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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012 film)

The first part of Peter Jackson's three-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel which is being shot in 3D.

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A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22

  • May 30, 2011
To steal a phrase from another classic trilogy that was ruined by horrid prequels and the corporate greed of the director (which seems altogether appropriate), "I have a bad feeling about this."


So, here is my brief overview on The Hobbit film adaptation (including important events leading up to the conception of the film):

1937 - John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's mythopoeic children's novel The Hobbit is published to widespread critical acclaim and would later be the basis for his epic and ambitious three-part sequel The Lord of the Rings.

1977 - The Hobbit animated musical television film is released by Rankin/Bass and is critically panned despite later developing a cult following

1995 - Peter Jackson and company show their desire to make an epic live action film trilogy consisting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (the three volumes of the novel being condensed into two films).

2001-2003 - The Lord of the Rings films are released as a full trilogy over the course of three years and rumors of a Hobbit film circulate amongst rabid Tolkien fans. The films would become the most high profile fantasy series other than Harry Potter and would be nominated for numerous awards including 30 Academy Award nominations for which the trilogy would win a total of 17. The films were almost universally acclaimed by critics and audiences though some Tolkien fans were disappointed with the departures made from the novel.

2005 - Peter Jackson launches a lawsuit against New Line Cinema for denying him revenue on The Fellowship of the Ring resulting in New Line co-founder Robert Shaye saying that Jackson would never work for New Line again. At news of this, thousands of fans of both J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson expressed their wishes that he should be allowed to direct the film and even went so far as to create extensive petitions to encourage New Line to reconsider their stance.

2006 - Amidst the ongoing dispute between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema, MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) offered to help get the film made under their banner. MGM also put forth the idea of making two films rather than one, suggesting that a film to take place between The Hobbit and Jackson's trilogy would be of interest.

2007-2008 - After a series of films failed to provide New Line with either the critical prestige or the commercial success they hoped for, various studio execs including Robert Shaye made comments that they would like to see Peter Jackson involved in some way in a film of The Hobbit.  Then in December of 2007 it was announced that The Hobbit was indeed going to be getting made into a film and that Peter Jackson would serve as a producer. Not only that, but rather than one film, it was officially announced that there would be two films. Initially, the idea was to adapt The Hobbit into one film and then create a sequel which would serve as a bridge between the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings taking additional material from the appendices in the books. The suggested release dates were December of 2011 and 2012.

2008-2009 - In April of 2008, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro was chosen to direct the films, much to the approval of fans, as well as serve as a co-writer.
In August, the early stages of writing the script began with Guillermo joining Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. In August of 2008 del Toro announced that the proposed bridge film had been discarded and that the two films would now be solely based on The Hobbit essentially splitting the story into two halves. This decision was met with skepticism by fans and critics for a number of reasons, most notably that The Hobbit is shorter than any of the individual volumes of The Lord of the Rings and that splitting the story up seemed like it was purely for commercial gain (giving the studio and the executives the potential to make twice as much money from one property)
In February 2009 The Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins filed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema claiming that the films based on Tolkien's work were a breach of contract and for fraud. The estate claimed that they had only been paid $62,500 despite the fact that The Lord of the Rings films has grossed around 6 billion. In September 2009, a settlement was reached and it was acknowledged that New Line could move ahead with pre-production of the proposed films.

2009 - Peter Jackson announced that the screenwriting process was taking longer than expected.

2010 - In January of 2010 it was announced that the films would not be released until December 2012 and December 2013. As Guillermo del Toro posts various comments and interviews and engages in online chats with fans, readers become aware that he intends to stay very true to the book and place a great deal of emphasis on Tolkien's characters and themes. In addition, del Toro explained his ideas for the visual in the film stating his love of animatronics, models, and miniatures over CGI, though Gollum would remain a digitally animated performance using motion capture technology. However, in May 2010, after MGM had reported numerous financial problems, del Toro left the project as it had not yet been officially greenlit for production and that he had other films that he wanted to do in the meantime which could not be pushed back.
Countless rumors began to circulate as to who would step in to fill the director's shoes.
In June, Jackson was reported to be in negotiations to direct the films, which was what many fans had been hoping for from the start.
In September of 2010, an actors strike was organized and a boycott of the two films was suggested, though later this was resolved.
In October, New Line announced that the films would be shot in and shown in 3D (something that del Toro had explicitly said he did not want to do) and that Jackson would be directing.

