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Thread: New Thoughts on the Movie Break Point

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It seems to me that skipping Beorn in film 1 and then sticking him in for the beginning of film 2 would confuse viewers. If film 1 went straight to mirkwood, and then film 2 says that they stopped at Beorn's first, then there's a huge continuity issue there.
This gets confusing when you try to stop it at this point. At first, I thought: they should stop it at Beorn. But then that's really early in the story, and Gandalf hasn't even left them yet. Then I thought they could change it so that Gandalf leaves before Beorn, but then I remembered that Gandalf is Beorn's friend, and the only reason that Beorn didn't kill the hobbits.
I say that they include Beorn in film 1, include Gandalf leaving them at the edge of mirkwood, and then for the last bit of the film, switch back and forth between Gandalf's doings and the adventure in Mirkwood. Then end with the hobbits getting captured by the elves and have the battle at Dol Guldur wrap up simultaniously.
OK, there has been a lot of discussion about when they are going to cut the movie. For some reason a lot of people seem to think it will come with the death of Smaug. No way, its too late in the story and not enough for the 2nd film. I actually think based on GDT's statement concerning relationships changing that the cut will take place after Bilbo has freed his friends from the Spiders and they have been captured by the Woodelves. This is when the relationship between Bilbo and the dwarves really changed. He went from being a scared follower to a leader that the dwarved trusted to get them out of a tight spot. However, I would like to propose another way to do this thing.

Didn't the White Council enlist the help of the elves of Lothlorian to attack Dol Gulder or am I just remembering the fact that Sauron launched 3 attacks from Dol Gulder against Lorien during the War of the Ring? If they didn't help then a think a great piece of poetic license on the part of the filmmakers is to include the Lorien elves as part a massive preemptive strike on Sauron. A sort of a reversal of the Helm's Deep battle where the good guys are on the offensive and attacking a well fortified position but are not outnumbered and facing certain death Most of the White Council stuff including Gandalf's infiltration of Dol Gulder where he finds Thrain prisoner and gets the map and the key could be included in the first film. The big battle could actually be the big ending. I think it would be unwise to try to pack a major assault on Dol Gulder and the massive Battle of Five Armies into the same movie and think people won't get battle fatigue. Plus, we could save a lot of the really good Hobbit stuff for the second film where the attention needs to be with Bilbo's quest and not distracted by Gandalf's doings elsewhere.
I think the adventure in the Misty Mountains and the finding of the ring are significant enough events for the first movie that we can save Mirkwood for the second movie. Yes, Bilbo's story needs a good place to cut so I propose the last action sequence for them be the escape from the Goblins on Wargs where they have to climb the trees and they escape with the help of the Eagles. They are dropped off at the Carrock and then the story skips over Beorn and goes straight to them entering Mirkwood and Gandalf saying he is leaving for pressing business down south. And we all know where he is going, the big battle at Dol Gulder that will end the movie on a high note.
The second film could then begin with an ever so brief flashback of the Eagles rescueing the dwarves and pick up at the Carrock. Beorn could be the first 10 minutes of the second film much like the feast opened ROTK. Start it on a slow note knowing that it is going to be packed full of action by the end. Get them into Mirkwood and they are off and running. I envision a running length of not more than 2 hours for the first film and more like 2:45 for the second with only Hobbit stuff in the second. All White Tower stuff happens in film one since it has little to no bearing on the events later in the book and would only serve to distract from the more important action in Mirkwood and in and around the Lonely Mountain. I can see only one major problem with this. All of Ian McKellen's screen time will appear in the first films and his appearance at the end of the second will be but a cameo. Plus, audiences might start wondering is the movie about the Hobbit at all or should they call it the Wizard? Let's get some feedback on this suggestion.
Well I was definitely one of the Death of Smaug camp, but I'm coming round to the idea of the breakpoint being with the Dwarves in the Elve's dungeon. My biggest issue though, is the question of tone.

If you have Smaugs death be the breakpoint then the entire first film can be quite jolly and kid friendly--with a set up scene or two for Gandalf and the White Council. Then the second film can get progressively darker and more adult: focussing on the activities of the White Council and the Necromancer in the first half. Then Gandalf meets up with the dwarves and Bilbo in time for the Battle of Five Armies. Then the film can end with Bilbo's return to the Shire and telling a young Frodo the tale of his adventures, thus leading smoothly into the LotR in case the "bridging" film never gets made.

[b:9us5o5lo]GB[/b:9us5o5lo]
The reason I thought move Beorn to the second movie is because everybody sitting down and having a nice dinner is not the way to end Bilbo and the dwarves part of the story. Very anticlimatic. Its more a beginning point than an ending.

