Thread: Lets talk directors vision
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That is important to keep in mind when making a Hobbit movie in the wake of cinematic success like Jackson's LotR. It's so important, I think I'll say it again...in bold!
[b:33zjdavd]The Hobbit is not Lord of the Rings.[/b:33zjdavd]
To that end I am glad that Jackson is involved, but not directing it. This is a different story, different characters and a completley different feel.
But for Del Toro, I'm not sure where he'll go with this. I submit two of his films for thought, Hellboy and Pan's Labrinth. Both show that he can tackle action and monsters. But Hellboy showes he can use humor and make a sort of offbeat funny adventure/action. Labrinth shows his deeper themes and darker side. What I want to know is what he will bring to Hobbit?
Will he make it thematically in sync with LotR? Or employ much more of the lighthearted approch that makes this much more of a children's book?
Just a for instance, to get the ball rolling, the spiders?
I find Bilbo singing "Attercop Attercop" to a mini-version of Shelob hard to swallow. How will he do it?
The Hobbit is not the same story as Lord of the Rings, but it IS the same world. That part is locked in by keeping Bilbo, Gandalf, Gollum, and Elrond in both books. But the tone of each is vastly different.
I had thought of that in regard to the dragons. We don't really know much about what happens in the Silmarillion because it is written in that distant, elevated style. We don't know exactly how different characters felt, moment by moment, the way we know how Bilbo experiences things. So Glaurung seems really noble and black and wicked and closer to Mordor as opposed to Smaug, who lives in the suburbs of evil. Glaurung would be too evil and wise to be outsmarted by a hobbit. Or maybe not. In Lord of the Rings we do not laugh at evil characters because we are too tired and worried about what will happen. The only events I can think of are when Eowyn says, "I am not a man" to the witch king--that gives him a shock--and when the orcs kill each other fighting over Frodo's dwarf mail after Shelob bites him. Otherwise we don't laugh at evil characters.
Maybe that will be a theme. If I were a director, sitting with my notes, trying to lay out the vision conceptually, one theme to explore would be the idea of sophistication vs. naivete--or the great city vs. the suburbs or the country. Because SO MUCH of the Hobbit has to do with Bilbo's lack of experience and how everything is wild and new to him. But I don't think you can depict that very easily in a film. I mean, you could have it be exactly the same world--except maybe the Dark Lord has been sleeping in the world of the Hobbit, and we know that more evil things are at work more actively in the LOTR--but you could have it be basically the same world, but show it through the eyes of somebody who has no experience. That would give you an excuse to make it more cartoonish or homespun or stylised like a storybook. But I don't know if the audience could be made to understand that this is what is going on. So if I were a director, I would consider that option but lament the difficulty in pulling it off. Another way of getting around the differences in tone is to exploit the idea of darker evil polluting certain areas more. Gondor is closer to Mordor. Those people are used to seeing and dealing with more dangers, so more heroes are made because they've got those constant threats. Eagles are noble and see a lot of the world, so they belong to the part of the world that is more dangerous and intense. We encounter them, because they help out--like Gandalf needs to call in the reserves to help out--but they belong to the more dangerous, noble world. The Shire is a protected place. Hobbits do not encounter many dangers at all, so they don't practice the arts of fighting and defending and such. They know that the Old Forest is creepy and dangerous, but most people just stay away from it.
I have to go for now, but I was also thinking about Beorn and Tom Bombadill. Since they didn't use Tom in the LOTR movies, he's fair game to be used in the Hobbit movie #2 maybe. It COULD be that there's a whole legion of people who are protecting the outer areas and keeping them relatively safe. We have the Rangers, and elves are always patrolling and protecting. Tom Bombadil seems to be cozy and happy and safe, and he probably is, but he also kind of chews out Old Man Willow and makes him cough up the hobbit he has grabbed, so we know that he has a lot of power. He has a lot of knowledge of older times.
Anyway, it could be the same world, but the evil creatures could be a bit less evil because of the decreased activity of Sauron and the vigilance of those who protect against evil encroachment. All of that--the story of those who protect--could make up the matter of the second Hobbit movie.
