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Thread: Will LOTR forge the way for new Fantasy films?

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Swampfaye posted on 10/1/2002:

I understand there is a lot of talk about new fantasy films now. Including Dragonlance and other Tolkien based stories. Do you think all fantasy films will be held to the "LOTR" standard, like all sci fi was held to Star Wars standards?

I for one hope so. LOTR was so well done that if anyone put the effort PJ put into this movie, they are certain to get at least an entertaining and beautiful fantasy film. But fantasy is so under rated. I am looking forward to seeing more.

BTW, Willow is *finally* on DVD

believe that there will be an awful lot of cheap and nasty copies of Lotr, most of which will be unable to hold a candle to it (much like what happened with SW) and as most fantasy books fall way short of Lotr, there will be a shortage of raw material to draw from. The fantasy craving masses will be disappointed (did you actually SEE the D&D movie?)
(did you actually SEE the D&D

Yup, have it on DVD. There isn't much for fantasy fans, as it is, and beggers can not be choosers. It's a great made for t.v. movie that wasn't made for t.v. Better than Merlin. Should have never been a "feature film" but If Star Wars spawned knock off's it also spawned great films like "Star Trek II" and "Galaxy Quest" so... I still have high hopes
part of the reason fantasy films are underrated is that there aren't so many of them out there...I think the success of LotR will make it easier for fantasy movies to be, there will be more of the genre increases, I think it's pretty much guaranteed to improve as more directors try different things and find out what can go into a really great fantasy movie.
I certainly hope to see more fantasy films - but only if they are resonably well done. I suppose we can't expect the same standard as the LoTR since not many films would have such a huge budget to work with. It's do or die for the fantay genre in films - if they don't gain popularity now they never will.

Anyone watched Willow lately? I could have sworn I saw a few ideas that were used in TLoR film ie: The wizard duel and the floating white sorceress. PJ must have been a fan.
Movies have nearly always come from books. It's just that very often people don't know the books. There is no growing trend I'm afraid, it's just always been that way. And I used to watch Willow all the time, because I had no Lotr movie (I could never find a copy of the Bakshi movie up until last year) It's great, and very similar. Though it's a George Lucas story, so it was bound to be good!
If you want a good film and good fantasy get boorman's EXCALIBUR. Not sure if it's avail on DVD yet. Or just get a few Honh Kong kung fu/fantasy flicks. Some great ones out there. Notably "The Bride with White Hair" by Ronnie Yu. Magical. OK not exactly LoTR but really worthwhile. Not for kids though
I also hope Lotr will help moviemakers see the big picture and produce more outstanding fantasy films. Lotr goes to show that it certainly pays to...

What I would love to see one day in the future is Robert Jordans Wheel of Time Saga made into a series of movies, Once he finishes them first of course and if he doesn't die first
Never read the Wheel of time. Sad Smilie I don't have enough time to read all there is to read about fantasy!! AAAAHHH!! Smile Smilie
I still think many great fantasy books would suck if they would be put in film. (the film would suck, I mean) You need to have a really big budget to get everything as right as possible. And you need to have courage to take the challenge. Not many directors have alas, or maybe they're right?
Your right it would take alot of courage to take on a big fantasy film but surely there are some fantasy freak directors who would be more than willing to take the plunge.

I also think a movie adapted from a book would be heaps better if the postAuthorID could play a major role in the production ( if they are still around of course. Smile Smilie
Thats for sure jesi, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Theres still 4 books to go though.

Haven't read any of David Eddings but have though of it. I will have to read some now.
Smile Smilie
I don't know how well Wheel of Time would translate to a movie...too much important stuff happened inside the characters' own heads (like Rand's whole battle with the taint and things like that). I can't think how they would accurately portray all that.
They could say it outloud? maybe?

Wink Smilie
Chika's right here. There's always too little of a book in the movie made of it. A book is much larger, if you know what I mean... Smile Smilie
And I like Elspeths idea about letting the postAuthorID take part in the production of the film. But if you have an postAuthorID like Tolkien you would have two major problems:
1) he's dead (duh!) Big Smile Smilie
2) he probably wouldn't care a thing
But still, it's a good idea. Smile Smilie
I know from visiting Terry Brooks site that he had been approached by a mojor studio and sold "The Wishsong of Shanarra" and this happened shortly after they began producing the Rings triliogy but he just recently anounced on his site that the movie would not be happening. HE would not elaborate as to why. I think for a movie studio to want to produce a film it is going to have to be almost as popular as Tolkien is.
I know there have been many attempts to seduce a studio into producing Dragonlance... there is even a site for the "Dragonlance" movie already.

