The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Discussion of The Hobbit: a good place for Tolkien beginners to start
Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:50 pm

My one concern is that Guillermo del Toro has stated publicly that, although he has read The Hobbit, he was never able to "make" himself read LOTR -- he found it too dense. I'm convinced that the reason PJ, Fran Walsh, and Philipa Boyens succeeded so beautifully with their films is that they were dyed-in-the-wool Tolkien fanatics themselves, had read the book MANY times, understood it on a VERY deep level, and had great reverence for Tolkien's work.

Do we really want The Hobbit and its "sequel" to be directed by someone who could not muster enough will and interest to read LOTR in its entirety? Keep in mind that the script for the sequel will have to be pieced together from The Appendices. If del Toro couldn't even read the story, how on earth is he going to manage dealing with The Appendices?

I have a real problem with this. I know that PJ will be on board as Executive Producer and will probably have a great deal to say about casting, script, etc., but lots of important work happens on the set and in the moment. The director needs to love this material and feel it in his bones. Is that going to be the case with del Toro? I just don't know. His inability to tolerate reading the book really troubles me.
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Postby Merry » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:00 am

I agree, Lindariel.

TOR.n's Tehanu has written an editorial supporting the choice of GdT:

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2008/01/31/28332-tehanus-notes-my-votes-with-guillermo-del-toro/#more-28332

I know nothing about this man. Is del Toro a native English speaker?
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Postby Iolanthe » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:32 pm

I have the same anxieties as you, Lindariel, and for the same reasons. I get what Tehanu is saying on TORn. Pan's Labyrinth is a wonderful, wonderful film and has the complexity of meaning that Tolkien's material demands, but with his love of story and fantasy you have to wonder why he couldn't get into the Lord of the Rings. How can it be too dense?

I'm more worried about the middle film tying The Hobbit and LotR together than I am about the Hobbit.

But PJ et al must feel confident that he can do it and do it well.... :-k.
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lyanness
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Postby lyanness » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:41 pm

[quote="Lindariel"]My one concern is that Guillermo del Toro has stated publicly that, although he has read The Hobbit, he was never able to "make" himself read LOTR -- he found it too dense.

:shock: :shock: WHAT!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

How could anyone consider to have him on board for any of these movies then?

He obviously doesnt do much reading then. If he couldn't read the silmarillion due to it's denseness, I can understand that, but LoTR? ABSOLUTELY no denseness found in those pages. Viggo Mortensen's son Henry read the LoTR at the age of 11 and Del Toro claims that it is too dense? This statement of his was definitely not one of his brightest, I must say.

I'm still in shock over his statement.
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Postby Merry » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:56 pm

Me, too, lyanness! That's why I asked if anyone knows if English is his native language. (Of course, LOTR is available in Spanish and many other languages, too! But will he be able to get the nuances of it?)
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:25 pm

I think Spanish is his first language.

I'm wondering if the 'denseness' was a problem for him because he has said that he likes fairy tales (which are simple in structure, though not simple in meaning) and LotR has so much going on. The first chapters with all the Hobbity detail and 'realism' or a completely thought out community with a history might have put him off.
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Postby Philipa » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:07 am

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Postby Airwin » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:15 am

Del Toro is Mexican, and so I would assume Spanish is his first language. He has done several movies in the US though.

I share the same concerns that you all have voiced, but truthfully, I could probably find something wrong with any director other than PJ who might be a candidate for the job. :lol: I just can't see how PJ can write the script (with many last-minute rewrites no doubt :wink: ), exec. produce, and still maintain "his" feel for what really wouldn't be his movie., unless PJ plans to use Del Toro (or anyone) as he did the other unit directors without the credit.
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Postby Merry » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:27 am

And it's hard for me to believe that GdT would tolerate that kind of micro-managing.
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Postby Philipa » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:42 pm

Merry wrote:And it's hard for me to believe that GdT would tolerate that kind of micro-managing.


This worries me too Merry. How much control will GdT have with direction with a team such as there is behind him. Granted they will be invaluable for accuracy for the project but how much will they intrude (for lack of a better word) from behind the scenes?
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:54 pm

Well, now the Tolkien Esate is suing New Line we may never find out :( .

The plaintiffs seek more than $150 million in compensatory damages, unspecified punitive damages and a court order giving the Tolkien estate the right to terminate any rights New Line may have to make films based on other works by the author, including "The Hobbit"

© Yahoo News


This could delay things for years.
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Postby Merry » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:20 pm

True, but why is it that everyone (well, PJ and Zaentz and the Tolkien estate) needs to sue New Line to get what is contractually owed them? Is this just the way the industry operates?
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Postby Philipa » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:40 am

I don't know Merry but one has to wonder if these things hamper the progress of their next project. You'd think after the first bunch of law suits NL would have paid more attention before saying yes to The Hobbit project. :roll:

Tolkien heirs battle for share of movie profits

· Author's estate sues Lord of the Rings filmmaker
· £77m lawsuit may sink planned Hobbit prequels

Sam Jones
Wednesday February 13, 2008
The Guardian

A battle as epic, tortuous and heavy with peculiar jargon as any to have sprung from the pen of JRR Tolkien has been joined: this conflict, however, will not pit Orc against Hobbit, but legal wizard against legal wizard.

The estate of the late Oxford don, a charity that bears his name and Tolkien's publishers, HarperCollins, have filed a £77m lawsuit against the makers of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Line Cinema, claiming it has failed to pay them the agreed share of profits from the films.