I agree that that leaves a lot of action for the second movie. But hey, action takes place much faster on film than exposition. Remember when PJ moved Shelob to ROTK and everyone was up in arms over how he was going to get everything into the last movie and claimed it was a big mistake? That worked out just fine because a great action scene doesn't have to be long to get the job done. Where the hard cuts came was in filming the FOTR. That movie had to set up the whole backstory and explain why everything was happening as it did.

The first Hobbit movie will face the same problems, establishing the quest, the reason behind it, introducing the protagonists and the antagonists, etc. For better or worse, the first film will inevitably be slower in pace than the second. For that reason, a good battle scene at the end would do a lot to wake people up and get them back at the cineplex for the second installment. Since all the groundwork will have been already laid, the second movie can be all Hobbit adventure story with a much quicker pace and more exciting action.
And as far as the idea that the first Hobbit should be kid friendly and the second darker in tone I disagree. Sure, the Hobbit was a more kid friendly book but PJ and GDT both have said in interviews that splitting the Hobbit into 2 movies would better allow them to adapt the same tone as the previous LOTR films, and they were not kid friendly. And why would we want it that way? Do we want this franchise to go the way of Star Wars, God forbid? And I think the idea of the bridging film has been abandoned, at least by PJ and GDT, if not by New Line Cinema or whoever holds the rights now.
The thing, egorjosh2, is that The Hobbit is a very different book. It wasn't written after LOTR to provide a prequel. It was written well before LOTR as a children's story. Rayner Unwin, as a child reviewer, said "It should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9." Now, personally, I think that's a little exaggerated. Maybe not 5. Maybe more like 8 to 14. But it is a children's story (a story mean to be read or told by the fireside at night), and LOTR is not. People clamored for a sequel to the Hobbit, so Tolkien wrote one. It just turned out to be bigger, scarier, and more mature than he originally thought.

So they are entirely two different entities. But they are connected by the Ring.
I don't think it's that the idea of a bridging film is entirely abandoned, rather the problem is that until the Tolkien Estates suit is settled, the necessary material is not available. So in order for a smooth transition from a childrens adventure tale to a Medieval Epic to work, it will be necessary to gradually change the tone. With 2 films to work with, the "kid stuff" can be done in the first film if one ends the film with the Death of Smaug, and the second film would take on more of the "Epic" material (some of it as flashback).

Though I do think a case could be made for spreading things out and ending the first film with the cliffhanger of the Dwarves being captured by the Elves. But that would make the challenge of gradually darkening the tone while maintaining the "Fairy Tale" aspect much more difficult. And there has been precedent for a "childrens" film that is edgy enough for adults: [i:21hrcv1o]Time Bandits[/i:21hrcv1o].

[b:21hrcv1o]GB[/b:21hrcv1o]
I think I'll start with an answer (or partial answer) to the first question egorjosh2 posted.
[quote:1r7ix5nl]Didn't the White Council enlist the help of the elves of Lothlorian to attack Dol Gulder or am I just remembering the fact that Sauron launched 3 attacks from Dol Gulder against Lorien during the War of the Ring?[/quote:1r7ix5nl]
I can not answer as to an army of elves attacking, but Galadriel is on the White Council. At least she is as I understand it. And as the defacto leader of the Noldor Elves and one who has lived in the light of the Trees, I would imagine she is on the council. From there it is no real stretch to presume that the elves of Lothlorien would aid in the attack of Dol Guldor.
Go even one better. Put Haldir in the battle as well. Another repeat customer from LotR.