I think a Terry Brooks novel would make a great movie, but I don't think you could start at Wishsong... Elfstones was his best Shannara book.
I never read any Terry Brooks books. Smile Smilie Are they any good? Probably yes, otherwise you wouldn't be talking about them, but what are they about? Tolkienish, Pratchettish, Adamsish? Sounds Gollumish... Smile Smilie
Glad you asked Tom. Go to this will give you alot of info about the postAuthorID and his novels. I would suggest you read the first book which is "The Sword of Shannara" then the rest of them. His books are more or less based on Tolkien but more story based then historical. Really must give it a run. Hope you enjoy. By the way the site should even allow you to read the first chapter of most of the books. Wink Smilie
Will definitely try, thanks jg! I have found Terry Brook's books in the library, thank god! But I don't have much time to read them now, when I do, I must read the Sil first, then read Unfinished tales and then I can find time to read terry Brooks. But I will try... Smile Smilie
I like Terry Brooks, he writes in a very unique stile that really captures the readers imagination. But has anyone else noticed how The Sword of Shannara and The Lord of the Rings are almost EXACTLY alike! I was amazed at how much Terry Brooks took from Tolkien. You guys should read it just for that reason.
The Sword of Shannara and The Lord of the Rings are almost EXACTLY alike! I was amazed at how much Terry Brooks took from Tolkien. You guys should read it just for that reason.
I didn't think they were very alike; however, I found The Sword of Shannara a good read, though I didn't much like the sequels.
The Sword of Shannara and The Lord of the Rings are almost EXACTLY alike! I was amazed at how much Terry Brooks took from Tolkien.

I found the general storyline very similar to that of LotR. I thought it was a good book, but at the back of my mind I felt angry Brooks had taken so much from LotR to put in his own work. I'm afraid I could never get used to having a main character who was called Flick either.

Of the first three Shannara books, the third one, Wishsong of Shannara, was my favourite. Brooks seemed to have developed his own style by then, and the Wishsong contained some original ideas and characters that I quite liked. I never read any of the later ones because I had been discouraged by the dreadful Magic Kingdom for Sale series.
lotr really gave way to a new era for fiction movies
it really made me to have more interest in watching fiction movies rather than watching the traditional ones
Erbalwen, I disagree totally. Put others to shame? You know what you need to do? REad the book again. THink about it. THINK OF THE OVER A HUNDRED MAJOR DIFFERENCES!!!!! (I counted them)
Whether or not the films were a good adaptation of the books, they have set new standards for filmakers.
I agree, Vee. I think from now on, LotR will be a standard for fantasy movies, just as Star Wars and, partially, Matrix have been for SF.
Let's hope LotR doesn't go the same way as Star Wars.......

What's wrong with Star Wars? Oh, yeah. The first and second episodes. *hack hack*
ONE THING: LOTR ALL THE WAY! NEW FANTASY.... never settle for less, when you can start a revolution!

Of course I think now there'll be a new outbreak of fantasy/epic films, just as James Bond paved the way for many, many spy films.

Already, I've seen plans for new fantasy movies based on books, i.e. The Runelords, based on David Farland's Runelord saga. Summer 2005 is the projected release date.

However, Runelords is far from the only fantasy film we can expect. Some others include:
-"Kingdom in Twilight," based on the German legend "Die Nibelungen."
-"Evermere" (possible re-emergence)
-"Forbidden Warrior"
-"His Dark Materials," based upon Philip Pullman's novels. (New Line, rel. 2006).

I remember hearing of the last book somewhere on this forum or another, so...

And, these are fairly recent outbreaks, for example the director of "Runelords" just signed onto the project March 2nd. The press release of a possible "Runelords" movie was only on Feb. 22nd.

See what the success of the LotR movies have done?
I found the general storyline very similar to that of LotR. I thought it was a good book, but at the back of my mind I felt angry Brooks had taken so much from LotR to put in his own work. I'm afraid I could never get used to having a main character who was called Flick either.

