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Thread: Lets talk directors vision

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I went and found it for you, Mr Tyrant. You'll notice, though, that it is a [i:1svkqot2]Resistance[/i:1svkqot2] Thread, rather than a [i:1svkqot2]Discuss PJ's Perversions [/i:1svkqot2]Thread.
[quote="pettytyrant101":2kbg903c]If memory serves me right there is an account of the meeting in UT in which Gandalf blows smoke rings at Saruman then snatches them away- but that Tolkien also felt this was too blatant and made it tricky to explain Gandalf's apparent blind spot in LoTR to Saruman's potential treachery.[/quote:2kbg903c]

Perhaps slightly off-topic (might as well try to keep the White Council discussion in the existing thread), but this and other scenes from Unfinished Tales cannot legally be used by the filmmakers (though if they're subtle in taking elements from them I doubt anything could be proven). The only Tolkien books to which the film rights were sold were The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. All other material is, or at the very least should be off-limits to the film-makers.
I'm surprised at that Eldorion given the stuff that got into LoTR that wasn't from the main book- Theodreds death at the fords of Isen makes a brief appearance in LoTR and is clearly based (however loosely) on the account given in UT.
I think there's somewhat of a Grey area. A lot of stuff in UT (and The Silmarillion) is mentioned [i:20hrrb2n]very[/i:20hrrb2n] briefly in the Appendices, so it's hard to know if the filmmakers just based it off that, or the UT account. The Fords of Isen do have some references in the main text of LotR, too. While there's a good chance they used the UT source, I don't think it's explicit enough to be proven.
Its an interesting point you raise Eldorion, given the wealth of material which overlaps between appendices and other works. I imagine its quite the legal minefield. But does raise an interesting point regarding the apparent decision to include the WC. It's hard to imagine they will ignore the few accounts Tolkien wrote of the meeting, but perhaps if for legal reason they have to they will just make it all up. In which case which would you prefer? Tolkiens, all be it rough and often conflicting account, or something entirely invented by the filmmakers? I suppose this might belong in the WC thread- but currently that seems to have become an extension of the Wise Odo thread! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
[quote="pettytyrant101":6xl1w564]perhaps if for legal reason they have to they will just make it all up. In which case which would you prefer? Tolkiens, all be it rough and often conflicting account, or something entirely invented by the filmmakers?[/quote:6xl1w564]

A couple of the fragments relating to the White Council are included in LotR (and it is very briefly mentioned in The Hobbit itself; though the Bandobras 'Bullroarer' Took gets more attention than it). For that reason I don't think they will have to entirely invent it. However, even if they included the UT material, they would still have almost nothing to go on. Therefore I think the question is somewhat moot, as the filmmakers will have a very, [i:6xl1w564]very[/i:6xl1w564] basic outline of what happens from Tolkien, but will have to resort to writing fanfiction to flesh it out.
Maybe the death of Golfimbul should be included, without, of course, his head rolling into the rabbit hole, as that would seem a bit childish. Of course, dwarf-throwing jokes by the bucketful will be okay - hilarious! And the Fall of Gondolin? It would set up the finding of the swords Beater and Biter? Oh God! What about Rangers marching up and down just outside the boundary of The Shire - with Strider looking weather-worn and mysterious? ... The more I think about it, Eldo, the more I think violence may be the answer to our problems! Now... what were the numbers of the Purist Resistance? Only three so far... drat! Oh this is making me so crabbit I could scream!
There is a Scottish myth that golf was invented when someone's head was lopped off in a dispute and rolled down a rabbit hole- I'm sure Tolkien must have been aware of this.
As the head lopping is one of those more childish asides of the hobbit it might be a good place to mention something from letter 153 regarding the trolls in the hobbit;

"I night not (if TH had been more carefully written, and my world so much thought about 20 years ago) have used the expression "poor little blighter", just as I should not have called the troll William."