I think I agree with you, Show, about PJ. It's good to have a different style for the Hobbit. Rayner Unwin, in his exclusive review of The Hobbit, says, "[The Hobbit] should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9." (http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/ima ... review.jpg) This is something to consider. Between 5 and 9 seems quite young for the book in today's age, but back then (1936) I suppose it was acceptable. So, to adapt it to this age, we could say 8 to 12? I don't know. But still, it almost seems to me that The Hobbit should be PG. Of course, there are frightening images and intense action, so I suppose PG-13 would be fitting. But I think the feel of the story should be of a children's story. It should be innocent and, well, small. But the fact that it's small makes it big. There's something Tolkienish .
My hope is that Jackson and Del Toro will take a similar approach to [u:218b2e8l]the Hobbit[/u:218b2e8l], thus insuring the integrity of the world of LOTR in a story suitable for youngsters. It occurs to me in retrospect, that [u:218b2e8l]Time Bandits[/u:218b2e8l] was likely modelled on [u:218b2e8l]the Hobbit[/u:218b2e8l] (the book), so it seems fitting that [u:218b2e8l]the Hobbit[/u:218b2e8l] (the movie) should be modelled on [u:218b2e8l]Time Bandits[/u:218b2e8l].
i'm new to this sort of thing, but here we go!
I was jus wondering with everyones thoughts on the look of The hobbit movie. And in particular wot u think the people in Laketown should be like or the place should look like? Its based on a Lake right, so themes of lakes, river folk, saxon era?
Just tryin to get some feedback, for a project i'm doing, there doesnt seem to be a lot of images i have found yet, anyone know of a good website?
Woulkd much appreciate your thoughts and help,
And yes, the Laketown folk are "men" but it's a culture that hasn't been determined yet. I picture them being like the Rohirrim, but of course they won't because there won't be the horse element.
Beyond just general pictures of laketown, no pictures that I have seen go into much detail...it'll be cool to see what they do.
For example, in [u:1wyo1fpx]The Hobbit[/u:1wyo1fpx], the Wood-elves are not very sympathetic characters. We could explain this by saying that no elves would seem very sympathetic to dwarves, and since we are traveling with dwarves, that's the kind of treatment we'll get--we'll see the most hostile side of the elves. The book [u:1wyo1fpx]The Battle for Middle-Earth [/u:1wyo1fpx]points out that the Wood-elves of Mirkwood in [u:1wyo1fpx]The Hobbit [/u:1wyo1fpx]are "somewhat indolent and greedy. They love gold and jewels but have not bothered to learn about the artistry of working them into useful objects; in this regard they come off poorly next to the Dwarves." (p. 30) In a footnote on the same page he says that the king of the Wood-elves "is not himself a Wood-elf, but a much loftier Grey-elf, one of the Sindar. His ill-considered imprisonment of Thorin and the other Dwarves makes a rather negative impression on the reader (a fact that will require a bit of rehabilitative dialogue at the Council of Elrond) but in fact the Elvenking's reliability as an ally against the power of Mordor was considerable. His success in preventing Sauron from encroaching upon the Wood-elves in Mirkwood is not as clear in [u:1wyo1fpx]The Hobbit [/u:1wyo1fpx]as it will become later. In particular, we will learn that Thranduil is the father of Legolas."
I really do think that the second Hobbit movie will deal with filling in background issues that will bridge the inconsistencies between The Hobbit and the LOTR. So LOTS of what is talked about at the Council of Elrond will be there as will be the actions of anyone who has been quietly at work keeping the evil forces at bay. So maybe we will finally get Tom Bombadill as well as more about the Rangers and the elves in Stealthy Special Forces mode.
Taking this to heart is important to the movie. It will be difficult to encapsulate this and at the same time meld the five together, making it a "five part series."
Its much appreciated.
I'm thinking 'laketown' or 'esgaroth' to be similar to the rohirrim but with the nature around them being more incorporated in their culture. I was thinking, lake creatures, fish, reeds, dragonflies and cranes that kind of thing. Any views??
Also i'v found out that lots of trading would go on there, so lots of barrels and nets? Boats and rafts?
And i was thinknig that they would be like anglo-saxon historically inspired?, maybe celtic?
There have been some findings of bridges on stilts and small burial sites in that sort of era?
If anyone can give me any feedback, i would be most interested
I would love to know what you all thought
The obvious answer for continuity is nothing. But will The Hobbit still be a children's story with the grotesque monsters trying to kill our little friend with furry feet?
