Monday, December 3, 2012
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?