Early thoughts on Peter Jackson’s version of “The Hobbit”

So I’ve been following the news feeds on these films for a while now and I just read an in-depth analysis of ten minutes of footage that Peter Jackson screened at CinemaCon recently.

SPOILERS, OBVIOUSLY.

So, most of that seemed to be original content that the screenwriters have put into the story.  I’d like to point out that The Hobbit is, in no way, a skimpy story that needs additional content put into it.  I applauded the idea to break it into two separate films so that Bilbo’s journey and Smaug and the Battle of Five Armies could have equal attention paid to them.  It really is two novel-length stories in one book.

What I don’t get is why so much original content is being developed; new characters, cameos from LotR characters that weren’t in The Hobbit, a whole plotline about the Witch-King of Angmar, Radagast the Brown (who I will admit is a seriously cool character, for all of the TWO OCCASIONS HE IS MENTIONED IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS [and not The Hobbit]), and the White Council (which seems to tie into the Witch-King storyline)…

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t hate on the ideas blindly; I mean, when you think about it, Gandalf was sent to Middle-Earth to thwart Sauron, and this Witch-King storyline seemed to dovetail with Gandalf’s finding of Thráin II and his map and key, crucial items in the Dwarves’ quest to the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit.  If anyone could pull off adding in supplemental material to The Hobbit and not have it come out as glaringly obvious, it would be Jackson and his crew.

The Lord of the Rings films were by no means perfect adaptations of Tolkien’s books; nor were they so extremely different from the source material as to be unrecognizable.  For the most part, the LotR movies kept to the basic plot of the books, and I am unashamedly as in love with the films as I am with the books.  That’s a bold statement in this day and age; most reviews on the Internet seem to follow a polarization on one extreme side or the other of an issue, with little to no room to wiggle, but I love both works for what they are: Tolkien for the classical format of the story, and Jackson for his beautiful retelling of the story in a way that captured the hearts of the dedicated fans and the casual filmgoer as well.

I don’t believe that The Hobbit suffers from a need for supplemental material; Tolkien himself was a bit of a mad scribbler when it came to fleshing out his world.  He was a bit like the first George Lucas, constantly going back, unsatisfied with his writings, always needing to flesh things out just a little more, just a little more, just a tiny little bit MORE.

I’m perfectly willing to watch both of these films; I’m eager to purchase my tickets (2D, of course,) and sit in a dark room with others.  Heck, I might even shell out and go to that fancy theater up in Del Mar to watch it in a recliner with my own waitress.

 

I guess all I’m saying is, please, please please don’t mess it up, Mr. Jackson.

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