Since then, there have been last minute changes to the cast, announcements that Jackson intends to add material to the films from the appendices (material which Tolkien chose not to place in the book for a reason), as well as announcements that Jackson has added characters to the film to form a love story (none of which was in the book) and that he would have actors and characters from The Lord of the Rings return in The Hobbit despite the fact that they weren't included in the book (some of them didn't even exist at the time of story) and that they in no way played a part in the events as created by Tolkien.



How do I feel?
... Personally, I liked it a lot more when Tolkien's books were on the shelf as close to perfection as he was able to get them, before corporate greed set in and everyone decided that Tolkien's literary masterpieces belonged to companies and studio execs who could alter and exploit them for commercial gain.

Do I think I could be wrong?
... Yeah, sure, of course I could be. But how many times do these long-awaited films that have been through production hell actually turn out to be good? The Star Wars prequels, The Matrix sequels, the last Indiana Jones film - all of these were huge disappointments to fans and critics, but filmmakers and studios made millions, billions even, because of them.

What's my point?
... It's obvious that film adaptations of source material - be they books, comics, myths, TV series, etc. - will always have a great deal of artistic and financial potential. But when the desire to make money becomes the primary objective and overshadows the desire to do justice to a good tale or to please the fans who made that tale the pop cultural phenomenon that it is, then studios need to wake up and realize that the power lies with us, the viewers. We can choose not to see these films. In fact, maybe that's what we need to start doing. Somehow, we need to show them that media interaction between fans and creators is essential and that from a commercial standpoint they cannot succeed without our paying to see these films, and that we will not see them unless there is a genuine effort to preserve the source material which we have elevated in our hearts to a level of true transcendent art. Art... that's something that we see rarely these days.
The logo The director Gandalf in 3D glasses Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey The 13 Dwarves
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June 11, 2011
Excellent break down about what's been going on/leading up to the film.
 
June 05, 2011
I dunno....I am reserving my opinion until I see it. reading too much into the rumors, gossip, reports will set you up for disappointment and becoming compromised. I'd rather let myself be surprised. Also, movies are a business...no business entity does anything for art. Why do you think artists are usually poor? But without investors, then there will also be no movies that we will like. It is a double edged sword, it can still work. art is expression so let's wait what is going to be expressed when it is released.

Nice QT though....I am not saying you don't have a point, but we need to be open and see for ourselves. Jackson did do the Lord of the Rings trilogy exquisitely.
June 05, 2011
Nah, it's the directors job to create art and let the investors and the studio execs worry about financial matters. Jackson only cares about money now and as a result his films have become shallow and unfaithful to their source material. He might as well stop making movies and start working on Wall Street.
June 05, 2011
I guess the $ 50 million he shelled out for King Kong himself set him back so he's trying to recover?
June 05, 2011
You know how much he makes just by producing films?
June 05, 2011
I know...but maybe he spends more on that special diet. I guess he was a better filmmaker when he was eating the unhealthy foods....ok, now I am being mean LOL!
June 06, 2011
Maybe mean, but not inaccurate. Notice he dresses up more since he won the Oscar which also seemed to precipitate his losing the weight and his more commercialized films. This is why I hate awards. So often as soon as an artist, singer/musician, writer, or filmmaker gets one then they turn into hacks. The biggest killer of creativity is mainstream success.
July 22, 2011
Hey, he's getting fat again... maybe that means the film won't be as bad as I suspect. LOL!
 
June 01, 2011
I am not giving up hope
June 01, 2011
Upon the gates of Hell it doth read, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here". No truer words were spoken of the mainstream film industry.
June 05, 2011
"put yourself to find what the movie is trying to express rather than what you would like/expect to see in a film..." :)
June 05, 2011
That's not exactly Dante, Will. LOL!
June 05, 2011
that is an original 'woopak' LOL!
June 06, 2011
Then why is it in quotation marks? LMAO!
 