Given the cave troll scene in Moria and the trolls on the battlefield would the trolls of TH fit for an audience that has only the LoTR film as reference? are Tolkiens own later misgivings about some of the more childish aspects of TH legitimate excuse to alter the work to bring it more in line with the adult world of LoTR? I'm unsure on the point, and there are some (not naming any Australians) who I am sure will be appalled to lose the comic aspect of the trolls to a sense of adult reality. But I am a realist and we already know with the inclusion of the WC they are catering more to the film audience of LoTR than to the book readers of TH. So would it not make sense to apply this LoTRaztion to the whole piece rather than just parts of it?
Let the arguing commence!
I'll cut to the quick and say that I know very well the movie will be LotRized. Indeed, it will probably in some ways be made closer to Tolkien's later conception - fancy that! The problem is, I still see the book through my child lens. You see, when I want to read adult stuff, I read adult stuff. When I want to see adult movies I go see adult movies. The whole idea of changing The Hobbit into the LotR is like killing a child in cold blood to me. That's me revealing my real feelings forthrightly. Dare I say, even [i:1434rkot]crabbit[/i:1434rkot] is not strong enough to describe how I feel about this!
Tolkien definitely regretted a lot of the more childish parts of The Hobbit, and even tried removing a good deal of them (LotRizing it, so to speak :P ). In the end though, he decided it was a bad idea after getting feed back that it just didn't seem like The Hobbit anymore. I agree with the people who looked at Tolkien's drafts. One of the big attractions, for me, of The Hobbit is that it is written more like a children's book (fairly mature as far as children's books go, but still in that genre).
I think you touch on an important point Eldorion. TH is a childrens book- sort of. What I mean by that is it starts quite clearly as a book for children- a small, unimportant, kind hearted person is persuaded to go on a big adventure. But by the end its politics, war and death- not necessarily very child like. The book itself changes tone quite significantly towards the end and the director would I think have enough on their plate keeping this tone change working in a film without complicating matters further with an entire side story, which although it happens in same time period, the book makes only hints towards. My main fear is that TH the book is filmable but TH with everything else thrown at it puts it more into the category of LoTR which Tolkien always thought was unfilmable (and I don't think it was technical or special effects worries he had!). The filmmakers might be in danger of turning the filmable hobbit into a version so complicated and with so much shifts in mood and tone that it too becomes unfilmable.
Regarding the shift in tone at the end of The Hobbit, that's been my contention all along. However, tone shifts in and of themselves don't make a film "unfilmable", just more complex. Some directors are more up to the challenge than others. I think Del Toro is eminently capable of handling the additional material and blending it into the "children's story".

I envy your optimism GB and truly I hope you are right. I have more confidence its possible than if PJ was still in directors chair (although I thought he did overall a decent directorial job on LoTR) but as far as I am aware his coven are still on script duties and after some of the atrocities committed upon LoTR by them my pessimism must remain.
[quote="pettytyrant101":1airj1n3]TH is a childrens book- sort of. What I mean by that is it starts quite clearly as a book for children- a small, unimportant, kind hearted person is persuaded to go on a big adventure. But by the end its politics, war and death- not necessarily very child like.[/quote:1airj1n3]

Not very child-like, perhaps, but it's dealt with in such a way that I think children can handle it. And, if they read the book again after growing up a bit, they will realize and absorb so much more! The Hobbit (and, I think, TLoR) is one of those books that offers something new each time you read it, especially if you're matured a bit in the interim.

[quote:1airj1n3]The book itself changes tone quite significantly towards the end and the director would I think have enough on their plate keeping this tone change working in a film without complicating matters further with an entire side story, which although it happens in same time period, the book makes only hints towards.[/quote:1airj1n3]

I can see the problem if they parallel storylines with different tones. I assume they will try to keep the relative tones of the storylines similar (start off fairly light, get darker, get to the darkest point), which leads me to think that the expulsion of the Necromancer will occur in mid or late film two.
I think you make far too much of the tonal change. Bilbo is in just as serious danger with the trolls as he is with Smaug or the Battle of Five Armies (or the Spiders).

