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Thread: If not for Peter Jackson

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Would Lord of the Rings ever have made it to film if it wasnt for Peter Jackson ?
Couldnt see another directer spending 8yrs of his life on one project
Dont think i would have seen it in my life time, and i'm 47 ( but look 30 ish) :oops: :oops:
You won't get any argument from me :mrgreen: . I'm just waiting for Petty or Eldo, to jump on this one though. :lol:

[b:34tyctlv]GB[/b:34tyctlv]
Oddly enough I agree- I think he royally cocked up the end product but I can't deny him his drive to get it made in the first place or the time and effort he committed to it- I just wish he had thought the script just as important. I find it astonishing he would embark on such a job requiring military style planning and god alone knows what problems with Producers and the like, devote years of hos life to it, oversee set and costume and character designs when he didn't even have a finished script WHILST FILMING IT. That to me is madness and sadly it shows in the end product.
Absolutely it would have. In fact, Ralph Bakshi, and Rankin/Bass brought it to film decades before PJ did. :P :P

Assuming you mean [i:3uyyqao3]live-action[/i:3uyyqao3] I suspect it would have eventually, but not necessarily any time soon. The idea to make it into film was [i:3uyyqao3]not[/i:3uyyqao3] the studio's idea but PJ's himself, and I'm not sure how many other directors would have had that idea. The fantasy film genre has always been rather weak: before LOTR and HP the [url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=liveactionfantasy.htm:3uyyqao3]highest-grossing such film[/url:3uyyqao3] was Steven Spielberg's Hook and after LOTR/HP the only other series to even start to come close was Narnia. There have been directors who made their names with sci-fi films (Ridley Scott and James Cameron come to mind) but I can't think of any such directors prior to PJ who did the same with fantasy.

I'm not sure someone who was already famous and successful would have touched LOTR and I'm not sure another relative nobody would have been able to convince Saul Zaentz to loan out the rights [i:3uyyqao3]and[/i:3uyyqao3] a studio to invest hundreds of millions of dollars, [i:3uyyqao3]especially[/i:3uyyqao3] not with the extraordinarily high level of creative control held by Jackson and all three films being shot together before a single penny had gone back to the suits.

I'm sorry to disappoint, GB, but I don't think many would have been able to pull off the perfect storm of accomplishments that PJ did, whatever I may think of his 'faithfulness' and lack of subtlety.
[quote="pettytyrant101":2esywbfd]he didn't even have a finished script WHILST FILMING IT. That to me is madness and sadly it shows in the end product.[/quote:2esywbfd]

As I recall he had a finished script but kept changing it during filming. I don't think it's good to set everything in stone but the way it was handled - with several actors not even having time to read their lines before shooting - leads me to agree that it was "madness".
[quote="Eldorion":1neui8ak][quote="pettytyrant101":1neui8ak]he didn't even have a finished script WHILST FILMING IT. That to me is madness and sadly it shows in the end product.[/quote:1neui8ak]

As I recall he had a finished script but kept changing it during filming. I don't think it's good to set everything in stone but the way it was handled - with several actors not even having time to read their lines before shooting - leads me to agree that it was "madness".[/quote:1neui8ak]

I wouldn't say "madness". I agree with you; you can't film three films at the same time without changing a few things. But these lines that the actors didn't have time to learn, they weren't that long I assume - only a short conversation here and there. So if PJ thought they were rubbish they could retake. I remember watching the DVD special feature DVD for FOTR, where Dominic Monaghan said he only had 15 minutes to learn his lines for a scene. Maybe it wasn't the best preparation for actors, but it certainly didn't spoil the experience for me.
Well I'm glad PJ made the movie. He had some great people working behind him that helped him make history. I'm just glad he did it PRE- reccession :lol:
But I find that the movies and the books are similar in one way at the very least: They both never should have been done! (in a corporate sense) LOTR was something that, looking back, the publishers should never have published, mainly because of the sheer size of the novel, not to mention all of the extra information he tacked on. And filming LOTR was just as messy, but we don't need to go into detail about that...
[quote="Ally":1m5sya2y]But these lines that the actors didn't have time to learn, they weren't that long I assume - only a short conversation here and there. So if PJ thought they were rubbish they could retake.[/quote:1m5sya2y]