yeah, im glad someone else picked up on actually reading it again now, since i didnt finish it the first time i started it..... it's like he's copied all the major characters and events of LotR, but they only form a frame-work, aroud which he's built his own story.... it's actually pretty good, and im gonna try finish it this time Read Smilie Read Smilie Read Smilie
Aminal, how did you know that in my famiy we always say aminal instead of animal? ANd the mouse? How di dyou know that I hated mice? Major opposites. This is just weird. I'm starting to think things................ Paranoid Smilie
I had written something more ellocuent, but, after writting, I was logged out and the whole essay was lost. Still, I must add that it all depends on the book they take the story from. Most movies have been books, I agree, but the trick is on finding the storyline as absorbing as in words. How do you choose a good story? What is a good story? For the comments I’ve read so far you guys are tough critics, which is good, but very demanding. I’ve always thought that making a T.V. series could work. D&D! Pfffhhh! Anyone who has an idea of what the RPG is about had something to say about it. And I don’t mean fans and players all over. It couldn’t have even made a good T.V. series. Which is weird, because that is how the realm of RPG develops. T.V. movies are lame. T.V. series are a way to expand the capacity of a story line. The plot thinkens, so to speak. See the huge success Star Trek had. I’ve always thought that that could be the way to go big on Star Wars, for example. And its story line congures a lot of parallel topics suited for that porpuse. Life in the Rebel base at Yavin IV. A Bounty hunter stories. A young (a kid even) jedi in training. Lateral stories t.v. adapted in the coolest way. I also don’t have time to read of late. And, I must admit, I haven’t read the Wheel of time. But the problem we face in the interpretation and representation is that what you see in the movie is seldom what you imagined while reading the book. Sure a huge budget could do the trick, specially in this fantasy genre, but 90% of the effort is on the story. I would choose Tim Burton as a good director for portraying that kind of mood. He gives a kind of dark mist ambience to the plot. Dragonlance? Good Idea. Also, I didn’t even know who Terry Brooks was, thanks for the tip Jg. Also, Loni, I hate to contradict, but if you can count the differences that means there are differences that can be accounted for. That means the storyline is the same, but with differences you can count? Besides, if you have to count them you are better of reading the real thing. You shouldn’t be able to even compare the two works in the same scale, for all I’m concerned. Elf Smilie
Someone has a habit of writing LOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGGGgg posts.
Sooorry Ha Ha Ha Smilie I’m new and I need to get my message across.
Wow, dont stop, Azadhel, I love your long posts. Smile Smilie
Thanx. The thing is that when writting I feel as if the words flow and say exactly what I want to say. As oppossed as when I speak. I lika the bunny wabbit.
Waving Hello Smilie
Huh. Lady Feawen has a bunny avatar, but I have a flemish giant wabbit sitting righ tnext to my ankle right now. LOL! normal wabbits weigh about 1.5 kgs, but my shweet shpecklesh here weighs 6.4. Like I said, he really is a flemish giant. He is literally as big as a cat. Or bigger. He's certainly bigger than next door's cat. He gave it a pretty good fight yesterday.

(This is true, no fibs, honest)
Moderator Smilie It would seem that we are getting a little off topic here, folks. Moderator Smilie

Topic? Was there a topic? Iike rabbits, not as big as Loni’s, but they are cute. But now her avatar has changed and a Crest fills her aura of dignity, valour, pride, courage, novelty, intelligence, wit, personality, aspirations, honor, persistance, enthusiasm, charisma, talent, and humbleness... hey, just like me!
Also, gimme an interesting enough topic (whenever there is one), and you’ll see Azadhel’s lexicon on its essence.
Gee Azadhel,
Do you think the title of the thread might give an indication of the topic:
Will LOTR forge the way for new Fantasy films?

Moderator SmilieAny posts that are not on topic will be deleted.Moderator Smilie
Oooh, that was the topic. Oops, my bad.
Of course "LotR, The Movie" will forge a new way. And I wouldn’t so far as saying it will, for it did. Yet, the question itself is kind of tricky once you think of it. Do you think the Matrix forged a way in Sci-fi Action? I’ve seen the Matrix parodied (ridiculized rather) in many other films. The characters, the stories, even the action sequences are echoed in many a narrative nowadays. And just, to say the least, broke through on paradigms of romance, thrill, and suspense. Perhaps the answer lies in the humble fact that movie makers, good movie makers, like Pete (how we call him), took a (man’s) vision and portrayed it in his unique manner. Vanguardism, my friend, that... is a thing of the past. LotR (as the Matrix in its time) broke a whole bunch of cinematographic boundaries. 11 Academy Nominations?!?! Not to recall all the addictive fans that became Tolkien’s after each December. This first Topic question rises another one in my mind: Did LotR forge a new way in Fantasy Literature? Now, here is the complexity: It didn’t acctually forge it. It merely was. Of course millions of lovers took it for theirs, and became enamoured with the whole concept. That is a trend one can not stop. So, for now, I think I’ll leave it at "It does Not forge a way." After reading some comments, I will elaborate on why it does.
Azadhel, like I have said before, you sound like a wise old sage.
I would like to read some comments... on the topic, of course.
I have a different viewpoint than everyone who's posted so far, actually it appears to me that, at least in the 'States, historical films have been greatly assisted by LOTR. Case in point, the latest Alamo movie, I saw previews for it during the second or third time I saw ROTK and it looked like they "borrowed" the siege scene from ROTK. Another film I thought was trying to be similar was, I believe, Gods and Generals, although I did not see it, the previews that I saw for it showed the armies charging each other, sort of like the Prologue from FOTR. Saw previews for another movie this weekend (don't remember the name), similar deal with two armies charging each other, set in Ancient Egypt, I think (and happens to have Orlando Bloom as a star if I'm not mistaken), something to do with a battle between Troy and Egypt over Cleopatra.