And let's not be put off by the songs (or mislead by the lack of them in the latest part of the book).

Example: the merriness of the Elves singing does not have to be silly. Yes, the Elves are humorous, but they don't have to sing in silly voices and the tune does not have to be flippant (and I mean tunefulness of voice, actual performed music is something distinct here). It may just show a lighter side of the Elvish character. Even 'chip the plates' back at the start could be conducted in a teasing (bullying?) 'blokey' way, not as caricature, cartoon or carnival. The tone of "Far over the Misty Mountains" is exactly the tone of the later book, moodily atmospheric and stirring - sung right. What the goblins chant when they're caught could come across as the worst kind of cynicism you could ever hear - a chant full of threat and intimidation sang in foul goblin voices. I can imagine kids scared out of their boots and adults not only amused but a little thrilled and scared themselves - if done right!

If one examines the songs closely, you see that they are none of them absurd, and they add atmosphere, whether lightness (Rivendell), sardonic humor (Goblins in Misty Mountains and the pine tree scene), sadness and anger ('Far over the Misty Mountains'), thrilling facetiousness ('Lazy Lobb, Crazy Cobb'). Need I go on.

Hey! Bilbo and Smaug's conversation is amusing but thrilling as they battle wits, and it ends with much excitement and Bilbo's near incineration (not unlike the pine tree scene, come to think of it). Bilbo and Gollum's riddle contest is no different.

Thorin's character is firmly established in the first chapter - he does not become something different at the end of the book. And the Dwarves are generally not keen on Bilbo, resentful in fact, I'd hazard, though Balin (God bless him) warms to him very early. Anyway, need I go on?

You guys over-exaggerate this 'tone' business. The songs, which seem to be the worst sticking point for a lot of (grown-up?) people, are important to Tolkien's fairy-story in building atmosphere and often tension (and amusement). Used wisely they will work brilliantly without making the movie absurd. Poetry and song derive different responses from the listener depending on how the performer interprets them.

Hey! Legolas killing an Oliphaunt (sorry if I spell that wrong) is no less absurd than singing cheeky songs about Spiders while you're stabbing at their eyes - it's all in the wrist action, surely? (Though surely not canon, it worked on film. Absurd? Amusing? Thrilling? Name your choice - it might be all three! And in an adult movie! Hell's bells!)

I leave you with this song of Keats (from his "Gremlins Collection"Wink Smilie.

[i:21tybzud]Punch up the director with yammers and hammers,
Dig out his heart with a blunt spoon,
Rip out his intestines, rake them and plait them,
Slice out his tongue - it can't be too soon![/i:21tybzud]

I hope that's just silliness and not some Purist Resistance song! (Amusing but chilling, what!)
Interestingly enough, you are the first to bring up songs in this context in the current discussion Odo <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . No-one else has suggested NOT having the songs as yet. I quite agree with your points regarding how they might be handled, and I am rather looking forward to "Chip the Plates" 8-) .

However, I think you are missing the obvious tonal changes towards the end of The Hobbit. Sure there is Danger aplenty for Bilbo and Company in the form of Giant Spiders, Trolls, Goblins, and a Dragon, but it's well within the Fantastical Nature of Fairy Adventure Tales. Petty is quite right. The tone at the end of the book has less to do with Fairy Tale Dangers, and more to do Real World type Politics, War and Death; rather adult themes for a "children's book". It can't be missed, or glossed over ("child's eyes" or not), and it does indeed presage the more adult nature of LotR.

So Del Toro will merely have the added challenge of segueing into some of this sort of material earlier in the films rather than later. Anyone who has seen Hellboy 1 and 2 (especially 2) can see that DT has little problem with smoothing the tonal shifts to the point of seamlessness. Pan's Labyrinth was clearly even more challenging with its far more extreme shifts, and yet DT made it look effortless. The much more moderate shifts in tone in The Hobbit Films should be much easier for a director with DT's skill set.

