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Amazon buys up Middle-earth, it searches the One Ring! (Rings of Power news thread)


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The source material in terms of the second age, early third age and even parts of the first age, is told rendered a narrated historical account rather than a character and dialogue-driven story. As such, they are minimalist but at the same time beg for expanding upon. Because it’s written like a history book, it suggests that there’s way more going on than what is being told.

 

Adaptation isn’t just about abridging the source material. Embellishing existing material and creating new material from scratch are just as important.

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A thought occurs: with the reassuring that this series will be within the same continuity as the existing sextet and probably adhere to its established aesthetic, it also reassures that the music will most probably be in the vein of Shore’s work on the sextet.

 

In fact, Shore’s work is so comprehensive that the thematic foundation has already been laid out by him even for stories that take place in the second or early third age: we already have themes for the Orcs, for Sauron, for all the Elvish and Dwarvish cultures, a theme for Numenore (in the Rarities), a theme for Angmar (the Gundabad theme), etc...

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On 6-4-2018 at 8:18 PM, Chen G. said:

A thought occurs: with the reassuring that this series will be within the same continuity as the existing sextet and probably adhere to its established aesthetic, it also reassures that the music will most probably be in the vein of Shore’s work on the sextet.

 

In fact, Shore’s work is so comprehensive that the thematic foundation has already been laid out by him even for stories that take place in the second or early third age: we already have themes for the Orcs, for Sauron, for all the Elvish and Dwarvish cultures, a theme for Numenore (in the Rarities), a theme for Angmar (the Gundabad theme), etc...

 

 

And you really think that composers hired to score a new TV show will be able to SATISFACTORY continue in Shore's established mold?

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18 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

And you really think that composers hired to score a new TV show will be able to SATISFACTORY continue in Shore's established mold?

 

No.

 

But at least some of the thematic groundwork will have already been laid out before them.

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23 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Tell that to the people who include Rogue One in their analysis of Williams' leitmotives for Star Wars...;)

Blasphemy!

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Maybe they'll bring Shore on board? Long shot, but possible.

 

I don't know if I'm pleasantly surprised by this being in the same continuity as the existing films or not. On the one hand I don't feel like another adaption of The Lord of the Rings would be needed. On the other, does the existing screen universe really need any more expanding upon? I'm not over the disappointment of The Hobbit films yet :(

 

By the time it becomes available though I'll have forgotten any concerns and be glued to my screen so I guess it doesn't matter.

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22 minutes ago, Alan said:

On the other, does the existing screen universe really need any more expanding upon?

 

If you look at the other cinematic universes - Star Wars, Marvel and the Wizarding World - they are already growning longer than the Middle Earth universe currently is. And Tolkien's universe is the grand-dady of at least two of those!

 

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2 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

If you look at the other cinematic universes - Star Wars, Marvel and the Wizarding World - they are already growning longer than the Middle Earth universe currently is. 

 

 

I know, but why can't this one stay at least a little bit pure? :lol:

As I said though, I'll wolf this down faster than Merry and Pippin eat lembas bread when it comes out.

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I think there are parts of Tolkien's vision that are begging to be adapted.

 

Namely, the Great Tales of the First Age. But I would say those lend themselves more to the big screen.

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Why do you think those things would lend themselves to the big screen?

 

TV is where it's at these days, especially for telling stories like that. Turning it into a movie would only dumb it down.

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I think television has become much more ambitious in recent years. Some of Tolkien's "meatier" work could be served very well on the format. I've often thought that a big budget anthology show could work really well. 

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If they weren't 4-5 hour movies, they'd have to be dumbed down heavily or split into multiple parts each. So yeah, a say 10-part series with an enormous budget would probably be more fitting. 

 

Also, the First Age is a single, heavily interconnected storyline. You couldn't really start Beren and Lúthien without 20 minutes of exposition. A pilot episode setting up Valinor, Beleriand and the dark backstory of the Noldor could do better.

