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Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Lord of the Rings » Could it be (re-)done again? (Page 5)
Author Topic: Could it be (re-)done again?
Mithrennaith
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The Dread Pirate Roberts:
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I think this is as close, however, as we're going to get to an answer until someone does a scientific poll of movie fans asking them whether they've read the book.
It's been done. Or at least Martin Barker (of University of Wales at Aberystwyth)'s research comes close. I'll see if I can locate anything on the net (there used to be a site, but I lost the URL somehow).
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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That site seems to be gone. But here it is from last April courtesy of the wayback machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060425191730/http://www.lordoftheringsresearch.net/

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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It is nice information but if I recall my statistics classes a voluntary sample isn't a scientific sample that can be extrapolated to an entire population, unless its size approaches the size of the population.

Still, it is an interesting study. Thanks for the link.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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No, it doesn't look very scientific, does it? Just another internet quiz where you can see the results. I tried to find a "methodology" page in the wayback machine but didn't find anything. However, it is entirely possible that Mith was talking about something else. I simply googled the information he posted and found this.
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Mithrennaith
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Well, that is the one I meant. But there is rather more to it than just that internet page. At Tolkien 2005 in Birmingham, UK, prof. Barker presented rather more results. There probably will be a full report with methodology section in the future. But there are a lot of universities all over the world that are co-operating in this research, so I think we'll have to wait some more.
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Hamfast Gamgee
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quote:
But there are a lot of universities all over the world that are co-operating in this research, so I think we'll have to wait some more
Maybe so, but will we get an intelligent reply from any of them?
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Mithrennaith
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I think we will.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Here is a 2005 article from the Guardian. And an earler article from the same paper says that they spent 40,000 £ on it - a lot more than would be necessary for a simple internet quiz.
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Mithrennaith
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I found the following news on one of my Dutch fora (in English!), I don't know where my friend who posted it there found it. I'm posting it here, rather than in the Hobbit movie forum, as I find more important what Viggo Mortensen says in it about the LotR movies. And I'm posting in this thread, as it relates to what I have said earlier in it (see on pages 2 and 3). And I prefer this thread, where discussion has been reasonably balanced, over the phile and hate threads (and that thread "Why does everyone hate the movies?" that quickly turned into a battlefield as well).

quote:
The good folk at TotalFilm have a revealing interview with Viggo Mortensen in this months magazine where he tells them he’d rather finish what he started than have someone else take over the role of Aragorn although shouldn’t that be start what you finished?

Which ever it is he says he’d want to make sure it was going to be done in ‘the spirit of Tolkien’ before commiting himself. He felt the last 2 movies of the trilogy may have lost that spirit when they concentrated more on the hero’s than the relationships between secondary characters.

“The Fellowship Of The Ring for me was the one most faithful to Tolkien. The one that had the most to do with any kind of subtlety in terms of performance and storytelling.

“Starting with the second one it became more of a blockbuster special effects thing. That’s not to say as that type of movie they weren’t the best.

"You can’t argue with the films’ success, but had it been me, I would have focused less on the effects and more on the characterisations.

“I’d have allowed the secondary characters to speak more and not be so focused on the heroes. There was more balance in the way that all the races of Middle Earth were presented in the first one. It was more about the relationships… That’s just my personal taste.”

On the appointment of Del Toro for The Hobbit movie he says:

“He’s strong minded, intelligent and probably just as stubborn [as Jackson]. I don’t know if it’ll be as big a circus [as The Lord of the Rings] in terms of several people writing changes at the last minute. Maybe it’ll [The Hobbit] be more streamlined and efficient, but to some degree it’ll probably be as bewildering a set up as the other three.”

I think Viggo Mortensen here puts the finger on what is my main overall (movie-internal) problem with the movies. And this from an insider, and one who looks at it with professional movie experience.

And what he says confirms to me that the often repeated adage: "this is what is necessary to make a (good) movie out of it, accept that that's the way it is" does not fly, certainly not for the change in mood and style of storytelling that PJ inflicted upon the story. It also confirms to me that it is possible to criticise these movies as movies, quite independent from their background as book-adaptations. This form a source that can not be accused of anti-movie, anti-PJ or 'purist' bias.

e: Here is where it comes from.

[ 02-05-2009, 03:12 AM: Message edited by: Mithrennaith ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
I am in too great doubt to rule. To prepare or to let be? To prepare for war, which is yet only guessed: train craftsmen and tillers in the midst of peace for bloodspilling and battle: put iron in the hands of greedy captains who will love only conquest, and count the slain as their glory? Will they say to Eru: At least your enemies were amongst them? Or to fold hands, while friends die unjustly: let men live in blind peace, until the ravisher is at the gate? What then will they do: match naked hands against iron and die in vain, or flee leaving the cries of women behind them? Will they say to Eru: At least I spilled no blood?
'When either way may lead to evil, of what worth is choice? Let the Valar rule under Eru!
- Tar Meneldur [UT 2 II:173-174]

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Tigranes
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Interesting that Mortensen said this. I wouldn't have expected any criticism from his side, since I was under the impression that he didn't know the novel very well. Perhaps I did him injustice.
If PJ reads this, perhaps it will make him think about the style of his new project? But it seems unlikely, given his past actions.