Sorry, can't see it. Getting enslaved or burnt by goblins, or nearly eaten by spiders, is every bit as tonal as politics, dragons and battles. Fairy-stories are fairy-stories. They are full of the everyday, the nightmarish and the humorous. Ask Wise Odo, GB, if you don't want to believe me. I'm sure he'd agree with me, and as you know, what he says goes.
Well, to begin with, I clearly put Dragons in with the other Fairy Tale stuff :roll: .

It's the context that makes the difference Odo. Death and Violence (and I dare say Sex too) in the context of the Fantastic is mediated. Death and Violence in the realm of Real-Politik is much less mediated by its more Real World context; it inherently takes on a more adult tone.

Um.... err... what was that you said? :? Do you agree or disagree with me now? :?
What I'm saying is that the Fairy Tale context of Fantasy Critters makes death and violence easier for kids to deal with--the danger is mediated by "fun". After the Death of Smaug, most of the events take place in a more "Real World" context, making it more "adult".

An example of how contextual mediation works is my own ability to put up with Ugly situations and bloodshed: I dislike most war movies that deal with modern warfare, or even historical warfare to a large degree because it's too realistic. However; throw it into a Sci Fi or Fantasy setting (or Mystical Martial Arts setting), and the bloodshed becomes much less disconcerting. The Magic Mediates the Violence. I'll take Starship Troopers over Black Hawk Down, or LotR over Braveheart.

And I haven't even addressed how politicking of the sort enumerated in last pages of The Hobbit is hardly "kid-stuff".

Politics of some kind usually lies under most fairy-stories!

Fairy-stories are rarely kids stuff when you look carefully at them.

I read the whole of The Hobbit many times. I have never been struck by any significant change of tone. I think you Tonists are overstating the case - that's if you aren't actually imagining it in the first place. I still hold that if you film the early parts of the book with a careful eye it's [i:18jwwzhu]"tone" [/i:18jwwzhu]need be no different than that at the end.

That's the trouble with some people on this thread, you sub-create things using your own imaginations, and then transpose them on the book. You want The Hobbit to be a Prelude to LotR, so that's what you read into it. That's [i:18jwwzhu]mediating [/i:18jwwzhu]for you! :ugeek:
I don't think recognizing that the end of TH is much less fantastical and more political than the beginning is sub-creating. Its there in the book for all to see. The problem was Tolkien's own sub-creation. The events in TH- with the possible exclusion of the Ring although even then not in the original publication- could have taken place in pretty much any sub created fairy tale world. The actions towards the end of the book takes place in the ME of the SIlmarillion and the world which would later encompass LoTR- it is a more defined, political and real world than what has preceded it.
But if anyone can pull it off its Del Toro. And just to add I'd like some songs in there too.
And on a final point Odo, I think you might be mis-reading some intentions, mine at any rate, I would love to see a film of TH the book, unchanged and as is- but I see little point of speculating on such a film because it will never be made. So whilst I would rather there was no LoTRizing of TH I find it more productive to comment on how it might be done well than to stick my head in the sand and hope it will go away.
Odo, I quite agree that Fairy Stories are rarely "kids stuff" at their roots. But that fudges how they have come to be perceived over succeeding generations, and also fudges the clear distinctions Tolkien himself made apparent.

Petty is quite right to acknowledge that Bilbo's Tale was retconned into Tolkien's larger "More Realistic" world even before finishing the book. I couldn't agree more with his analysis. Though I am personally quite delighted to have the additional material of Gandalf's Adventures inserted into the films (but that's an entirely subjective thing).

I would like to think that del Toro will be allowed to move in a darker direction although it is unfortunate that he is assigned to do what should be the gentler, more child-like Hobbit movies. In terms of 'preferred level of darkness' it would have been better if Jackson did the Hobbits and del Toro did LOTR although Jackson did a great job on LOTR.

In particular, I'd have loved to have seen del Toro Elves portrayed more like his Tuatha de Danaan in Hellboy II than Jackson's 'Humans with pointy ears'. It is obvious that Tolkien's Elves were at least influenced by those demigods of Celtic Mythology.

