Monday, December 3, 2012

Unexpected Predictions


Welly well, it's December now, all of a sudden, so it's time to talk about the biggest film of the year.

I remember when Fellowship of the Ring first came out, and I was so nervous. On the one hand, I was very excited to see my favorite story of all time turned into a live action film, but on the other, I was very apprehensive, concerned they would ruin it. They didn't. It's not perfect, but the Peter Jackson adaption of the trilogy is probably the greatest adaptation ever done.

Now I'm nervous and curious to see what they do with The Hobbit.

As you all know, they've decided to turn this one into a trilogy as well. That's going to be difficult. With LOTR, it was easy to keep it to three films: there were three books, there was plenty of material, and while they had to make long films, and cut only some important things like Tom Bombadil, the Barrow-Wights, Sharkie, Glorfindel, Aragorn's cousins, and so on, it all worked within the medium. At least it did for me.

So anyway, today I'd like to discuss what the good folks at Wingnut will be doing with the story from The Hobbit, and how they'll be expanding it into three films, including what they might cut, what they might expand on, and where the first movie will end.

First, let's cover the obvious: the one big thing that is mentioned in the book (and hinted at in other Middle Earth volumes), but never actually fully covered, is what the heck Gandalf is off doing while Bilbo and the Dwarves are traversing Mirkwood. Well, anyone who knows their Tolkien (like Ted or Deniz) can tell you that Gandalf was off evicting the "necromancer" from Dol Guldur, for the White Council. I don't know how they could fit this into the new trilogy of films, but I'd be interested to see it if they do.

Other than that, I can't think of any major plot elements that are known to fans, but not really covered in the book. From looking at the cast list and other info at IMDB, we can guess at some other things. I had originally heard that the fabulous Benedict Cumberbatch, of Sherlock fame, would be playing the voice of Smaug, but now it seems he's playing the Necromancer, so I think we can safely assume this first film will not take us all the way to the lonely mountain. I mean, it makes sense, right? If the first movie goes all the way to the end of the book, what the heck do you put in the next two films?

Also, we can see that there is no Legolas, no Aragorn, and no Arwen, but there is a Radagast the Brown, who I have always wanted to hear more about, so we shall see where that takes us.

Furthermore, the subsequent films in the trilogy appear to have titles now, which can tell us a bit more: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is the second film, and the third will be called The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

So, I will predict that this first film ends before they even enter Mirkwood. Perhaps around the time they meet Beorn (if they don't skip that whole bit), but certainly after they escape the goblins and Bilbo tricks the ring away from Gollum. If they cover some of the side story, and follow Gandalf when he's gone, I could easily see that being enough content to make an entire film.

It seems to me the second movie would then cover Mirkwood, Lake-Town, the lonely mountain, and probably fit in with the ending of the book, The Battle of the Five Armies.

Then, perhaps the third film will be about the journey home.

Obviously I could be wildly out of touch with all of this, but it sure is fun to think about. What do you predict we'll get to see in these movies? What are you most looking forward to finding out?

44 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm just afraid the third film will be a bit of a stretch for content. But then, Jackson did so well with the other movies, I don't imagine he'll mess up here either.

Laura Pauling said...

Three films? That'll be interesting to see how they do that. They must be expanding scenes and filling in scenes. Looking forward to it.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I didn't know it was going to be a trilogy, and I have to say when I read this, I rolled my eyes. Way to drag it out and try to suck more money out of the project, people!

My daughter is raring to go see this film, so I guess I will go too. But I'm looking forward to it a lot less now.

But I'm glad you warned me. I would totally have gone to the theater and been shocked when it ended without them ever meeting Smaug.

Faith E. Hough said...

I am so excited about this movie! I will admit the whole three films thing threw me off, but Peter Jackson earned my trust with the LOTR movies. They have to be some of the most difficult stories in the world to pull off (especially when you have stickler fans like us!) but he did an exceptional job.
I heard somewhere that part of the content of the hobbit films will be coming from the Silmarillion and Appendices. Not sure how that would work....

Em-Musing said...

Can't wait to see them.

Kristen Wixted said...

I didn't know it was going to be a trilogy either, so I'm glad I read this.

I cannot wait to see these movies! I really hope they are as good as Lord of the Rings. My husband is reading the book to Peter (my 7 year old) aloud so I just gave him the good news that they don't have to finish the whole book before they see the movie. They should just make it to...where should I tell them?

Sarah said...

Yeah, I'm among the skeptics about a third film. But--seeing Kristen's comment above, I'm tempted to start reading the book to my 7yo!

Old Kitty said...

Well I couldn't believe this is a trilogy but then I thought well at least they won't condense the book so much into one film! I'm keeping schtum until I see the first one! See how and where in the story they end it! Take care
x

SA Larsenッ said...

I didn't know they were chopping it into three films. Hmmm... I guess my greatest concern will be the elements they decide to use and how they will expand upon them to lengthen to three films. I just hope they don't add to much, taking already established characters down roads that don't belong to them.

maine character said...

If the first movie goes all the way to the end of the book, what the heck do you put in the next two films?

