As you are all no doubt aware Tolkien's The Hobbit is to made into a movie. Well not a singular movie but two. Since that announcement I have been pondering this, and after some views I have read elsewhere I thought I'd sit down and air my own.
I was delighted to know that Guillermo del Toro was to direct, and Peter Jackson to produce. del Toro for me would have brought another take on Middle Earth. I felt it was a good move because if Jackson had directed then the distiction between Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit would have too close, and ultimately led to a feeling of nothing new. For a wealth of reasons, all due to some real bullshit from the Kiwi actors involved, the whole project floundered. It is a disgrace to the New Zealand film industry that greed got in the way, and took intervention from the government no less to straighten out.
Because of this del Toro had to quit as he couldn't sit around doing nothing as he has other projects to go on with. Shame on you New Zealand as his loss is The Hobbit's loss. I'm sure Peter Jackson will do a more than adequate job, but I do fear it will be more of LOTR.
The other thing that worries me is the book isn't exactly complex or particuarly long. I cannot for the life of me see how making two movies is justified. It is nothing more than a money grabbing excersise. I'm concerned at how much artistic license Jackson is going to take in having to stretch a realitively short book out over two movies. He is surely going to add much to flesh the whole story out . If he does then for me The Hobbit will be a nonsense. One movie would surely have sufficed.
Peter Jackson is a reasonable movie maker, but not great. LOTR was a triumph to be sure, but all he done was put onto the screen Tolkien's vision. The Lovely Bone's was a poor movie, and to be honest a butchery of the book. CGI is not enough to make a movie and Bones was a severe disappointment. It was an ambitious book to make into a movie but Jackson did stuff it up some what. With all the problems The Hobbit has gone through I'm sure Jackson will still put out a reasonable product. But I still can't help but feel that one movie was enough and I sincereley hope it looks different to LOTR.
In many respects with the loss of del Toro Jackson is now in a no win situation. I feel no matter what he gives us he is going to be heavily critisied. The Hobbit, for all its problems, is now like a the proverbial albatross. He has to contracually make it. I just wish del Toro was still on board as I think the project needed a different visual approach to give a slight differentiation between LOTR and The Hobbit. But all said and done I do hope that the movies don't fail, but at this point in time I can't help but feel concern at what we will see. After all the problems maybe Jackson's heart isn't in it as it once was, and it may be seen in the final product. I just don't want more LOTR, and with del Toro we would not have got that.
You outside of New Zealand may be interested to know that Jackson for some time has bandied around his desire to make a version of The Dambusters. He is an avid aviation buff, and I know he has personally interviwed ex-Bomber Command crews who flew Lancastors. He has also studied the plans of the said bombers, etc. At this point in time I don't know where the project stands as The Hobbit's problems have over shadowed all else Jackson wise.
With the Dambusters Jackson for me shows why I don't rate him as a great film maker. He DOES NOT make films from original sources. He makes films from novels or other people's material. del Toro made Pan's Labyrinth which is a totally original film in everyway. For me Jackson should attempt the same thing instead of relying on CGI and famous novels books to make movies from.
In another aside Jackson's film studio, which he funded from the success of LOTR, is just a short distance away from where my mother grew up as a kid during the late 40's, fifties, and early 60's. It is in the same road in Miramar, a suburb of our capital Wellington. It is by all accounts a huge complex. I haven't seen it yet, but many of the movies made today involving CGI are created there without much of the world knowing.
Just a short dis-cousre! It may or not be of interest but I just wanted to put down in words some of my own views as much as for others to read as to get them straight in my own mind.