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


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Online Tolkien Fandom: In dramatising the forging of Nenya, Narya and Vilya, how will they visualise Celebrimbor? I hope they don't combine him with Feanor because the creation of the Palantirs and Silmarils clearly aren't related (duh).

 

Amazon Executives: We need to have the new Viggo be athletic enough to cut off gnomes heads & shit.

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Shamelessly lifted from the TORN forums:

 

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According to the exclusive news by HDRF.de, an insider with direct contacts to Warner/NewLine revealed that:

The Amazon LOTR series will feel coherent with both movie trilogies by Peter Jackson. The old filming locations in New Zealand are to be rebuilt and all the sets conserved by Weta Workshop to be reused as far as possible. Same goes for the props, weapons, armor etc. This seems to be the current apprpach by Amazon. As it was revealed some days ago that Amazon is in talks with PJ, maybe this is the topic of these talks.

 

Source: https://www.herr-der-ringe-film.de/v3/de/news/tolkienfilme/news_121920.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=herr-der-ringe-film.de

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Makes relative sense, they have a huge budget, why half-ass it? Either go all the way like this rumour says, or do something entirely different in a different era.

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Well Andrew Lesnie is one person they will definitely not be able to get for this... :crymore:

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Well, from a photographic standpoint, this series (and really, almost any concievable Tolkien story left to tell) isn't going to require a lot of scaling down and up of characters: its almost all Men and Elves. So you got that out of the way.

 

Beyond that, its impossible to expect this series to cinematographically resemble the films too much, for any number of reasons: First, Jackson has a very specific style (namely, a love for the extreme close-up) which other directors are unlikely to mimic too closely. Furthermore, TV shows go through multiple directors through the different episodes, so the style in which the coverage is achieved is different even within different episodes of the same series.

 

And lastly, It'd be hard, with so much of the budget presumably already routed to effects, to use cranes, helicopters and virtual photography as freely as the films do; nor will it be easy to construct takes as long as Jackson concieved for The Hobbit in particular.

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Jackson's mise en scène isn't the issue. It's the whimsically saturated palette and hair conditioner ad abundance of soft focus that have always bothered me. There's a fair amount of this in LotR but it got completely out of hand in those visually disgusting Hobbit flicks.

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He does do a lot of digital grading. I actually think the biggest offenders are The Fellowship of the Ring and The Battle of the Five Armies: The former, for going for excessively soft picture quality for the scenes that are supposed to take place in the second age to denote its antiquity; the latter, for trying to bring the picture quality to that of the former.

 

Otherwise, I think the films look fine.

 

But than, stylized grading is probably another thing that you won't be seeing on the small-screen.

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  • 3 weeks later...

But he is, at the very least, helping in picking the creative team:

 

http://www.filmstarts.de/nachrichten/18519192.html

 

I was never too hopeful that we take on the mantle of showrunner anyways. I just want him "around", as it were. Besides, Peter Jackson has a habit of ending up in a more involved position than he originally planned in projects, so...

 

At least he's not involved with comic-book movies. I've had enough of those for a lifetime!

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There's some confusion over the various stories yesterday. Some think that he was kind of involved, helping co-coordinating the creative team, but isn't involved anymore, and as such both answers are correct.

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Directing films is not the most consistent line of work in the world: Most directors had their fair share of lukewarm movies standing alongside their greatest achievements. Those odd stumbles don't define the merit of a director.

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He lost his mojo back in 2005. Everything else he's done after that have ranged in varying degrees of mediocrity. It's not like he's the only person who is capable of making a Middle-earth feature, be it a movie or a TV series.

 

John, who had a feeling Chen would react with :blink: or :crymore: to any post that doesn't align with his convoluted opinions!

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6 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Directing films is not the most consistent line of work in the world: Most directors had their fair share of lukewarm movies standing alongside their greatest achievements. Those odd stumbles don't define the merit of a director.

 

Sure, but those stumbles are enough reason for me to want somebody else to get a shot at it.  I have no doubt that Jackson can direct good movies again.  He also wasn't only a director - he had a big hand in writing those movies, and that was a big problem too.

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If the showrunners of the new show are deciding what scenes will be film, and PJ comes in and helps with interesting ways to film them, that'd be fine.

 

If PJ is deciding what scenes to film, that's the problem.


The problem with the Hobbit trilogy (outside of production design/costume/effects related stuff) isn't how individual shots are composed, really, but ultimately the script, or more realistically, the endless reshoots that changed what was originally written and kept adding in pointless crap that didn't need to be there.

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18 minutes ago, mstrox said:

Sure, but those stumbles are enough reason for me to want somebody else to get a shot at it.  I have no doubt that Jackson can direct good movies again.  He also wasn't only a director - he had a big hand in writing those movies, and that was a big problem too.