And further a good point on battle fatigue for putting the Dol Guldor and Five Armies in the same movie. Granted the Pelennor Fields and the Morannan were both in RotK, but the Morannan was a much smaller scale battle. I would like the assault on Dol Guldor to be bigger and better than that.
****
For the Hobbit break, I still want to push film one all the way to the elves of Mirkwood. I know the cliffhanger of being left in the dungeons has been floated around a bit. I still thought a better ending would be when the barrels leave port. But again, with that is the pesky too much too little balance from film to film.
For me, a small conflict for the party [i:1r7ix5nl]spider encounter, elves encounter, Beorn encounter[/i:1r7ix5nl] should not be cut by the movie break. It just hurts the flow.
Thanks for everyones comments on this. I really wouldn't have a problem extending Bilbos jouney into Mirkwood at least up till he saves them from the spiders and they are captured by the elves. I think this could happen and Dol Gulder still take place in the first film. First film just might be a little longer and the second a little shorter but it could still work certainly. The big obstical I see for moving Dol Gulder to the second is that the filmmakers will want to spend some time setting up the story behind the attack, ie the meetings of the Council, etc. Unfortunately there would be no payoff for all that exposition in part 1. At least in BIlbo's part of the story you get a few good action sequences and the finding of the ring. What do we get in film 1 for the time spent talking about the Necromancer? Nothing but the promise that something big is going to happen in film 2.
like i said on another topic. The first movie will end when Gandalf leaves them at the edge of Mirkwood. Could be when bombur wakes up from his sleep after his fall in the water and ask's what happened. then they could have a flashback of the first movie just to remind the audiance of whats gone on. Not worded well but you no wot a mean. :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol:
aww eye doen zink zey shood brake it atall - Y brake sumthin iv itant brokan?
I'm with you Biffo. They will only break TH by trying to shoehorn it into LotR. Its a children's book it should be a children's film- I can still read it and enjoy it now as an adult same will be true of watching the film if they have the guts to stick to the book. 1 film, no break, no stupid misguided attempt to bridge it with LotR.
The sweet voice of reason, Mr Tyrant. We don't hear it enough on this forum. No matter how impossible it may seem to those without the mental fortitude, you and I must keep up the fight. It's a matter of Hobbit Ethics - the Very Highest! :ugeek:
Reading through all these posts I realize that the White Council/Dol Guldur stuff will be hard to fit in. It's too early for the first movie I think, but could possibly be fit in if they make the first movie cut at Lake Town or in the Elves' dungeons (though that would be a bad place to cut it, but that's just my opinion). The ideal cut would be right as they are going into Mirkwood, and the camera just zooms out from above and the movie ends with an overview of the great Mirkwood. But if they do that, the White Council stuff needs to be in the second movie.

However, I partly agree with Odo and Petty here, I think the White Council stuff should be left out all together. Not that I wouldn't like to see the Necromancer and the White Council in action, but I'm not sure if it would fit in with Bilbo's story without ruining the film in a way. I'll be thrilled if they pull it off without doing that though.

But I think that there should still be two films, just for the sake of putting everything from the book in the movies as well (with one movie there could be an issue with time).
So what you seem to be saying, Ringdrotten, is that if we made TWO MOVIES we could fit in EVERYTHING in the book without any rushing or deletions? Not even ONE missed song? Yes... I think I could come at that... :ugeek:
With two hours with the length of the LotR movies (3-4 hours) I think there should be no problem fitting it all in, which would be great <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> All of your beloved songs as well, of course! :lol:
Hooray! I'm looking forward to the movie being made now! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> You've put my mind at rest! (WARNING: GB* and His Evil Coven won't be happy!)


*PJ (Interchangeable)
Don;t celebrate to soon Odo!!

Problem here is the WC stuff happens alongside Bilbo's story, time-line wise. So when Bilbo gets to the end of his quest the WC is also over with. Unless they really muck about with that time line and put all the WC stuff in its own film- unlikely I think- then we will be left with inter-cutting as they did in TT between the two story lines. This means when Bilbo and co are going into Mirkwood we will be inter-cutting to the WC and stuff about a Necromancer that the main story characters are oblivious about and which has no effect on them.

And when it comes to the finale, the death of Smaug and the Battle of Five Armies we will be intercutting to the WC making their attack on Dol Guldur, Gandalf and Saruman fighting alongside Galadriel and Elrond (think how bad they exaggerated Legolas fighting and multiply the awfulness by 100). Someone will dangle precariously off a cliff (there will be one I bet).

Plus it will highlight a problem I have mentioned before- the Wise's failure to spot the Ring. On one hand we will see Bilbo meet Gollum and get the ring (which the whole audience will already know is The Ring) and on the other hand we will have Gandalf at a Council, unveiling the Necromancer as Sauron and arguing with Saruman about the fate of the Ring- and then Gandalf not saying a thing or bothering when Bilbo turns up with a suspicious magic ring the very next time he sees him.

I would take a guess also that Gandalf will not reveal the map and key at the start either but will instead be seen in the dungeons of Dol Guldur and getting them from Thrain- he will reveal them at a much later point. All in order to have something tying the two story lines together.

