Another "Lord of the Rings movie different from the book" thread

For all you who feel many unwarranted changes were made by Jackson, Walsh, et al…it could have been worse. Check out the Wikipedia entry on how the movies came to be made (the “Development” section). In early versions:
[li]Gollum attacks Frodo while the Fellowship is still together[/li][li]Saruman is redeemed before he dies[/li][li]Lothlórien is cut, with Galadriel doing her bit at Rivendell[/li][li]Arwen kills the Witch-king[/li][/ul]
Then later, with budget problem looming, there was proposed “a single two-hour film version of the book.” Incuding:
[li]Bree and the Battle of Helm’s Deep–cut[/li][li]Merging Rohan and Gondor: Éowyn as Boromir’s sister[/li][li]Ents prevent the Uruk-hai kidnapping Merry and Pippin[/li][/ul]
Peter Jackson “balked” at this version, bless his heart.

I thought Peter Jackson’s rendering of the story was pretty good but let’s face it - if one were to make a movie that covered most of what’s covered in the books then it could EASILY be up to 15 to 20 hours long, and as much as I enjoyed his movies I found sitting down for the length of them all to be quite uncomfortable (perhaps at least partly because I’m not 20 years old anymore?). One thing I missed seeing in the last movie was the real ending from the book: the Scouring of the Shire, the end of Saruman (and of Wormtongue), and “The Grey Havens.” But I can’t blame Peter Jackson for leaving those out with the movie as long as it was already. Does anybody know if any scenes like those ended up in the Director’s Cut?

Scouring of the Shire, no. End of Saruman and Wormtongue, yes. The Grey Havens, yes.

I really liked the PJ movies but have my nitpicks like any other Tolkien fan. Having Legolas shield-surf at Helm’s Deep was perhaps my biggest eyeroll moment.

Why not a LOTR three-season TV show?

From your mouth to Valar’s ear.

Oooh…I can’t wait for the episode with Aragorn and Arwen’s wedding…

The movies are amazing considering how hard it is to make movies in the first place. They ventured towards some poor decisions(including Arwen in Helms Deep), but I think they ended up making wise decisions in almost all ways.

I’ve never understood people who gripe about changes in Peter Jackson’s LOTR. Look, ALL books are going to undergo some changes when adapted into movies. It’s all in the reasoning behind those changes, I guess. If they’ve made them for good, conscientious reasons (such as “what plays well on a page won’t necessarily play well onscreen”), I’ve no problem with them as long as they work well within the framework of the story. But if they’re for shallow or arbitrary reasons (the changes to the novel Ella Enchanted seemed to have no motivation deeper than “this worked in Shrek”), it’s less easy to take.

Despite some hiccups here and there, I think that Jackson’s LOTR was the best possible film adaptations that could be made from these books. And it could have been so, SO much worse. I don’t just mean the Bakshi animated version…even that had its saving graces here and there. But when you read what John Boorman was planning to do to it…well, suddenly all complaints about Peter Jackson’s films seem awfully small.

Egad. Boorman wanted to screw it up worse than Bakshi.

Why do artists always feel the need to wiz on other people’s fenceposts?

I wish that Boorman’s script were just a joke… It was a joke, right?

How does one get to read the Tolkien suggestions for the eventual movie?

I’ll have to read it carefully later. I am glad that Jackson retained Sam’s buxom girlfriend.

Frodo+Galadriel sex??? Tolkien would have killed him!

To its credit, this crap contributed to my favorite Arthurian movie- Excalibur!

(and, alas, Zardoz.)

Yes, yes, great, it could have been worse.

That doesn’t stop me from wishing that it had been better. I am VERY forgiving of two types of changes in films:

#1: Things that are cut for length. You will never catch me complaining about cuts in these movies.
#2: Things that are changed for good reason (often, related to making things make sense after something is cut!). The LotR films had a few of these.

I am not forgiving of random crap like “Oh look, Aragorn fell off a cliff!” or “Frodo stands in front of a Nazgul and holds up the Ring!”

There was too much random crap in the LotR movies. Virtually every scene I take issue with is a scene that came, whole cloth, out of the brain of PJ or Phillippa Boyens.

I would always like to have seen a version as done by those Russo-Finnish directors that were made famous on MST3K (and no, not that horrid version of the hobbit reviewed by the Cinema Snob).