I know that the news has been out there for some time now, but I wanted to take the time to express my own thoughts on the matter of The Hobbit.
In the special features of Lord of the Rings, it was said that Peter Jackson originally planned to one single movie from three books. Honestly, if they had cut out all the extra storylines they added, it would have probably fit in a single movie. The Lord of the Rings should be a trilogy, and it ended up being an epic one with a lot of failings. (I still enjoy watching the movies, so don’t get too upset.)
Let me back up a bit. I first read The Hobbit back as a young teen. I gobbled up the story, realizing that it was exactly the genre I craved. I went on to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, soaking up every bit of information as I could — I even suffered through Tom Bombadil. I told my brother that he ought to read these books, and by the time he was halfway through the first he said that we had to see the movies.
As die-hard fans of the books, we knew that the movies could not do them adequate justice, but it still was teeth grinding to see so many elements fall to the wayside and new ones that Tolkien had never intended rise to be their replacement. For one, Arwen was really brought up two or three times in the entire series, so the whole drama of her leaving and her dad being so grumpy about her loving a man was really that: drama. And who really thought Elrond was grumpy and cross? The books portrayed him as a jolly wise man with, what I thought, white hair. Oh well. I may be quibbling over details that really don’t matter, but it matters to the story. My argument with every movie that came from a book is that the writer never intended it to be that way, otherwise they would have written it in.
So, Peter Jackson wisely turned Lord of the Rings into a trilogy. Still failed in capturing many aspects of the story, but nevertheless, he didn’t squish everything into a single movie.
What about The Hobbit? News is that Jackson announced that it has been changed to a trilogy as well, after it had been decided to be a two movie deal.
The Hobbit is a single book. A single story. A very focused story compared to the epic plot of Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit can easily stand on its own — even stand without all the extra writings that Tolkien had in other books. The Hobbit is actually written more for a younger crew than the adults. It’s not as dark, violent, tense, or meaty like Lord of the Rings. The story of Bilbo’s adventure does indeed introduce the Ring, giving a very small background for Lord of the Rings, but the Ring acts only as a magical ring, not an enslaving one — yet. It’s almost innocent at this beginning — in this particular book. Lord of the Rings introduces the true evil that it holds.
So not only am I upset that Jackson is going to probably add more to the story than there ever was, but also that he will probably make these movies more epic than The Hobbit was, and in so doing will ruin its uniqueness and craft. Where in The Hobbit is a good stopping point for a movie break? Or two movie breaks? Yes, it is a journey, entering brand new lands almost every chapter, but does that make it easy to stop the flow of the plot? With each ending of a movie in a series, just like with a book, you need to have a significant build up of tension that will reach it’s climax at the end. The overall tension and climax is fine, but does The Hobbit have enough to blanket three movies, and have some in reserve to satisfy the end of each individual one?
In closing, I am a huge Tolkien fan. I absolutely love his writing style and the imagination that he had. Clearly I have seen his work as my inspiration and motivation. Some may wonder, then, why I am so upset over the news of more movies. It’s because I am such a lover of his work that I am having a hard time seeing Jackson’s vision. The recent Narnia movies that have come out have been surprisingly close to the books — for a movie. However, Jackson really did a horrible job with the movies of Lord of the Rings, so my faith in his vision for The Hobbit is almost none-existent.
That being said, I will see it in the theaters, and maybe I will be pleasantly surprised. In fact, I hope so. Until then, I stand my ground.