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
since I was under the impression that he didn't know the novel very well. Perhaps I did him injustice.
From http://www.brego.net/viggo/articles/?articlecatId=6&articleId=79 :
quote:
How well did you know the books?
I didn't. I hadn't read them. I got the role kind of late. Everybody else had been in Wellington preparing for a while. When I got the call, they were already two weeks into shooting, so I had to leave the next day. I went and got the book and read it on the plane. I read it very fast and then I read it again a couple of times. I liked it and was relieved to find, not too far into it, that a lot of the elements the story was based on were familiar to me from childhood or adolescent readings of Nordic sagas and Celtic stories. It wasn't unfamiliar to me.

Do you think you identified with your character and the characters in LOTR because of your Danish heritage?
Maybe. It helped me in the short term because I could see elements in Aragorn's character, in the overall story and in things like the names of all the dwarves and the elves that Tolkien borrowed freely. I think Tolkien wrote the book because he loved language and mediaeval and Nordic history. It was almost like an excuse to do it. He breathed new air into those old stories. I just happened to like those kinds of stories. Not every kid's gonna want to read Icelandic sagas but some kids would. And as you get into them, they're very exciting, as they obviously were for Tolkien. he wrote them in a language that readers in the 20th century could grab hold of. Hopefully, that's what Peter Jackson has done, breathing new life into Tolkien. It's a continuation. There's a connection way back and that feels interesting. There's somthing about what we were doing that to me felt right. I don't know that I had an advantage. I mean, it just felt comfortable to me. It wasn't so hard to just jump right in.

So although he didn't know the book from the start, it seems that he does so now.

Edit:
From the same article / interview:
quote:
How much of the film have you seen?
We saw the same thing at Cannes. It makes me curious to see more. Potentially, what will make these movies work on a higher level than most 'event movies' is the complexity of the characters.

So it's from before the release of the first movie.

[ 02-07-2009, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: Varnafindë ]

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the Shirrif
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quote:
Not that this discrepancy alone will get a re-make done, but an Indie film could do it on the simple basis of "here's how Tolkien REALLY wanted it to look."
i agree that's a good approach at making one.
but it would certainly be an expensive venture for an indie film to do.

here's my take on this. to do tolkien justice and stay true to the real plot and themes in the book would be amazing. but look how long the movies were already, and that was with tons of shire-bombaforest-scouring of the shire-etc scenes already cut out. also, to do the real plot justice a lot of other background information would have to be given in full to have the audience understand. you can't just have one or two line references at best as Peter Jackson often did, you would have to give a little more. so the movies would be too long.

a tv series sort of thing that people have been saying is a terrific idea i think. it could be done in 2-hour segments of each book(book as in from bag end to rivendell is book 1), so about 12 hours for the series(as opposed to the 10 or whatever the extended edition is), or just 1 hour episodes and make the breaks yourself, and perhaps you could have the hobbit in there too with soome of the filler events, since those will probably be mishandled in a similar way as the movies.

i think also that it could be done well in animation. the animation these days is so beautiful t anyway, and it would be easier to make, and most importantly the difference in mediums would make it easier to not be relating and comparing the characters to their jackson actors. and sets. and everything else you think of in the movies that is now set in your imagination. also the difference in mediums might make it more of a possibility to do quicker, an animated show as opposed to a real-life movie.

here's an interesting question. in a version more pure to tolkien, would it be better to make the two towers and return of the king like the pj stuff, that is with the frodo-sam storyline side by side with the others in the fellowship, or would it be better to do it alternating book style, like tolk.

[ 02-08-2009, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: the Shirrif ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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One thing I would like to see, and this is not just a critic of Jackson, but it is the same for every production of Lotr I have seen or heard, the Radio production, the other film, is that I would like someone to try to film the start the way it is written in the book. What do I mean by that? Well, what I mean is that in the book the first chapter is really just a bunch of Hobbits having fun in a vague village. There is no mention of any danger or the rest of Middle-earth even.
Yet every adaptation always insists on starting with Sauron's defeat at the end of the second age and then goes onto the party. I would like to see someone have a party first, then talk about Sauron's defeat and rise in the second chapter and we can learn about it like the Hobbits did.
I'd quite like to see that in the forthcoming Hobbit film. Please start it of with a confused Hobbit having Dwarves coming to his home without knowing what is happening till later. Please do not start it with a prologue of The Dwarves in the Lonely mountain and Smaug attacking it!

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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quote:
here's an interesting question. in a version more pure to tolkien, would it be better to make the two towers and return of the king like the pj stuff, that is with the frodo-sam storyline side by side with the others in the fellowship, or would it be better to do it alternating book style, like tolk.

Tolkien answers this question in no uncertain terms in his Letters.

Unfortunately, I don't have it with me to quote, but in summary, you have to keep them separate as Tolkien did in the books.