But its all wrong and dilutes Bilbo's tale it does not add to it. I would like to see the WC stuff, but do it in its own made up film not in TH. Its a misguided mistake and needs a stop put to it!
Oh gawd! I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. Just when I rise up high whooosh PJ and his Coven (sneakily) send me down again! <img src='/images/smileys/sad.gif' border='0' alt='Sad Smilie' /> <img src='/images/smileys/sad.gif' border='0' alt='Sad Smilie' /> <img src='/images/smileys/sad.gif' border='0' alt='Sad Smilie' />
[quote="Ringdrotten":1w9cwssc]However, I partly agree with Odo and Petty here, I think the White Council stuff should be left out all together. Not that I wouldn't like to see the Necromancer and the White Council in action, but I'm not sure if it would fit in with Bilbo's story without ruining the film in a way. I'll be thrilled if they pull it off without doing that though.[/quote:1w9cwssc]

I agree. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> I've long said (to GB's annoyance, I think :P ) that [i:1w9cwssc]The Hobbit[/i:1w9cwssc] is clearly about Bilbo and any adaptation that has any pretensions about being true to the book needs to keep it about Bilbo. Otherwise they will simply make a prequel - [i:1w9cwssc]The Lord of the Rings: When Bilbo Wasn't All Wrinkly[/i:1w9cwssc] - and The Hobbit is decidedly [b:1w9cwssc]not[/b:1w9cwssc] a prequel to LOTR.

[quote:1w9cwssc]But I think that there should still be two films, just for the sake of putting everything from the book in the movies as well (with one movie there could be an issue with time).[/quote:1w9cwssc]

If I thought they'd need two films to include everything in the book I'd agree, but I don't think there would be any problem fitting the whole story into one 3-3.5 hour movie. It's really a very linear story, much more so than even [i:1w9cwssc]The Fellowship of the Ring[/i:1w9cwssc] since it focuses solely on Bilbo, and it isn't very long compared to many books.
[quote="pettytyrant101":1vndg8og]But its all wrong and dilutes Bilbo's tale it does not add to it. I would like to see the WC stuff, but do it in its own made up film not in TH. Its a misguided mistake and needs a stop put to it![/quote:1vndg8og]

I would rather not see the White Council on film at all! Tolkien barely sketched the barest outline of that story, and any shooting script would by necessity be mainly fan-fiction. Sometimes I like reading Tolkien fan-fiction (occasionally even FanFiction.net coughs up a good story) but I have no desire to see it on the big screen pretending to be something else. Now, if a small operation that had no pretensions (such as the one behind [i:1vndg8og]The Hunt For Gollum[/i:1vndg8og]) wanted to make a film of it I'd watch eagerly, but I wish the studios would leave well enough alone. That won't happen when there's money to be made, though. :roll:
I think the very fact that Tolkien doesn't explain much of the white Council in the book is why they're probably putting it in the movie. That way, they have a bunch of wiggle room. Clever little filmakers.....
[quote="Eldorion":1rp62u66]

If I thought they'd need two films to include everything in the book I'd agree, but I don't think there would be any problem fitting the whole story into one 3-3.5 hour movie. It's really a very linear story, much more so than even [i:1rp62u66]The Fellowship of the Ring[/i:1rp62u66] since it focuses solely on Bilbo, and it isn't very long compared to many books.[/quote:1rp62u66]

Well, yeah, but the FotR movie is about that long, and see how much they left out of the book there. Probably reduced the books to a few chapters only (Book 1 being almost entirely left out). The book is short though, so I'm sure that they could do a very good job with one movie only. If they decide to leave the White Council out, that is, and I'm quite sure they won't. The script is already written, isn't it? I guess we're in for two movies, whether we like it or not <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
I find it a bit annoying Tin that of the two consistent female posters on this Forum you insist on being a Tolkien Liberal. You sound suspiciously like that Tolkien Liberal (Head Warlock) Gandalfs Beard. Sadly the only other consistent female poster on this Forum, Mirabella, (and let's face it, even I doubt how [i:16p8dfa4]consistently[/i:16p8dfa4] female she is?) is quite ambiguous about these films and the Tolkien Liberal view. It's like she can't think straight about the movies at all. Between you, me and the gatepost, I suspect she has certain [i:16p8dfa4]feelings[/i:16p8dfa4] for said Beard and so anything she says to support him must be motivated (and confused) by her feminine Emotions. So what's the point I'm actually trying to make here, Tin? ... :? ... I don't know really... :?
[quote="Ringdrotten":3j63rf28]Well, yeah, but the FotR movie is about that long, and see how much they left out of the book there. Probably reduced the books to a few chapters only (Book 1 being almost entirely left out). The book is short though, so I'm sure that they could do a very good job with one movie only. If they decide to leave the White Council out, that is, and I'm quite sure they won't. The script is already written, isn't it? I guess we're in for two movies, whether we like it or not <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />[/quote:3j63rf28] I think we agree here. I was engaging in a bit of wishful thinking and talking about a true-to-the-book adaptation and [i:3j63rf28]The Hobbit[/i:3j63rf28] as it was written is shorter and less complex than [i:3j63rf28]Fellowship[/i:3j63rf28]. With an added storyline I agree that they'll need another movie to tell both at a satisfactory length, which I'm sure was great news for the studios.