 

A series could also serve better to set up a consistent world with the realms of Nargothrond and Beleriand, seeing their downfall unfold after being shown to be unchanging across generations, and maybe the stories of Túrin and Tuor could even be intercut a bit (didn't Tuor see Túrin crying in a fountain on his way to Gondolin? Am I misremembering?). Feänor's sons could be the overarching "villains" of the series, ever waiting in the shadows trying to get their father's masterworks back through any means necessary according to their oath (represented by a dark, low Quenyan chant, maybe?), even when their numbers wither away.

 

While reading Book of Lost Tales, I also noticed how un-cinematic the Valar are, or how tough it would be to portray them properly, I thought some kind of unique and heavily stylised animation could perhaps be the solution - the Tale of the Three Brothers is one of the only things I like about the last 3 Potter movies.

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57 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

Why do you think those things would lend themselves to the big screen?

 

TV is where it's at these days, especially for telling stories like that. Turning it into a movie would only dumb it down.

 

Its only dumbing it down if you want the material to be slavishly pasted onto the screen. I love Tolkien's work, but I accept that the best service any adaptation can do  to it, is to be the best product possible for its own medium, be that TV or film, while carrying the name and essence of his pieces. The essence of the Silmarillion and  The First Age are the three Great Tales. You could do those as films, and create Television content around them.

 

The Tale of Beren and Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin can be standalone films each. The Children of Hurin would probably work best as a two-parter, but you'd have to shuffle one or setpieces around. You can flesh out some of the interstitial material, if you do it concisely and purposfully: e.g. you can use The Sack of Doriath as a "James Bond" prologue to the Fall of Gondolin movie.

 

I'll put it another way: Game of Thrones recieved the TV treatment, but its far less "faithful" (in terms of individual story beats) to its source material than the Middle Earth films are to theirs.

 

48 minutes ago, Holko said:

While reading Book of Lost Tales, I also noticed how un-cinematic the Valar are, or how tough it would be to portray them properly, I thought some kind of unique and heavily stylised animation could perhaps be the solution - the Tale of the Three Brothers is one of the only things I like about the last 3 Potter movies.

 

The Valar are not only un-cinematic, they're demistifying. In the logic of Tolkien's books they work. In the logic of film (or TV, for that matter), learning about how Middle Earth came to be would just take some of the magic of it away, I feel.

 

A good adaptation should steer around the Valar as much as possible, much as the films we currently have had. You can open with a film about The Tale of Beren and Luthien, starting with a "James Bond" prologue about the the Theft of the Jewels while still keeping the Valar and their nature veiled.

 

48 minutes ago, Holko said:

didn't Tuor see Túrin crying in a fountain on his way to Gondolin? Am I misremembering

 

He passed him by as Turin was looking for Finduilas.

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A trilogy of movies for the three Great Tales seems likeliest, but if I had my way, it would be a movie (Beren and Lúthien) and then a TV series (covering Narn i Chîn Húrin, Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin, The Wanderings of Húrin, and The Nauglafring), and finally another movie (The Fall of Gondolin). With the possibility for a prequel movie (The Fall of the Noldor).

 

As for the Amazon deal, from the news releases I saw it appears that:

  1. The license includes specifically the rights to The Lord of the Rings
  2. The show will explore storylines before The Fellowship of the Ring

Which suggests to me that it will mine the Appendices. There are a lot of great storylines in the 20th c. TA—the rise of the Éothéod Northmen, the Wainrider Easterling invasion, the Fall of Arthedain (and of Angmar), the fall of Minas Ithil and the end of Anarion’s line, all of which are interconnected. And the waking of the Balrog, not as connected. Even more likely, though, if by ‘preceding The Fellowship of the Ring’ they mean more or less immediately, I would speculate that they will center it on Aragorn’s adventures in his youth, when, under the name of Thorongil, he fought for Gondor against the Corsairs of Umbar. Kind of a thin story to base a whole TV series on, but, if they really are going for a Game of Thrones type show—intrigue between human nations and houses, sex, sloooow buildup of the war, ignoring vast distances—then, they’ll want a humanocentric story based on Gondor but drawing in Arnor, Rohan, Umbar, Harad, and the Easterlings.

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I also think the appendices are the likliest source for the upcoming projects.

 

I think the most interesting (seeing how Durin's Folk and the Tale of Arwen and Aragorn were fleshed out very well in the films) is the War in the North with Angmar. You could play with the chronology a bit to present the key beats in the history of Gondor and Rohan simultaneously.

