Posts Tagged ‘Tolkein’

I don’t know about you, but for what feels like a very long time now I’ve been – well, not exactly hooked on news coverage of the movie of The Hobbit’s rather convoluted and laborious progress towards the screen, but certainly following along with some interest. It seems to have racked up more column inches than any other movie of recent years, and this is before it’s even started shooting.

Would it get made at all? Would the rights holders thrash something out? Would Jacko (sorry, I keep forgetting – Sir Jacko) be directing again? Who’d be coming back? How would they split the story across two movies? Would they be forced to buy the film rights to Unfinished Tales after all? Why was it being delayed? Why did that Mexican guy quit? And, most recently, and certainly most protractedly, would it even get made in New Zealand?

Well, good grief. In this case I would argue that no news would’ve been better news, as very little that I’ve heard about this project has been very cheering. I was possibly the only person in the world outside his family to be pleased to hear that Guillermo del Toro was going to direct The Hobbit, as I think his visual style would have been perfect – and I can see the sense in using a different director, if only to try and reduce the inevitable comparisons that will be made with the Rings movies. Del Toro has, of course, quit because of the delays, and Peter Jackson’s back in the chair. Some of the great man’s casting choices seem to be bang on the money – Martin Freeman should be able to deploy his baffled everyman demeanour to good use as Bilbo, while I’ve rejoiced elsewhere at the news that Sylvester McCoy’s being lined up to play Radagast (even if he’s not actually in the book).

But still, though. The overall impression one gets of The Hobbit is of an undertaking plagued by political wrangling and squabbling over money – not entirely inappropriately given that that’s what eventually happens in the story itself. Possibly this is a new venture into method film-making, in which case I wish them luck. One still gets the impression that Jackson isn’t directing this film because he really has passion and a vision for it, but because it’s the only way to keep it going, and that doesn’t bode well.

Maybe all this will change once the cameras finally start rolling, and The Hobbit will have a happy, trouble-free shoot, with a truly magical brace of movies resulting from it. I certainly hope so. But everything that’s happened so far only serves to make me rather doubtful.

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