Peter Jackson's hugely successful films, shot in New Zealand, have grossed almost £3bn worldwide. But the Tolkien Trust says it received only an upfront payment of £32,000 before production began.

As well as damages, the plaintiffs want the Los Angeles court to revoke New Line's rights to other Tolkien works.

If granted, the order would hobble New Line's plans for two prequels based on The Hobbit, which Jackson has agreed to produce.

The trustees' lawyers describe the case as "an extraordinary example of how enormous financial success can breed unabashed and insatiable greed". They accuse New Line of "Hollywood accounting" and crafting "a fantasy tale of its own".

Tolkien set up a trust in 1969 and sold the film rights to his work to United Artists, which agreed to pay the trust 7.5% of the gross receipts for any movies based on his works once the films made more than 2.6 times the final cost of their production, the plaintiffs claim.

The rights and accompanying agreement subsequently passed to Saul Zaentz, whose company made an animated film based on the Lord of the Rings in 1978. Zaentz licensed the rights to a live-action version to Miramax 19 years later. After that the package passed to New Line.

The Tolkien Trust is "very aggrieved" at New Line's alleged failure to honour the contract and has accused the company of "inscrutable" bookkeeping and deliberately destroying financial records.

Steven Maier, the British lawyer representing the trustees - who include some of Tolkien's heirs - described the lawsuit as a last resort.

He said: "The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court. But in this case New Line has left them no option at all. New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts, despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures. The trustees are very aggrieved by New Line's arrogance."

New Line yesterday declined to comment on the trust's lawsuit. But it is not the first time that the studio has fallen victim to the curse of the Ring.

In 2004 Zaentz sued New Line, claiming he was owed a £10m share of the royalties from the trilogy. An out-of-court settlement was reached a year later. The studio also fell out with Jackson after he claimed they had not paid him his share of profits from the first Rings film. However, they resolved their differences last year.

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

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lyanness
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Postby lyanness » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:39 pm

Philipa wrote:The trustees' lawyers describe the case as "an extraordinary example of how enormous financial success can breed unabashed and insatiable greed". .

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

[/quote]

The Tolkien Estate is entitled to sue, in my opinion. Unfortunately money and power corrupts :twisted: just as badly as the Ring corrupts - possibly even worse. I've seen it in people who have had their "ship come in", they turn into people that I don't recognise anymore. With such an enormous profit (if I could only get my hands on a fraction of that profit, all my financial woes would disappear), NL were just even more corrupted and I'm glad that the people who were wronged in the process (Tolkien Estate and PJ) didn't just sit back and accept it, they fought back. Well done to you!!! :clapping: :caffeine: :clapping: Big corporations are used to doing this to people. It's about time that the small minority of so called "elite" people who think that they own the world wake up and realize that it's us, the work force, that keep them on their high pedistles. If we decided never again to watch a movie produced by NL, they would collapse. :juggle:

I wish that they would start being grateful and HONEST. If that were to happen, none of this fighting nonsense would occur, and Tolkien would be revered, not fought over. I'm sure that if the Professor knew what was happening to his beloved books, he would grab all the rights, hold them tightly to his chest and prevent anyone from exploiting him again. I can almost feel the anger that the Professor has from his grave over this whole situation. If he knew that this would occur in 2008 over his books (exploitation, corruption, fighting, hurt, betrayal), I doubt he would have ever put pen to paper!
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Postby Philipa » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:01 pm

I thought this article was very up beat and positive. Makes me like Del Toro a little bit more.

Exclusive: Del Toro Gives Hobbit Update
On the original cast and that law suit


We caught up with Guillermo Del Toro but a few minutes ago and asked him for an update on the current situation with The Hobbit. Many sites have been reporting that his deal to direct is signed and sealed and just waiting for an end to the writers' strike before it's announced. But that’s not so, he says.

“I wish it was definite, but it isn’t,” he told us. “It’s still in talks, there are still a lot of 'T's to cross and 'I's to dot. It’s certainly not certain yet…But, as far as I’m concerned, [if it was definite] I would be packed in ten seconds”.

Many will know that earlier this week the Tolkien estate announced that they are suing New Line for money they say is owed them from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which could potentially mean the studio loses the rights to make The Hobbit.

“I heard that, but I’m quite zen about those things,” Del Toro continued. “Since that news broke, I have not exchanged a single phone call with my lawyer or my manager or anyone. They talk about it and I have received some emails, but, as far as I’m concerned, until I’m on board I should not worry about it. I read about it, but there’s nothing I can do about it. This week seems to be the lawsuit week in Hollywood”.

Finally, if, fingers crossed, he does put pen to paper to direct The Hobbit and its sequel, we asked him if he’d bring back any of the Lord of the Rings cast whose characters appear in The Hobbit, like Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen.

“Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been pretty much incredibly open about the things that I love and don’t love in the past. I’ve turned down huge franchises in the past because there are parts of that world I don’t gel with. The reason I took Blade 2 is because I love the characters that Stephen Norrington created and the actors he used. That times ten is the reason why I’m interested in The Hobbit”

There may be lots of bizarre typos and randomly inserted symbols in stories in the near future, as we'll be typing with fingers crossed that this will finally happen.

© Bauer Consumer Media



Link to original article: Empire Online

If you look at the picture on the original article Del Toro looks a bit Jackson-ish. :lol:
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