 

It also has the opportunities for most tie-ins with the sextet: Weathertop (which is even called Amon Sul in the films, too!), the High Fells, Angband, The Witch King, etc...

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31 minutes ago, Pellaeon said:

Not to mention they could mine the hell out of MERP.  :biglaugh:

Very true. 17th century of the Third Age was da bomb and the MERP writers knew it! :lol: 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fascinating. Thank the maker that Miramax didn’t make these movies.

 

And I didn’t know a new book about making the films came out today! Been waiting for something like this.

 

Quote

Harvey Weinstein threatened to replace Peter Jackson with Quentin Tarantino as director of Lord of the Rings; The disgraced mogul wanted a two-hour, single movie adaptation of the classic novels

 

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Peter Jackson Reportedly Deciding Between a Return to Middle-Earth or a DC Superhero Movie

 

I wouldn't mind him being involved as a producer or even a writer, but I'd personally like for him to stay out of the director's chair. He's far past his prime.

 

If we're going to get more Middle-earth, let's see it from someone else's vision.

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He's an excellent director, but I doubt he'll be directing a television series. Probably just co-produce it - which I would like.

 

I seem to recall him not being too enthusiastic about superhero films, so I'll mark that as ranging from less likely to mere rumor.

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Fuck it, if it means we get a Balin arc with Ken Stott (Christ knows why I've come to that conclusion, but it seems more likely with Jackson and WETA on board for some reason), I'll take it. I'll need Shore's music of course, he'd do it for Balin and Moria, I know he couldn't resist that.

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I highly doubt it though. How do you make a series out of that period of time? I think they'll go further back in the history of the third age: they'll probably depict the war in the north and concurent wars of Gondor and Rohan.

 

Really, the Balin stuff is the kind of thing they could do in a quick montage. I'm sure they have more stuff of Gandalf reading out of Ori's book on the cutting room floor, just reinsert that, and add a montage of Balin's last stand underneath. Simple.

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Obviously not a series, but I'd expect an episode at least. There's room for something special there. Remember, they've frequently said this will take place between the events of The Hobbit and LOTR.

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They said "before Fellowship". I doubt they'l do anything in between the two trilogies, and I don't want them to, either.

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It will almost certainly be set between the two trilogies (though I agree it would be better if they didn't go this route).

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10 hours ago, Pellaeon said:

Jesus, they’re going to make more superhero movies?

 

Theyll never stop making them. When all you have to do is remake the same film over and over again why would you stop?

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On 5/10/2018 at 11:29 PM, Nick1066 said:

It will almost certainly be set between the two trilogies (though I agree it would be better if they didn't go this route).

 

As I was saying...

 

Quote

 

We have confirmed from multiple sources that @AmazonStudios new billion-dollar #LOTR series will open its first season centered on a young Aragorn. 

Let's discuss whats available and how this opens up Tolkien's Legendarium. A thread. #Tolkien

 

 

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On 4/19/2018 at 11:24 AM, Pellaeon said:

I would speculate that they will center it on Aragorn’s adventures in his youth, when, under the name of Thorongil, he fought for Gondor against the Corsairs of Umbar. Kind of a thin story to base a whole TV series on, but, if they really are going for a Game of Thrones type show—intrigue between human nations and houses, sex, sloooow buildup of the war, ignoring vast distances—then, they’ll want a humanocentric story based on Gondor but drawing in Arnor, Rohan, Umbar, Harad, and the Easterlings.

 

A bit sad but not at all shocked.

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But, committing Aragorn’s story to TV in a way which is consistent with Jackson’s vision, would require cameos from Gandalf, Legolas, Denethor, Elrond, Gollum and Arwen.

 

I think the better choice would be depicting the war with Angmar, which is also referenced numerous times in the sextet.

 

I’m not a fan of fitting more narrative between two trilogies (e.g Solo/Rogue One) because it “breaks up” the sextet’s flow, as it were. Here, at least it’s in a different medium, which makes it easier to swallow. People probably aren’t going to binge three movies, than a TV series, and then three other movies.

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