 

Sure, I'm talking about his craft as a screenwriter and producer, as well. Both equally inconsistent lines of work. Anyway, I never thought nor wanted him to be the showrunner, but I would very much appreciate it if he were "around".

 

Generally, I don't subscribe to the opinion that filmmakers suddenly "lose" their edge. I think a lot of them (if not most of them, really) simply peak early, e.g. as much as I like Gibson as a director, I can never see him top Braveheart. The same is true of Jackson with The Lord of the Rings. I've still enjoyed his later output a lot and many others have, as well.

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While the likelihood is that he won't be involved, as he said, there's also the possibility that Jackson might simply be in the midst of negotiations, and saying publicly he's not involved might just be a negotiating tactic.  He did something similar with The Hobbit.

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Agreed.

 

While at the time I was thrilled when Jackson agreed to do The Hobbit, had I known then what I know now I wish we would have gotten to see what Del Toro would have done with it.

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Thing is though, regardless of whether or not Jackson is involved, you will still be getting a world that undoubtedly looks very similar to his (possibly even with some of the same actors), so this certainly won't be an entirely new vision. What the showrunner and various directors will bring to it is anyone's guess, but I'm getting an increasingly nagging feeling that I'm going to hate whatever they came up with.

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1 hour ago, Barnald said:

I'm getting an increasingly nagging feeling that I'm going to hate whatever they came up with

 

It can certainly happen. But I've decided that to think optimistically about this series, and the future of the franchise in general. No reason Middle Earth shouldn't enjoy the same courtesy extended to Star Wars and Marvel.

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I refused to see Solo, but I'm all for the main episodes (which I like) and for whatever spinoffs that would strike me as interesting. The same applies to Marvel, and the same applies here, too.

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Much like Solo, The Hobbit is a spin-off prequel to the previous movies that checks a lot of the boxes that we already know, and also fills it with new characters and story!

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The Hobbit is a direct prequel, not a spin-off.

 

That it carries a different title is completely incidental: its an integral part of the same story.

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Getting our ad hominem on, are we now?;)

 

Anyhow, we're not nerds, just fans of a great character. One of the best of the entire series in fact, and the true protagonist of The Hobbit trilogy.

 

Not to mention both are great shots, and the former a great edit, as well.

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

The Hobbit is a direct prequel, not a spin-off.

 

That it carries a different title is completely incidental: its an integral part of the same story.

 

Unfortunately, I must agree. The LR (the book) is the sequel to The Hobbit (the book), and they most clearly are two stories. But the The Hobbit movies are indeed more like a LR PT.

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Furthermore,  if you were to define the main conflict of the sextet as the struggle between Sauron and the free people and the part Hobbits played in it, and try to apply the three-act structure to it, well:

 

ACT I, which establishes the conflict, would conclude with Sauron’s armies leaving Dol Guldur at five and a half hours in - 25% of the length of the sextet.

 

ACT II, part one, which is where the conflict escalates and which concludes at the midpoint twist, would end with the “twist” of the reveal as to the nature of Bilbo’s Ring, right “between” the trilogies, nearly nine hours in - at 41% of the narrative.

 

ACT II, part two, which continues the escalation and concludes when the conflict is at its lowest point for the good characters, concludes at about the 19 hour mark - 90% of the story. ACT III ends at the very end of the series.

 

Multi-entry narrative structure.png

 

So, the sextet not only has a three-act structure, but also one that conforms quite nicely to the textbook proportions of such a structure and to its underlying principles of escalation, thrust, and contrast.

 

 

I have to say, though, I don't see what's so unfortunate about this: Having written The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien was intent on weaving The Hobbit into it, both through The Lord of the Rings and especially the appendices. Jackson latched onto those appendices, which I don't mind: as long as its from Tolkien, I'm not going to fuss over which part of its writing its from.

 

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Because all this comes at the sacrifice of an adaptation of The Hobbit which captures the particular beauty of that self-contained work.

 

Because too much of it isn’t “from Tolkien”, it’s invented from whole cloth. And, as in the LR, the invented bits are the weakest parts of the movies.

 

Because The Lord of the Rings is not improved by all this new stuff (the “did we need it” argument).

 

Because The Hobbit trilogy is widely regarded as a travesty (travesty, travesty, travesty, travesty, travesty…), which is an especial shame considering not only the greatness of the source material but also the excellent talent involved (Martin Freeman, etc.). And because of it we’re not likely to see a more faithful adaptation of the novel for a number of decades.

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I say this as somebody who counts The Hobbit as one of his favorite books.  I think it would be exceedingly difficult and wrong to film a "faithful" adaptation of The Hobbit, especially the last portion which includes a lot of "action" taking place off-page and Bard dropping in out of nowhere.  Some of the dwarves were caricatures, or had indistinct personalities.  So the instinct to beef it up with new characters/beats, LOTR info, and appendix details was smart.  But for me, the execution did not work.  They "serioused" it up way too much to try to bring it in line with LOTR, they stretched it into 3 movies, the writer/director indulged some of his worst instincts, and it fell apart.