Maybe it can still happen.
Welcome to the forum Chicmac :mrgreen: . Let's not overstate the "childlike" nature of the Hobbit (book) shall we <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Despite the silly songs and humour, it's not a babies bedtime story by any stretch. Del Toro is certainly suited to handle the material, some of it darker than you might remember.

Wow it's definitely time I read the hobbit again <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
I'd love to have some more songs worked in to the movie too, weren't there some amazing voices in the lord of the rings? It will be amazing to go back to middle earth, but it's ok if the hobbit is from a different perspective - it is a story in its own right, not just the prequel to the lord of the rings. Can't wait to see the trolls and how they work the voices so that they all get tricked into being caught out in the sun - that could either be worked as really scary or a bit silly (trolls being more than a bit stupid...). The next installments should be fantastic movies, can't wait, just wish I could go to NZ to be a hobbit extra!
Greetings Took <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> . Actually, if the Orcs from LotR are any indication, the Trolls can be scary AND a bit silly at the same time.

Welcome to the forum, took! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />

[quote="took":3fs3cfs1]it's ok if the hobbit is from a different perspective - it is a story in its own right, not just the prequel to the lord of the rings.[/quote:3fs3cfs1]

I absolutely agree that The Hobbit is a story in its own right, and in fact I think it's a bit of a stretch to call it a prequel to TLOTR (this is something I see a lot of, so please don't take it personally; this just bugs me :lol: ). Most definitions of prequel include a mention of the chronologically earlier work being published after the chronologically later work. So while TLOTR is certainly a [i:3fs3cfs1]sequel[/i:3fs3cfs1] to TH, TH is not really a prequel.

That said, the movies might change enough that trying to talk about them and the book at the same time becomes near impossible. :roll:
I was flicking through the opening of the hobbit earlier with a mind to how it might appear on screen from a visual point of view when I noticed something that had completely gone by me on previous readings- coloured beards! Dwalin for example is described as "a dwarf with a blue beard tucked into a gold belt," and Fili and Kili have yellow beards. Not sure about the rest-didn't have time to read on to find out- but its quite hard to imagine blue bearded dwarves in the film. Wonder if they will stick to the text and present them this way?
I would think it would be subtle shading like the blue hair old ladies used to wear. It makes a lot more sense on a dwarf than on an old lady!
Yellow could be blondish. Blue could be black with a bluish sheen. Red, yellow, brown, black. There's a bit of a spectrum to choose from without getting silly. (The best detachable party hoods could be brighter though!)
I did think of what you suggest Odo but I'm pretty certain when Tolkien said blue he meant blue, and not black but a bit bluish- as I believe you to be of a mind that the book should be as untarnished as possible in its conversion to film, I am surprised by your, seeming, willingness to a hasty compromise- not going liberal on us are you?
Tush! I only read the book carefully and wondered what hue of yellow or blue might be used. I'm not Liberal in any fashion, Mr Tyrant, and you know it! :x Tolkien doesn't specify colors - unless there is a color chart in Unfinished Tales that I missed. I agree ones first impression could be that they are distinctly colored, but the text doesn't necessarily support that view. I guess I don't see anything in the book as silly or nonsensical, but humorous yes - the beards to me were not part of the humor to me - they were beards. To brighten them too much might slant The Hobbit toward farce. I never saw The Hobbit as farce in any way. I'm a Fundamentalist Purist in that regard.
Bright blue beards or not (please not, or we're going to feel like we're in willy wonka's chocolate factory :roll:. Faint blue rinse sounds more in keeping with the reality and believability of the world they tried to create in LOTR. I liked Jackson's views on making it seem like a historical film), it will be a big change to have dwarves as most of the main characters. Last time, Gimli didn't really get enough in the way of character development beyond the occasional short-stature-jokes ('we dwarves are very dangerous over short distances')... Speaking of shortness, they might have whole scenes in the hobbit films where they don't need massive scale trickery because everyone in the scene - hobbits, dwarves, even gollum - are all in the right proportions. I bet the actors will be glad not to be on their knees so much, that is until Gandalf/Bard/the elves turn up.
[i:1gvevynv]Hi ho hi ho,
Off to the dwarf thread I go,
Hi ho hi ho,
Hi ho, hi ho
Hi - ho, hi ho...![/i:1gvevynv]
(Sorry about all those ' highs' and 'hoes." Once you start it's damn hard to stop!)
Ok ok point taken I should read around. Wonder if the hobbit will be narrated? It could work... by gandalf maybe?
Actually, given Del Toro's quirky visual style, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few Multicoloured beards (Hmmm, maybe I should convince Gandalf to give it a try. I'm a little bored with being silvery grey <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ).