Bloopers?

But really, didn't know it was a trilogy. The Rankin & Bass version was an hour and a half, I think, and I love it, but they could still add so much more to that, so I'm looking forward to the films.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My husband can't wait to see the movie. I can. I didn't love the book. I got confused with all the names. If it weren't for the Lord of the Rings movies, I would have been completely lost. And my favorite characters from TLOFR movies aren't in TH. :(

But I will still see the movie. I loved the cinematography and settings for the trilogy, and I know this movie won't fail to impress. And even if I can't keep the names straight, it won't matter. I can see the actors. :D

mmshaunakelley said...

I'm with Alex-- I am all about the magic rule of three, but I am worried about stretching content out too much. There is certainly enough in this book to fill three films; however, knowing that Jackson will also be under the watchful eye of some marketing guru saying "we need more action to involve younger audiences" I am just not sure how the cutting and stretching will work.

And I understand your fear. I've been hearing about the Ender's Game movie since I first read the book when I was fifteen. Not to date myself, but that was more than a decade ago. Now, it is finally cast, written, and in production, and the idea of seeing what they do to it has me elated and a little nauseated. That, and I will have to decide if I go back on my vow to never give OSC another cent of my money since he became so active in the National Defense of Marraige act...

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh! So far I've seen something about Ian Holm as older Bilbo with a kind of framing story to begin and end the movie. And I thought Legolas *would* be there, at least in the second film at the Battle of Five Armies.
So far, I'm very hopeful. I hope they have singing and that it's rousing not cheesy. I'd like to know what the heck is up with Galadriel touching Gandalf's hair that I keep seeing in the trailer.
As much as I have beefs with the LOTR movies, I can't help that shiver of excitement at seeing a world I've been reading about for so long brought before my eyes.
Off to cross post!

mshatch said...

Ending the first with the hobbits' respite with Beorn would be a good ending - imo, but maybe it'll end somewhere more tense - like when they run into the spiders. Either way I can't wait to see it. Jackson's LOTR wasn't perfect, but it was pretty darn close.

Louise Bates said...

They threw in a lot of little details from the Silmarillion in the LOTR movies, so I'm wondering if they'll be delving into that again to fill things out for The Hobbit movies?

I was a little annoyed but understanding about turning it into two movies. Three has me majorly irritated. But not enough to stay away from seeing them! My husband and I have already lined up a babysitter and ordered tickets for that weekend. It'll feel like college and going to see LOTR instead of studying for exams all over again!

LTM said...

Wow, so we've discussed The Hobbit is the only of these books that I've read. And now you're saying they're turning it into THREE movies? (cha-ching much?)

All these names are familiar to me, but it's been SO long ago. I'll skip trying to weigh in, but I'm sure I'll be seeing all three. JRM, yanno... :D <3

Sarah Ahiers said...

I hear that they're bringing some of the Simirillion (sp? Gah, i can't remember) into the movies to flesh them out.
I really think 3 movies wasn't the way to go. 2? Sure! 3? It just seems weird to me.
I also have a feeling that the Smaug stuff won't be resolved in the 2nd movie. I smell a cliffhanger there.
Either way, EXCITING!

Ted Cross said...

I always knew The Hobbit would be more difficult to do than LOTR, because of the problem of making 13 dwarves all individually memorable. It looks to me like they went about it by making them...well, not look a while lot like dwarves, and turning them into a tad too much comedy. My guess is it will be fun, but have the same problems that the Star Wars films suffered from. As long as the Star Wars films took themselves mostly seriously--the original and Empire--they were great, but as they progressed Lucas began turning too much to schtick, first with the Ewoks and then really going downhill with Jar-Jar and such. The previews I've seen so far for The Hobbit have a lot of these silly comedy moments that weren't even in the book. I'm calling this the Jar-Jarring of Middle Earth!

Even worse, the Tolkien family refused to allow the filmmakers to use anything from the Silmarillion of other works of Tolkien; they were only allowed to use the few sentences from the appendices of LOTR. I suspect that means they will make up quite a lot of material. If they could just treat it seriously enough and tone down the comedy, it might not be so bad.

Ted Cross said...

And to clarify one last thing...I know there was humor in The Hobbit. It didn't go overboard, though. Another thing is that The Hobbit was originally written just for children and wasn't meant to be part of the Middle Earth history. That was changed later. Since it IS part of the Middle Earth history now, I feel the tone should be consistent with the LOTR films rather than change to match The Hobbit book, which would remove it too far from the feel of the world.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I was thrilled when I learned Peter Jackson was directing The Hobbit. Then I learned it was going to be two films. So far, so good. But three? I can't help but feel it'll be a stretch. Hubby and I will go see all the movies, but I must confess, I'm a little skeptical of the third one. But if anyone can make it work, it's Jackson.

SC Author said...

I am so freaking excited for this movie. SO EXCITED. I loved Peter Jackson in LOTR, and I would be apprehensive about this movie if Jackson did not direct it. I know this movie will be great because of Jackson. Plus, the trailer and the behind-the-scenes video look AWESOME!