My theory is that LOTR has been a boon to the historical movie genre because LOTR itself feels like a historical story (both the books and movies), which is how PJ envisioned his movies would feel. And it also seems that a lot of non-LOTR/Tolkien fans (at least pre-recent movies) and LOTR/Tolkien fans (pre-recent movies) enjoyed the battle scenes and it seems that the historical movies are trying to cash in on that by having large battle scenes.

I am not saying that LOTR will not be a boost to fantasy movies, its just that they are a bit behind, while historical films seem to have taken the lead in trying to milk some of the popularity in large epic battles that LOTR seems to have fueled.
Case in point:

"Alamo" - already playing.

"Troy" - already playing.

"Hannibal" -Slated for a 2005 release. Based upon the life of Hannibal Barca, the Carthaginian general who famously invaded Italy by way of the Alps in 218 B.C., with a massive army which included Olipha...I mean elephants. Hannibal will be played by either Vin Diesel or *gasp* Denzel Washington. Lots of controversy on the ethnicity evidently. ( I've heard both sides, and I agree with the pragmatic view that unless you have a time machine and a camera handy, no one really knows for sure. )

"Gates of Fire" - 2005 Based upon the true story of 300 Spartans who, along with about 7,000 allied Greeks, held back an army of over 200,000 Persians (you read that right) for several days in 480 B.C. at the Battle of Thermopylae.

"Alexander the Great" - ETA (?) Starring (you guessed it) Colin Farrel. One of the greatest military intellects in history, conquered much of was what was then the civilised world.

And finally, "Gladiator 2" (feh!)

On the old World War movie front, after the popular Band of Brothers, the British film industry are making a war epic called "August 5th."

All movies are purported to be of 'epic' proportions. Very Lotr-esque; ad tedium.

Mere coincidence? I think not.
Got a point there.
yea!! But none will beat LotR!! Just Kidding!! Maybe Troy!! That looks really good!!! But it's rated R!! Gosh Darnitt!!! (as you can see I read Rednell's article about rules to follow and I have subsituted swear words for none swear words that mean the same thing!)
Artemis Fowl, BArtimeaus Trilogy, Earthsea trilogy, Narnia books are all going to be made into movies.

Even though this is off topic but a kid at my school thought that TLOR had copied Harry potter instead of vice versa! Very Big Grin Smilie
I see what you mean, all of yous. And now that you mention it, part of me thinks its cool that all those stories are being brought to life by talented people on the filmmaking bussiness. It sucks big time, though. The other day we were talking about girls and commitment and what not and I said, "With great power comes great responsability." And you know what my friend said? "Ah, Spider-Man!"
Well, NOOO! The influence that movies exercise on todays minds is ridiculously underestimated. I really hate that aspect of all this. HATE! Proverbs, Deep Thoughts, Quotes, and Enlighting Ideas are ludicrously summerized in a coined phrase said by some fake-behind character. A character that identifies with today’s mental midgetism of the youth and not-so-clever people out there. That (at least) one person could think that Lord of the Rings was a copy of Harry Potter only shows how much in decadence our civilization is in terms of culture and knowledge. Films, as good as they may be, are contributing to that. [Sigh] There’s no fighting agaist it.
I think Moorcock's Elric books are being made into films too... God help us.

But Terry Brooks should be ashamed of how much he stole from Tolkien - it goes way beyond inspiration. Whatever you think of Pratchett, Moorcock, Le Guin et al - they've clearly looked at Tolkien and gone away and done something very different. Brooks has gone away and done something very similar - a lazy way to make a fast buck.