I still read blue to be blue- not blueish! Odo, you said,

"To brighten them too much might slant The Hobbit toward farce."

Mmmmmm, there as lot of stuff a liberal could argue in TH that such a belief could be applied to. Compared to LoTR there's a lot of TH could be seen as farce. You seem to be arguing that even if the text says one thing- blue beard for example, you would rather it was changed, bluish in this case, to reduce it from farce. What about trolls called William and Bert? Talking purses? What you consider fundamental and purist might seem to others to be bordering on farce. Would your argument still apply then?

Hi Took- I suspect TH might be narrated but surely Bilbo would be the natural choice? Get Ian Holm to do it as old Bilbo in Rivendell setting down 'There and Back Again.'
[quote="pettytyrant101":1ux15i5u]What you consider fundamental and purist might seem to others to be bordering on farce. Would your argument still apply then?[/quote:1ux15i5u]

This comment interests me. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> I agree that there are a lot of things in The Hobbit that would probably be viewed as 'farce'. Some of them might work better in a book than on film, and some could be cut; but others could not without some fairly drastic changes. This is a big reason why The Hobbit is a children's story, though fairly mature so far as children's stories go. It's simply not 'serious' like LotR, though I expect that the film will change that a good deal.

Actually, I'm not hugely thrilled by the idea of adapting The Hobbit. I like The Hobbit, certainly, but the goofy aspects would be much more obvious on screen. It's a great children's story for all ages, but as a movie it would either seem really childish to most audiences or would have to abandon some of its core elements such as the lighthearted tone and silly aspects (for instance, can [b:1ux15i5u]you[/b:1ux15i5u] imagine PJ and GDT letting the Elves 'tra la la lally'?). It's just not an epic story like LotR.
Ssssh, Odo might be listening <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

Saw it as more of a visual question than a dwarven one hence its on the directors thread.
Give me those most excellent trolls - just as in the book - and I shall die a happy man!

Btw it seems I must repeat myself!

Mr Tyrant, I'm only suggesting the dwarves' beards should not be phosphorescent blue, or neon yellow, nor any other 'absurd' color. This indeed would be farce! Blue beard - fine! And bright blue if you must, as long as it is not [i:218zp1yc]deliberately stupid[/i:218zp1yc] blue. I can happily live with blue, providing it looks like real hair, natural looking. Remember! The dwarves are a serious race - and not at all buffoons!

Actually, their distinctively colored beards might be a good way to know who's who...!

Oda Banks

Mr Tyrant, the more respectable people among us do discuss DWARVEN matters on the DWARVES thread. Would you like me to explain to you how to get there?
Oh Mr Tyrant - you have an answer for everything! :roll:

Odo Banks
Can't think of an answer to that!
Oh - and you just[i:1kdpqiyf] have[/i:1kdpqiyf] to have the [i:1kdpqiyf]last [/i:1kdpqiyf]word, too! Typical! :roll:
Baha! [quote="Odo Banks":f1f6ipzc]Oh - and you just[i:f1f6ipzc] have[/i:f1f6ipzc] to have the [i:f1f6ipzc]last [/i:f1f6ipzc]word, too! Typical! :roll:[/quote:f1f6ipzc] Says the guy with the last word. Dear oh dear man. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
No I don't :!: Take that back! :x
Last! <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

...second last.....?

Oh wait... :P
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