If he did try to make the orcs more kid friendly, what would he do? Or is this a moot point considering the other images young children are exposed to already?
Also, and please correct me if my recollection is lacking, but I remember reading in either The Hobbit or LOTR that the fact that the Goblin-king was killed by Gandalf invisibly wielding Orcrist in combination with their defeat at the Battle of Five Armies, caused a great scattering and weakening of all of the Misty Mountain goblins. This, in turn, is why I had always envisioned that the orcs of Moria, being beneath the Misty Mountains, appeared similarly leaderless and scattered.
Overall, in terms of director's vision, The Hobbit, I think is infinitely more filmable, because it so much more linear and direct of a storyline. The devil will be in the details as many seem to allude to and their thankful transition to a two part "all Hobbit" movie will enable many more of those details to be fleshed out.
[color=#BF0000:3qf7rkgs]I concur Eldorion. I think the first film is still likely to end with the death of Smaug. The humour and lightheartedness can then be maintained throughout it. The darker, more adult material will then be consigned to the second Hobbit film.
Then the second film will probably open with the immediate aftermath. Someone will wonder aloud "what's happening with Gandalf." Then it will cut to a flashback revealing Gandalf, the White Council etc. The first such scene would probably be a continuation of a brief set-up scene in the first film so people will understand it's a flashback (sort of how the battle with the Balrog is handled in LOTR).
I suspect this will take up the first third of film 2, then there will be cuts back to Bilbo and the Dwarves as the time-frames converge somewhere in the middle of the film. This should then lead to Gandalf meeting up with the crew just before the end the second third of the film. Then the Battle of 5 armies can commence, taking up most of the last third. This would of course be followed up with a denoument--Bilbo returning home etc. The very last scene should be Gollum leaving the mountain cave and Gandalf smoking his pipe looking perplexed as Bilbo tells his tale to a young Frodo--thus setting up LOTR just in case the bridging film is never made.[/color:3qf7rkgs]
And I also wrote this:
[color=#BF0000:3qf7rkgs]I was just using the example of the Balrog scene to indicate the flashback approach. It would have to be much longer and would roughly cover much of the first half of film 2, but as the Council sequence catches up in time with Bilbo and the dwarves we would see more inter-cutting.
There would definitely have to be at least one set-up/lead-in Gandalf/ Council scene though in film 1. Perhaps two. But it would leave off at a cliff-hanger for that story line so it will be clear in the second film.
And, yes, the first movie would then be more in keeping with the Children's Adventure Story/Fairy Tale approach. Then the second film would become closer to the action style of LOTR. That's how I would do it and how I intuit PJ and Del Toro are going to film it. [/color:3qf7rkgs]
Anyway, those were my thoughts. I do think there are any number of ways of filming it, but this seems the best approach to maintain the "children's story" aspect in at least the first Hobbit film. But if they are going to balance the Dark and Light material throughout both films, then more options are available.
Another film that comes to mind that I think captures this idea, is Legend. There is a sense of innocense that is convincingly conveyed by many of the characters. Jack and Lil live in an idyllic world where all is light and laughter, yet Ridley Scott manages to juxtapose this with the malevolence of Tim Curry's portrayal of Darkness without it becoming SO dark and dangerous that it stops feeling like a children's faerie tale.
A footnote on Laketown. Cranes, reeds and fish is a good idea, but let's hope they don't go for the thematic approach, like the cave scene in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where everything was basically built around crystals and shells. The lake should seem important to the town, but the town shouldn't be decorated with smooth rocks, fish bones or anything like that. As for the ethnicity, just think like Tolkien; language and geography. Laketown folk were related to Rohan folk, but lived further north, and the roots of their language is similar (Northern-Germanic). "Bard" is a Nordic name, therefore his people should be Nordic in style, perhaps with a more medieval twist.
Oh and Gimli's accent in the LotR is Welsh-sounding (puts me in mind of coal-miners) so hopefully Del Toro's dwarves will talk similarly.
In any case, I agree with you 1000 % that Del Toro has earned our trust [b:2aq045g6]Gollum's Lab[/b:2aq045g6]. Pan's Labyrinth really sealed the deal for me. I think you are right also regarding the darker tone of the Hobbit to standard children's fare.