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Sarah the Good Witch
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quote:
One thing I would like to see, and this is not just a critic of Jackson, but it is the same for every production of Lotr I have seen or heard, the Radio production, the other film, is that I would like someone to try to film the start the way it is written in the book. What do I mean by that? Well, what I mean is that in the book the first chapter is really just a bunch of Hobbits having fun in a vague village. There is no mention of any danger or the rest of Middle-earth even.
Yet every adaptation always insists on starting with Sauron's defeat at the end of the second age and then goes onto the party. I would like to see someone have a party first, then talk about Sauron's defeat and rise in the second chapter and we can learn about it like the Hobbits did.
I'd quite like to see that in the forthcoming Hobbit film. Please start it of with a confused Hobbit having Dwarves coming to his home without knowing what is happening till later. Please do not start it with a prologue of The Dwarves in the Lonely mountain and Smaug attacking it!

I don't like a prologue either. The story is supposed to be form the Hobbits' perspective, and there were no hobbits at the last battle in the Second Age, or getting rings. It reminds me of TV, when they say "previously on _____" for a re-cap, and show a montage of lead-up scenes.
In the book, Frodo gets the Ring from Bilbo, and they go from there.
People can watch the movie once, twice, a hundred times, they don't need to know it all at the beginning. Less history, more mystery.
And yes, you have to keep them separate, otherwise it ruins the suspense. Like when the movie shows Frodo's mail at the Black Gate, you already know that Frodo escaped, so there's no suspense.
Tolkien wanted you to follow the character's perspective, so the movie has to show you what they saw, when they saw it. None of the characters at the black gate knows what happened to Frodo, after he left Faramir, and so when they see his gear presented at the black gate, they think he was captured, and that it's all over. Then they all get attacked, and Pippin falls, and it's all over from the hobbit's perspective. That's what the movie audience should think too.
The movie audience can't possibly think that though, if they already saw Frodo escape before that. Everything is given away. It's like the writer is in the audience, and gives away the ending, you want to kill them.

[ 03-07-2009, 02:48 AM: Message edited by: Sarah the Good Witch ]

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Sarah the Good Witch
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I wanted to add to this thread from my "would anyone else have, if PJ hadn't?" thread, to consider the main reason films are made: money.
Before PJ made the films, there was no proven market for the story: and now, it's proven that the story has at least a 10:1 market potential in terms of cost and benefit. Therefore if venture-capitalists can be persuaded that a redux film would do as well, then it's as good as done. The question would be, how it would be so different from PJ's version as to be marketable.
For example, someone might persuade Mel Gibson that PJ didn't convey Tolkien's message of Christian mythology, and that a redux-film would be both a blockbuster and a revival-movie in contrast to a "Dungeons and Dragons" epic-fantasy.

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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It's too bad we don't have more info on the Westron tongue. I can see Mel Gibson doing the movies entirely in the original languages much like The Passion or Apocalypto, if we did.

BTW, though this is a bit off topic, Apocalypto is an amazing film. The Passion, too, though tastes might vary there...

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Sarah the Good Witch
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Agreed, they made it look like Elvish was the only foreign langauge in Middle-Earth: and it was also used gratuitously and willy-nilly. Clearly, the writers just thought Elvish sounded "cool," and wanted to throw in scads of it for no reason, but still have Elves speaking English among themselves!
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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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They also made it look like Elvish was one language.
They mostly used Sindarin (which would be right for the period), but never mentioned its name. Nor did they mention the occasional use of Quenya, or the difference.

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Sarah the Good Witch
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Good point, especially if Legolas spoke the same Elvish as Aragorn (but Legolas was also more expert on Gondorian history than Boromir, and more expert on "[i]crebain[i] from Dunland" than Aragorn or Gandalf as well, so he must have been quite an avid reader). Likewise Frodo didn't speak any Elvish at all (except the "magic phial-words"), which was quite improper.

[ 03-23-2009, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Sarah the Good Witch ]

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Snöwdog
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quote:
Could it be (re-)done again?
Yes, it could. We will start with a good screenplay and less reliance on cheap CGI. Of course all new actors would have to be cast since it has been 15 years since the PJ LotR fanfic was made. Yes indeed. A new director, a new screenplay, with new young actors. New Zealand would still work as a location.
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Tigranes
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I agree, except for the NZ bit. Apart from lacking some of the required terrain types and being home to a completely different flora and fauna, it's not a particularly cheap location AFAIK, and the main reason I can think of why it was chosen is that it's Peter Jackson's home country. If Game of Thrones can be shot in Europe and North Africa, there's no reason why a LotR movie or series couldn't be made there.
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Snöwdog
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quote:
I agree, except for the NZ bit. Apart from lacking some of the required terrain types and being home to a completely different flora and fauna, it's not a particularly cheap location AFAIK, and the main reason I can think of why it was chosen is that it's Peter Jackson's home country. If Game of Thrones can be shot in Europe and North Africa, there's no reason why a LotR movie or series couldn't be made there.
Good point. I agree. It would be possible to find some actual rolling green fields with a meandering swampy river to depict Rohan for example.
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