Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Geek Media: it's a hobbit trilogy revelation

It's official. The Hobbit duology has become a trilogy.

And while 12,000 people on the internets seemed to "Like" this announcement (at least, on Facebook they did, which was where Peter Jackson made the announcement of his decision) I'm not one of them.

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVED the Lord of the Ring trilogy. As far as I'm concerned, Peter Jackson handled that classic brilliantly. So much so did I love it that I have all three extended editions and they get pretty frequent use when I'm of a mind to write or be creative.

Don't ask me why, but it really does get my artistic juices flowing.

But I'm a Tolkienite, and a purist to boot. Even when I write LOTR fanfiction, I keep things canon.

And I accept and totally agree with the idea that the Lord of the Rings movie could not have been done unless each of the three books was an individual movie. It was over 1000 pages long. So relatively speaking, 333 pages per movie.

And even with 3 movies, it was unable to incorporate many events that occurred in the books, such as the meeting of Tom Bombadil and the scuffle at the Barrow Downs, not to mention the Scouring of the Shire.

But the 310 page (more or less, depending on the edition and the font size) Hobbit? Compared to the LOTR movies, in page terms it can't be longer than one standard 3-hour movie. So even the duology was a bit of stretch for me.

But I was able to accept it. Mostly because I figured the second movie would be 50% Battle of the Five Armies, which anyone who have read said book knows, that battle was all of around 10 pages worth, and that was because it was told from Bilbo's point of view, who was knocked out at the beginning of it. And having seen what Jackson did with the Battle at Helm's Deep (turned a one chapter narrative to a 1.5 hour odessey in the Two Towers) and knowing his love for those huge, epic battles (and the Battle of Five Armies is one of the bigger and badder battles in the Third Age of Middle-earth) he wasn't going to settle for 10 minutes of that fight.

But now it's a trilogy, and it has me throwing a bit of a fit.

Yes Peter Jackson states without doubt that they plan to use that extra time to incorporate more material spoken about in the Appendices of the Lord of the Rings that does touch upon a number of things that occurred during the these events.

But it's not enough to fill a trilogy. A duology yes, but not a trilogy.

Which has me wondering if this may be Jackson's (and the studio's) attempt at a cash grab. I mean, they already have a dedicated audience in Tolkien fans from around the world, but even those who could care less about Tolkien or Middle-earth would probably go out to watch this movie. And because once people watch and enjoy one, they tend to want to finish what they started irregardless of how crappy the rest of the movies are. One only has to look the the Toby Maguire-led Spiderman trilogy in addition to the Matrix to know this to be true.

Why not increase your profit by another half by extending the series into a third movie? Even if by the end of it people are frothing at the mouth?

Which brings up another issue for me. Precisely how much artistic licensing Jackson will be taking with these movies as a result?

And then I get worried.

I will probably still go out to watch the first movie this Christmas. But I may choose to watch Les Miserables first as a result all the same.

No that's a lie. I still like my Tolkien. Even if it becomes bastardized. But then, who knows, maybe Jackson is a genius and he'll find a way for this to work?

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