But I think that is because British children's books have traditionally not condescended to kids, unlike the often more sentimental American Authors (excepting Mark Twain). From Dickens to Tolkien, and Dahl to Rowling, British authors tend not to sugarcoat weighty topics like death.
The Hobbit was the first substantial book that I read as a child. I was about 8 when I read it, and in many ways I relate to Bilbo in that I was bright eyed and innocent as I was drawn into the adventure contained in the book. It opened my mind's eye to adventure and gave me my appetite for reading in general.
The mix of danger, excitement, wonder and at times even comedy truly were magical to me. The scene with the trolls bickering over what to do with the dwarves, the passage into and out of goblin town, riddles in the dark with Gollum, the spiders of Mirkwood (including Bilbo's mockery of them), the escape from the elven caverns, and of course everything associated with Smaug, each have the potential to be epic moments in filmmaking if done right. I remember spending hours as a boy imagining about the glory of Smaug's hoard. Oh how I wanted to search through it for a magnificent suit of armour, shield, sword, and spear to equip myself as a great warrior.
I don't know if Del Toro understands the scope of what he is trying to accomplish. Whether dealing with scary spiders, the overwhelming presence of Smaug, or the comedic brutish bickering of the trolls, Del Toro must always maintain the child-like wonder of the story. It is a bedtime story, and needs to maintain a hint of that innocent feeling even in the darkest and most frightening parts of the story.
In summary, Del Toro must capture the wonder and hint of innocence in the book. Without those, it will never truly be The Hobbit to me.
I pray Del Toro can do it right.
The hardest part is for him to keep focus and not lose the innocence.
P.S. Welcome to the forum! Feel free to introduce yourself in the New Members section!
The comment made earlier about the Wood-elves is interesting as we really are exposed to a side of the elves we don't really see in LoTR. However in The Silmarillion, the elves are far from perfect and often do indulge their greed and lust for treasure. I think showing the wood-elves as somewhat greedy and a bit impulsive at times will add greater depth to the elves as a race for the movie going audiences. If you look at PJ's movies the elves really aren't all that interesting to the average viewer because they are essentially perfect. Thranduil can be treasure hungry and still be a wise and noble Elvenking capable of great things.
Not automatically; if [i:3bqxclmb]The Hobbit[/i:3bqxclmb] is made notably darker it will likely not appeal to children as much even if it remains an adventure story. That is, if children are even allowed to see it.
[quote:3bqxclmb]However, thinking of it in terms of a "children's movie" completely removes what makes The Hobbit great.[/quote:3bqxclmb]
So thinking of [i:3bqxclmb]The Hobbit[/i:3bqxclmb] in terms of a movie telling a children's story (i.e., children's movie) removes what makes it great? Given that TH achieved fame and popularity as a children's story I don't think I need to point out why this makes no sense.
[quote:3bqxclmb]The Hobbit movie should be seen as a movie for adults that most children will enjoy. Not the other way around.[/quote:3bqxclmb]
And this should happen ... because you say so?
The book works well for children because the adventure is up to their imaginations, they get to decide how scary the spiders look or how violent the goblins are. That audience participation is removed though when the material is put into a visual medium. To have the events of The Hobbit toned down to where it is widely accepted as a children's movie betrays the original source material. The movie Batman and Robin was close to the campy comics of the 50's and 60's and look how well that came out. Some things just get completely lost in translation between text and film.
You probably wouldn't believe how many times people have told me this. While it is true (and really it's fairly self-evident) it doesn't require changing the story - or making it a different kind of story. If PJ or GDT don't like the kind of story The Hobbit is they should adapt something else, or better yet make their own original story.
[quote:h3huu1pr]I want the movie to be very close to the book as well, in terms of overall tone and story, but I also want it to be a good movie[/quote:h3huu1pr]
You seem to think these to some degree exclude each other, but I disagree (see below).
[quote:h3huu1pr]The book works well for children because the adventure is up to their imaginations, they get to decide how scary the spiders look or how violent the goblins are.[/quote:h3huu1pr]
No, the story works well for children because it's a fun adventure story: dangerous yet overall relatively lighthearted, a developed story yet still easy enough to understand for a young child. Incidentally, that's probably why it appeals to many adults too.
