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.)