Eliza Tilton said...

The only thing I remember about The Hobbit is Bilbo going in a barrel...possibly going down a river?

Elizabeth Seckman said...

My guys were just scratching their heads and wondering how they were going to get three movies out of such a short book. Being lovers of Tolkein, they aren't open to a lot of non-authentic fillers. We shall see.

Donna Hosie said...

I cannot wait. I trust Peter Jackson and his amazing team.

Andrew Leon said...

I think you're off on the break down somewhat, but it's only a couple of weeks to find out what they've done with the first one, at any rate.

Johanna Garth said...

Wait! I had no idea it was going to be a trilogy and now I'm...hmmm...not sure. I love Peter Jackson, but three movies out of The Hobbit?

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

In all the trailers, the most anticipated seen is that "Riddles in the Dark" chapter, so I expect the film to end shortly after that or where you say they meet Beorn. Honestly, as much as they keep doing that riddle scene, I feel like they're hyping that to be the equivalent of the Balrog scene in the first Fellowship (and it isn't).

But there's no question of the importance of that particular chapter because it's where we meet Gollum and Bilbo finds the ring setting everything into motion.

Ted Cross said...

Michael could be right, as long as they stretch out the troll fight and the mountain/goblins to give the film enough to sate the action-lovers. Maybe it ends after Beorn, though, with the scary woods upcoming?

T.L. Bodine said...

I recently re-read The Hobbit and I have no problem imagining it stretched out that far. There is a LOT of plot in that slim little book.

My guess is that the first film will take us up through the spiders in Mirkwood, the second film will take us through the issue with Smaug, and the third film will cover the Battle of Five Armies.

I'm especially stoked to see how much "extra" stuff from the appendices etc. will show up.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm not sure what they'll do in 3 movies. I thought it was only 2 and wondered. But I can't wait. I love LOTR.

Elise Fallson said...

I just can't wait to see it. If I think about it too much I'll get disappointed.

Katy Upperman said...

I will be directing my husband to this post when he gets home tonight. He is freaking giddy about this movie, and I'm sure he'll be excited to get another fan's perspective. He's currently reading the novel to our 5-year-old, and she's in love. She walks around with a little ring, hissing about "her precious." (YES.)

Jeff Hargett said...

So looking forward to this. And I agree with others. If anyone can make it work as three, it's Jackson.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I was a little stunned when I heard about the trilogy angle. I never considered how much more information there in in Tolkien's other books. Good thinking. I just don't want them to start making stuff up.

Tonja said...

What? The book isn't that long....

Lydia Kang said...

LOTR should have been 6 books, as it was intended by Tolkien. I'm kind of happy the Hobbit is more than one movie, but I'm nervous about three. Where are they going to get the extra content from?

alexia said...

Ahhh, I'm so f-ing excited!! I predict about exactly the same as you for the cut off for the first one. I bet sometime after they get rescued by the eagles and before Mirkwood. However, I would guess that the second film is Mirkwood, Laketown, and all the initial stuff with Smaug, and then the third film is the battle. After all, the Two Towers was almost primarily about the battle at Helm's Deep. I'm sure they can make almost a whole movie about one battle. Also, I heard Legolas was making a cameo or something, though of course he didn't in the book. So exciting. Random aside - did you see Man with the Iron Fists?

Donna Hole said...

I was disappointed with the first Original LOTR movie. So glad they did the extended versions, captured much more of the stories.

I'm looking forward to The Hobbit. Didn't know there would be three. Jackson seems to know how to produce a good movie though.

.......dhole

Jamie Gibbs said...

Good assumption, though I think the Battle of Five Armies might wait until the third movie to ramp up the conflict throughout the trilogy. Maybe. In any case I'm very excited to see it :)

Jamie

Joe Lunievicz said...

Three movies? Where have I been? Three movies? I'm still looking foward to it but three movies? Hmmm. I think Jamie is right about the battle of five armies for the last movie but then is there really enough material for three? Two, yes, but three? I'm stuck here. But I'll be at the movies on the 14th with Max in any case. Wouldn't miss it.

Anna Staniszewski said...

Yup, I'm nervous and excited. I don't really know how they can make it into three movies, but I'm trying to stay optimistic.

Melissa Bradley said...

I'm looking forward to this, though I am apprehensive about a third film. Could be too much of a stretch as I'm already hearing comments on how slow the pacing is in this first film compared to LOTR. I'm all in no matter what, though.

Christina Lee said...

*SO* excited!! My 8 y.o. decided he wanted to watch all three LOTR's movies back to back--he really got into them after we finally let him watch the first one (thought some stuff might be too scary). SO now he's is anxious to see this first one too and then you know, there's the Legos and all that stuff that goes with them. SO FUN!

Bryan Russell said...

I've heard that the first two movies are basically going to cover the main story of The Hobbit, while the third will all be from the supplementary material. Dol Goldur, I'm guessing, and Bilbo's other adventures, along with what Aragorn and Gandalf do between the stories of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I have no idea how that will play out, but I'm curious.