I know there has been much debate over the issue of Peter Jackson doing the LOTR prequel the Hobbit…We know he is in legal battles with New Line over “accounting issues” but it has been posited that Sam Raimi - director of Spider Man - would direct the Hobbit film, but that is as yet only a rumor of sorts.
I’d like to see what other LOTR devotees CURRENTLY think about the Hobbit movie and Peter Jackson’s role therein. Would it be a travesty of the highest order if he didn’t direct it? Do you think the movie would take on a different feel than the trilogy if he didn’t direct it?
Jackson is obviously the safe choice. He did LOTR masterfully, and we know he can make a good film from Tolkien’s material. Perhaps more importantly, he’s also more likely to bring back McKellan as Gandalf, and the same conceptual designers.
That said, the Hobbit is a very different work than LOTR. Any film that tried to produce it with the same tone as LOTR would fail to capture the true flavor of the book. Since the books are so different, it makes sense to use different filmmakers.
My biggest fear is that whoever they get tries to make The Hobbit exactly like Jackson made LOTR (which is a mistake), and then, not being Jackson, can’t get that right!
I don’t think Jackson would be the 100% perfect choice, but he would do better than most that would try.
In my ideal world, the film would have all of the modern CGI tricks but without the hyperexact-but-not-quite artificiality we saw in the LOTR trilogy. Plus the entire thing should have more of a washed-out, 70s feel to it that emphasizes the relatively lighter character of the film, which I’m not sure Jackson (or anyone) would do.
In addition, since The Hobbit is more about Scary Monsters, I fear for the cheesiness of them if Jackson gets ahold of them: despite being amongst the best films ever made aesthetically, around half of the supernatural and/or undead monsters looked incredibly cheesy.
If the goal is to link The Hobbit ** to the LOTR films on any level, then it only makes sense to go back to Jackson and his crew. I can’t imagine that after backing the trilogy, New Line would turn around and shoot itself in the foot by effectively saying, "Okay, now our prequel is going to have a completely different tone from the other movies-- after all, the Rankin-Bass Hobbit and the Bakshi ** LOTR flowed together so well."
I also think the story’s tone would have to be altered somewhat, from a children’s book to something that would appeal more broadly to all ages-- you couldn’t go back and have the Elves in Rivendell singing “Tra-la-lally,” for example. There’d have to be a clear continuity between the films. I believe that Jackson’s team has the confidence and respect for the original works to make it work. Plus, I don’t want the filmmakers to pull too many punches with Smaug’s attack on Laketown, let alone the Battle of Five Armies…
I don’t know if Sam Raimi would be a good choice. You can see similarities in his films like the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness into his first comic book hero movie (Darkman) and well into the Spiderman series where his directing style calls for action sequences that are heavily edited multiple shots, have a comedic flair to them as well as a Fangoria fanboy grossness, and closeups of the participants faces in odd expressions (think Bruce Campbell, Liam Neeson, Toby McGuire).
That’s well and good for these semi-campy comic book style movies but I don’t see it working well for a Tolkien style movie.
And I agree that Alfonso Cuaron would make a good choice.
DO you disapprove of PJ’s direction of LOTR? All or just some of it? Admittedly, I was dismayed he changed a few things [Tom Bombadil, scouring of shire…] but as a whole, I loved the visual represntations he created of the texts.
I loved the creations Jackson made. I know he had to make changes but no one else has ever tried and I won’t destroy my enjoyment of the whole because of a few things.
Besides, gasp I liked some of the changes. I was happy to see Tom Bombadil dropped, he was just a diversion in the book anyway.
I’d love to see Hobbit done by him - I know that even if it’s not true to form it would be huge, and grand, with the beautiful scenery & costumes and wonderful acting. I think the miniseries would be best but if not it should be more than one movie. American cinemas can’t handle more than a 2 hour movie most of the time and this needs to be at least 4 IMO!
I would love to see Peter Jackson direct The Hobbit. He did a masterful job on the LOTR trilogy and I don’t doubt that he could do it again with The Hobbit. Plus, as already mentioned, it would be the best way to ensure maximum ‘continuity’ of tone, style, and design between the two (allowing of course that Hobbit is a different kind of story and it wouldn’t be appropriate to approach it like it was LOTR 4). I wouldn’t be excited about Sam Raimi as an alternate choice (Spider-Man series = yawn), but I wouldn’t exactly dread it either.
I’d prefer Jackson to just about any other director I can think of, but Cuaron would be quite acceptable. Terry Gilliam is very hit or miss, and I think he’d want too much to put his own creatively-offbeat imprint on the movie, probably to the detriment of Tolkien’s vision. I thought of Tim Burton, but the same might be said of him. Ridley Scott could perhaps do the book justice.
Although lighter in tone than LOTR, IMHO the Hobbit movie should ideally fit nicely beside it in terms of cinematography, costuming, SFX, etc. The Shire of The Hobbit should look much like that of LOTR, for instance. I really hope that the same actors can be brought back as Gandalf and Elrond, of course, and would like to see a young Aragorn/Estel and Legolas, too, in cameos. For Bilbo, I like the guy who played Arthur Dent in the most recent Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
I think a miniseries à la Day Break would be the best choice, given the nature of the book as a series of short stories. Or perhaps something like a paralell showing of episode-episode-episode-film, like Firefly/Serenity, where the culmination of the film would deal with the Battle of Five Armies in a 1h30min format. The entire story is too broad and diverse for a film (many, many, many tones and atmospheres in one film would ruin it as an experience) while the ending itself isn’t really suited for a 40-min episode format.
I’d love Peter Jackson to do it. I feel he’s had the chance now to learn from what people perceive to be his “mistakes” in the LOTR trilogy, and I have confidence in his ability to direct a movie appealing to a more juniour audience. The added bonus, of course, is the existing network of actors who could contribute to a Jackson version as a matter of course, but would probably be phased out in another director/producer combination.
Another good choice would probably be Guillermo del Toro, who’s done both Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth - testament to great skill in transferring both comic and book magic to film, and for a young/mature audience.
I would love to see the Hobbit done as a TV Series instead of a single movie. I would settle for two movies. If Peter Jackson did direct, I would want him restrained from making useless changes. The cast of characters is smaller overall. They should be able to do the Hobbit properly and to the book.
Given his track record, I’m quite certain that would be Gilliam’s choice.
In fact, when I first heard about Jackson working on LotR, and that big people would be used to portray the hobbits, my first feeling was relief that we wouldn’t have that Time Bandits (or Willow) effect going on.
I liked the movies, qua movies. I liked the visuals, even in the context of the books. But I have never forgiven him for the added and changed portions of the story. Leaving out Bombadil was unimportant; things had to be left out or we would have had six movies instead. But adding things was unforgivable and unnecessary. I hope whoever is chosen to do The Hobbit will avoid that particular foolish egocentrism.