[quote:h3huu1pr]To have the events of The Hobbit toned down to where it is widely accepted as a children's movie betrays the original source material.[/quote:h3huu1pr]
The events of The Hobbit don't require toning down to be a children's movie; they would require active darkening to not count as one. You seem to think that all children's movies are goofy and with as much darkness (or maturity) as the average Saturday morning cartoon. This is not the case. A children's movie doesn't have to be camp or immature.
You mentioned a couple of pages back time bandits, I nearly fell out of my chair. Gilliam doing the hobbit in that style would be hugely entertaining! on topic though he does do adventure extremely well, but in a way that some children may like, but has a serious plot that appeals to most people. Yes the hobbit should be for adults, but some children would enjoy, Pans labyrinth was a great example (first mentioned by GB I think?). Dark with a hint of childishness.
I think we're on the same page then. I definitely don't want to see anything like the animated [i:1s40m093]Hobbit[/i:1s40m093]. All three animated films were painful for me to watch (though TH was actually the best, by which I mean it made me want to gouge my eyes out the least ).
And thanks Aule , for pointing out that I also brought up [i:iahnr4u0]Pan's Labyrinth[/i:iahnr4u0] as an example of Del Toro's genius and Gilliamesque vision. I think that and his [i:iahnr4u0]Hellboy[/i:iahnr4u0] films (particularly the second one) demonstrate that he is probably the only other director today besides Gilliam who could probably pull off such a feat, shifting easily between the more childlike material and the more mature.
It will be more necessary than ever now to achieve a workable balance, with the storyline of Gandalf, the White Council, and Dol Guldur interwoven into both films of [i:iahnr4u0]The Hobbit[/i:iahnr4u0]. Del Toro definitely has the Mad Skills necessary for the task .
Certain books and films appeal to young and old, whether it's Dahl, Tolkien, Lewis, or Rowling, or Bugs Bunny, Maurice Sendak and Dr Seuss for that matter. It kind of relates to what Eldorion was saying a few posts ago. The Hobbit may be a "Children's Book", but it's on a completely different level than what passes for children's fiction generally speaking (particularly in the US). Such material doesn't talk down to children, but rather treats them like intelligent individuals capable of handling hard truths.
Depending on the child, some may be able to comprehend The Hobbit better than others at an earlier age. But it definitely hews more to the reading capacity of older children (8-10 and up). At that age many kids are perfectly capable of dealing with more mature material. And that's what Del Toro will be aiming for--something that will appeal to the 10 year old in all of us.
If I recall correctly, Tolkien didn't add Gandalf's adventures into the Hobbit because he didn't realize when he started writing it, that it was going to be part of his Larger World. So he hadn't quite worked out at the time what Gandalf was up to. There is some indication that he may have attempted to revise The Hobbit and retrofit that information, but never really figured out how to do it before he died.
Gandalf's side-activity with the White Council and Dol Guldur was presumably not included in [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z], even in the post-[i:1f32225z]LotR[/i:1f32225z] revision, because it was simply not part of the story of [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z]. Gandalf is a relatively minor character in the story and his activities that are un-related to Bilbo are not properly part of the story. Tolkien himself, in the grand overview of his mythology that is Letter #131, stated that the "Quest of the Dragon-gold" was "the main theme of the actual tale", despite being quite minor in the grand scheme of the history of Middle-earth. (It does however have far-reaching effects long after the events of [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z] in that it removes Smaug as a danger to the North.)
That is rather the point, however; [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z] is not supposed to be a look at the important events in Middle-earth at that time, it's a story about a specific set of events in a small corner of Middle-earth. Adding the White Council and Dol Guldur makes it more [i:1f32225z]LOTR: The Prequel[/i:1f32225z] than [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z].
[quote:1f32225z]There is some indication that he may have attempted to revise The Hobbit and retrofit that information, but never really figured out how to do it before he died.[/quote:1f32225z]
I know Tolkien completed two editions of [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z] after its initial publication and I recall reading about an aborted fourth edition (though I cannot locate the source of that) but I have never heard that he tried to include Gandalf's activity with Dol Guldur in [i:1f32225z]The Hobbit[/i:1f32225z]. Out of curiosity, where can this indication be found?