According to John Rhys-Davies he had boxes of envelopes with script rewrites that were shoved under his door regularly that he didn't even bother to open. If I recall the EE documentaries correctly other actors had the same thing. I agree with you that small scale changes to the script are fine but I can't imagine that having such frequent changes couldn't have helped the artistic outcome, especially since the tight schedule of filming precluded numerous re-shoots.
[quote="Tinuviel":9kz4wgcd](in a corporate sense) LOTR was something that, looking back, the publishers should never have published, mainly because of the sheer size of the novel, not to mention all of the extra information he tacked on.[/quote:9kz4wgcd]

How so? I can understand how [i:9kz4wgcd]before[/i:9kz4wgcd] publication LOTR would have seemed like a bad book to publish (in fact the British publishers expected to lose money on the book and only published it because they thought it deserved to be) but in retrospect it was clearly a very good deal, having sold hundreds of millions of copies.
[quote="Eldorion":8icv0g4j][quote="Ally":8icv0g4j]But these lines that the actors didn't have time to learn, they weren't that long I assume - only a short conversation here and there. So if PJ thought they were rubbish they could retake.[/quote:8icv0g4j]

According to John Rhys-Davies he had boxes of envelopes with script rewrites that were shoved under his door regularly that he didn't even bother to open. If I recall the EE documentaries correctly other actors had the same thing. I agree with you that small scale changes to the script are fine but I can't imagine that having such frequent changes couldn't have helped the artistic outcome, especially since the tight schedule of filming precluded numerous re-shoots.[/quote:8icv0g4j]

It couldn't of helped, no. I suppose the reason for such frequent changes is Jacksons love of LOTR. He really did want to make a perfect middle earth, so he kept changing things to make the film- that he will always be known for- better. I'd be the same. So it wouldn't of helped, but definitely didn't spoil a thing.

[quote="Tinuviel":8icv0g4j]Well I'm glad PJ made the movie. He had some great people working behind him that helped him make history. I'm just glad he did it PRE- reccession :lol:
But I find that the movies and the books are similar in one way at the very least: They both never should have been done! (in a corporate sense) LOTR was something that, looking back, the publishers should never have published, mainly because of the sheer size of the novel, not to mention all of the extra information he tacked on. And filming LOTR was just as messy, but we don't need to go into detail about that...[/quote:8icv0g4j]

I am also glad PJ made the movie. But the publishers knew how popular The Hobbit was, and more stories about them would sell. They knew that. Tolkien wanted to publish The Silmarilain along with LOTR- that would have been mess!
[quote="Ally":1k8z7rgr]It couldn't of helped, no. I suppose the reason for such frequent changes is Jacksons love of LOTR. He really did want to make a perfect middle earth, so he kept changing things to make the film- that he will always be known for- better. I'd be the same. So it wouldn't of helped, but definitely didn't spoil a thing.[/quote:1k8z7rgr]

I have to disagree there. I think that giving the actors the time to read, understand, think about, and develop their take on the script would have helped their performances. The way an actor would read their lines might change if they have time to think about them. They might even come up with ideas for how to better the script since they're going to have their own idea for what the character should be like.

(A famous non-LOTR example is the exchange "I love you" - "I know" in [i:1k8z7rgr]The Empire Strikes Back[/i:1k8z7rgr], which was modified by Harrison Ford to include Han's iconic reply.)
I think if you break the films down into component parts its hard to fault any of the following in any real way; acting, costumes, set design, lightning, principle photography.
The direction can be quibbled with on terms of preferred style ( I don't like how he films action, to many fast cuts) but not on professionalism or ability.

However the adaptation of the work, the characterizations and the story can be found fault with (and a glance through the threads on the forum will attest to that) far more than any other of the factors. The script is the weak link and the continued rewriting is one of the causes. On the commentary to the TT EE version one of the coven describes TT as being like "the neglected middle child" and implies heavily that they didn't really know what they were doing with the script for it right up to shooting it. That's a terrible state of affairs for a film otherwise so meticulous in details and planning and is beyond me how such a situation was allowed to arise at all.