking The Hobbit and combining it with all that intigue about Sauron’s rise, and the problems that has for Gandalf. It could be cool. That way, it starts feeling more like The Lord of the Rings and less like this kids book. You could even get into Gollum’s sneaking into Mordor and Aragorn protecting The Shire. That’s what we’d do. Love to work with Viggo again.

Yeesh. Why on earth would anybody want to turn The Hobbit into a mere prequel overloaded with nods to The Lord of the Rings? I mean, really. One of the whole points of The Lord of the Rings — the films, I mean, not the books — was that Frodo’s adventure was “quite different” from the sorts of adventures that Bilbo had had. Frodo’s adventure was much darker, less innocent, than the adventures that Bilbo had. So why would a film all about Bilbo’s adventures want to shoehorn all this darker stuff in there?

Add to this the fact that Jackson’s King Kong remake was seriously bloated, and pumped in all sorts of extraneous and unnecessary stuff for no good reason, and, well, there you go. We can assume a Jackson-directed The Hobbit would be more of the same.

(Hat tip to Jeffrey Overstreet at the Looking Closer Journal.)

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07310277677502627546 Jeremy Pierce

    Actually, what Jackson has in mind would remove the false impression that Bilbo’s adventures were as innocent as the book presents them as. Tolkien makes it very clear in the Lord of the Rings and in his unpublished work that the story of the Hobbit had become part of a much larger story that included an explanation of where Gandalf was when he disappeared and how it fit into the larger chronology, what the quest was about in ways that Bilbo didn’t at the time realize, how Gandalf had conceived of the very idea of it as part of the greater war against Sauron, and so on. I think it would be a tragedy if a Hobbit movie got made without the Council of the Wise storming Dol Guldur. A cameo by Legolas in his father’s palace wouldn’t be required, but I don’t think it would be a problem. Arwen in Rivendell might also be unproblematic, since she would have been there. Aragorn probably would have been as well, but I’m less sure of the chronology on that.

  • Anonymous

    Jackson destroyed JRR Tolkiens "The Lord of the Rings". You can argue that the LOTR movie is a good fantasy movie that stands on its own merits and so on blah blah, and i'll concede you at least have an argument. Jacksons film, however, is a different story than tolkiens novel. Its not merely what jackson took out, or the stuff he made up and put in (although some say the stuff you put in and leave out is kinda what makes a story). 5 major characters were altered by jackson and his hollywood hack writers so as to be unrecognizable from Tolkiens Novel. Im very glad jackson want hired to butcher the hobbit as well. I have my doubts about de torro, his general contempt for the works of tolkien, and his love of spandex heros,but until i see what hes done i gotta think it cant be any worse than jackson. come to think of it, i think i'll re read the book instead.


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