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Guillermo's 2-part Hobbit would probably have fit the spirit of it very well. On its own, without beefing up or leaving lots of parts out, the book is unfilmable, as much as I love it.

 

What's interesting is when I listened to an audio dramatisation of the Hobbit when resting from my eye surgery last August, in my mind I didn't see any of the film designs or scenes but instead everything automatically came back as I imagined it back in summer 2012 when I first read it.

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54 minutes ago, Holko said:

Guillermo's 2-part Hobbit would probably have fit the spirit of it very well. On its own, without beefing up or leaving lots of parts out, the book is unfilmable, as much as I love it.

 

What's interesting is when I listened to an audio dramatisation of the Hobbit when resting from my eye surgery last August, in my mind I didn't see any of the film designs or scenes but instead everything automatically came back as I imagined it back in summer 2012 when I first read it.

 

I don't know if the book is unfilmable, but I agree that you'd need to beef it up a bit to get two films out of it.  I do wish Del Toro would have gotten his shot.  Jackson completely lost the spirt of the book in those films.  And trying to create tonal consistency with LOTR, in my opinion, was a mistake.

 

Like you, I don't picture Jackson's The Hobbit when reading the book, mainly because his vision is so radically different from what i had in my head when reading it. Which is ironic given that I thought he nailed LOTR.

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And so another Middle-earth related thread goes the same way.... Sigh.

 

Anyway I've looked into my palantir and have foreseen a surprising amount of 'Compared to this maybe Jackson's Hobbit wasn't that bad' comments once this Amazon series is in full swing. I have to laugh at these people who talk about fresh eyes respecting the work of Tolkien, I think I have a much more realistic idea of what's coming.

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1 hour ago, Barnald said:

Anyway I've looked into my palantir and have foreseen a surprising amount of 'Compared to this maybe Jackson's Hobbit wasn't that bad' comments once this Amazon series is in full swing. I have to laugh at these people who talk about fresh eyes respecting the work of Tolkien, I think I have a much more realistic idea of what's coming.

 

“At least x isn’t as bad as y” — that’s not enough to make someone love x.

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3 hours ago, mstrox said:

They "serioused" it up way too much to try to bring it in line with LOTR, they stretched it into 3 movies.

 

To my mind, all of this is happened organically once the focus of the story shifted from Bilbo to Thorin. As the prologue to An Unexpected Journey clearly illustrates, this is the story of Thorin and company: its their homeland that needs reclaiming, their vengenance to be had on the dragon (at least, until Girion's story is told) and on Azog and the Orcs, and their grievances to settle with Thranduil.

 

Well, Thorin's story is much more in the wheelhouse of The Lord of the Rings: its grim (essentially, its a tragedy), its epic and it influences the War of the Ring. As such, it also lends itself to a trilogy in a way that Bilbo's story doesn't.

 

And this Thorin-centric version of the story is again not an invention of Peter Jackson - it comes directly from the appendix Durin's Folk. Again, as long as it is Tolkien, I'm not going to fuss over which part of his writing its from.

 

2 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

mainly because his vision is so radically different from what i had in my head when reading it. Which is ironic given that I thought he nailed LOTR.

 

I guess this is a key issue: when I sat down to watch An Unexpected Journey, its been a long, long time since I last read The Hobbit. What I was reading often at the time was The Lord of the Rings. I've found the appendix Durin's Folk enthralling - the only Dwarvish story in Tolkien's entire legendarium and it provided such a good exploration of what makes the Dwarves the way they are - their animosity with the Orcs, their grim history, their exile - and when I sat down to watch - that's what I got.

 

I was glad to learn that, for people who want just The Hobbit, there's a good "Tolkien" fan-edit. But as it stands, The Hobbit trilogy could just as well be renamed "Durin's Folk". That's the piece of Tolkien's writing that dictates the point-of-view of the trilogy and, as a result, the scale and tone. If ever I was to look for a fan-edit, I would look for a Dwarvish, Bilbo-less cut, if any.

 

3 hours ago, Holko said:

Guillermo's 2-part Hobbit would probably have fit the spirit of it very well.

 

From what I gather, Guillermo's dulogy would still have featured the Dol Guldur subplot; Tauriel and Legolas were to be present; and the rivalry with Azog was to be featured, as well. Yes, the films would have probably dwelled on these elements less, but I also think that presenting them in an even more rushed manner would have been even worst. Also, the idea of a "bridge film" which was tossed around in the Del-Toro days sounds horrible. And his taste in design was all wrong for Middle Earth.

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17 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

To my mind, all of this is happened organically once the focus of the story shifted from Bilbo to Thorin.

 

Yes and this was one of the first mistakes they made.

 

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Well maybe so. But so is Gandalf.

 

But the name of the book is not the The Dwarf or The Wizard. 

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