An Unexpected Project
The Hobbit: From Book To Script
When I finished this "Lord of the Rings" venture to my satisfaction, I thought I was done. After all it was with this goal in mind that I created this site and, having reached it, I figured that I would simply sit back and let it be, for others to pour over and enjoy.
And, for the most part, I did just that. Other than the essay series "Selections from 'Unfinished Tales'", I have been pretty content to follow other pursuits. Not long after the release of the Lord of the Rings films, speculation began that a "Hobbit" film would be in the works if only New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson could work out their differences. The prospect seemed, at first, unlikely but once the green light was given it reignited excitement among Tolkien fans.
I recently decided to listen to the audio book version of "The Hobbit" and was surprised to find what a different experience it was having the book read to me compared with reading it myself. It dawned on me that there are many different was to tell a story and in the early part of this decade Peter Jackson took on the monumental task of bringing "The Lord of the Rings" to life as a movie (I tend to think of the three films as separate parts of one big movie).
In translating the book to film, Jackson and his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philipa Boyens came under heavy criticism from many of the fans for some parts of the story that were altered, omitted or newly created. I distinctly remember watching the bonus material included in the Extended Editions of the DVDs and I was fascinated by the process of how this production developed. I was particularly interested in the different ways they grappled with the great difficulties in presenting the story through a visual medium. These documentaries were titled "From Book To Script".
Now it has occurred to me that right at this very moment Jackson and company (with input from the chosen director, Guillermo del Toro), are going through the same process for "The Hobbit" - which will be presented in two parts so as to retain as much of the original material as possible. But in listening to the book, it was clear even to me that several elements would need to be amended or removed if, for no other reason, the style of "The Hobbit" is to remain consistent with the Lord of the Rings films.
We, the fans, will have to wait an excruciatingly long time - two to three years - to see the result and many of us will speculate (to ourselves and others) as to just what the final product will look like.
So, I am announcing that I've decide to put my own speculation here at Tolkien Geek. I will be going chapter by chapter and weighing in as to how "The Hobbit" may ultimately be translated "From Book To Script". I plan to base these assessments on Jackson's own thought processes relating to his work on the Lord of the Rings films as well as my own personal feelings about what would or wouldn't work in a movie. I'm sure many readers will take exception to some of these predictions, but I expect the process to be fun - especially when I eventually go back and re-read these entries to see where I guessed close to the mark and where I was waaaaaay off.
This "unexpected project" will begin soon but it may take some time as my own demands of work and family are a little more demanding than when I blogged "The Lord of the Rings" almost four years ago. I will also probably rely on some "inside information" that I may derive about the development of "The Hobbit" from "The Annotated Hobbit". But I will try to plod along as best I can, particularly before casting announcements start to role in by the end of the year.
In any case, I ask for your patience and invite you to come along and post your own thoughts and comments as I go.
But before we hit the text right away, I want to go over some general observations that I think we may be able to anticipate as the production begins to ramp up. I present these in a post titled "Middle-Earth Through The Eyes Of Peter Jackson".