June 01, 2011
Yeah, I'm of two worlds when it comes to a film adaptation of THE HOBBIT, especially the way they're doing it with two films and -- as I understand this -- Jackson and friends penning much of the second film based on their interpretation of Tolkien's works. As it stands, Jackson and New Line did the right thing by choosing to adapt THE LORD OF THE RINGS given that there were entire segments of that trilogy that actually led itself fairly well to a visual adaptation. But THE HOBBIT has an awful lot of p-l-o-d-d-i-n-g -- not bad story, per se, just nothing all that visual -- that I don't think will translate well to the screen ... but I'm willing to be surprised. I know that, for a short time, there were rumors that New Line -- this was immediately on the heels of the success of the LOTR trilogy -- was flirting with having Jackson put in charge of a TV series that would've been titled "Tales from Middle Earth," and a project like that I could've easily been a bit more forgiving with as I don't think there's anything wrong with creative folk playing in that universe. But actually PENNING a film that would serve as a cinematic bridge between THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS? That seems more than a bit of overkill. Is it all for profit? Well, isn't everything Hollywood does ultimately "for profit"? Don't treat profit here necessarily as if it's the bag thing b/c studios have to make a profit in order for them to justify spending the kinds of money they do these days to give us quality fantasy ... but I can certainly agree that Tolkien's words can stand for themselves, and I don't think a bridge is necessary in the slightest.
June 01, 2011
But I will say this ... if JarJar shows up in there, fuck Peter Jackson.
June 01, 2011
LOL! Yeah, and Howard the Duck will also be making a cameo appearance in Laketown.
 
May 31, 2011
Lol- too much funny here to narrow down just one quote!
June 01, 2011
What funny? This is depressing is what it is. Jackson's about to ruin the greatest film trilogy ever made by making it into a quintet. Prequels rarely ever work if they are treated as prequels and that's clearly Jackson's approach.
June 01, 2011
Gandalf in the 3D glasses man. But you're right, nothing good seems to come of production-intensive efforts. I personally thought there was a time when the LotR films were still digesting collectively that a Hobbit film would have been welcomed but all the signs of this project are unnerving to say the least.
June 01, 2011
I agree that making it into two films is nonsense. I mean look how short the original book is. And the Lord of the Rings films were a long time ago. Gotta hit while the iron is hot.
June 01, 2011
Yes indeed Jim- Count is 100% correct in comparing this to the Star Wars re-visitation. You can almost picture the corporate meetings: "We need to spark new life into this franchise, introduce it to a new generation so that DVD sales will skyrocket. Then there is the merchandising to follow. The book bags, toy lines, video games.."
June 01, 2011
Funny you mention that, J. Warner Bros. and New Line announced the video game for the film was in the works before the movie itself was even given the greenlight.

And Scotty, striking while the iron is hot isn't always a good thing (Sam Raimi did this and we wound up with the sub-par "Spider-Man 3"). The trick is to find a director who is hell-bent on adapting the source material faithfully and humble enough to put aside their own egos when tempted to alter the story, characters, events, etc. for either profit or increasing their control. The problem is that 'integrity' is a dirty word in today's so-called entertainment business (I call it the golden toilet because of how much money they spend to create a shiny spectacle that's ultimately full of shit which we then flush our money down into).
 
May 31, 2011
Despite gossip columnists to the contrary, there could always be a rewrite and some other positive changes and you might like it. Never know. :)
May 31, 2011
Note the revised version I just posted for details.
June 01, 2011
I just now did. Thanks, well said.
 
1
More The Hobbit: An Unexpected Jour... reviews
review by . December 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Youthful and Lighter Than the Original Trilogy But Does Well as the First Movie in a New Trilogy
Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings trilogy” was ambitious, truly impressive in a technical sense and had a whopping over 9 hour combined runtime in movie theaters. Jackson found that the story even lacked several things that he made “platinum extended” editions of his trilogy that came to a near 12 hour runtime. Such an undertaking would have seemed audacious, but given the fact that the original material by J.R. R. Tolkien was a literary epic that had 1,200 pages, …
review by . December 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
In 2001, The Lord of the Rings kicked off what some say is the nerd takeover of Hollywood.  At that time the idea that you could turn J.R.R. Tolkein's books into films and have them be successful was pretty much a pipe dream.  Yet New Line Cinema bet on him anyway and it actually paid off.  The three films were incredibly successful, being some of the most influential of the decade and paving the way for more fantasy films to come.  Of course, there hasn't really been …
review by . December 13, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'...a 3D trip through Middle Earth at 48fps (Video)
They're back...the orcas, goblins, faires, dwarfs, dragons wizards and Mr. Hobbit, Bilboa Baggins (Martin Freeman) and a camero by Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood)      Shot in 48FPS, instead of the usual 24, as well as 3D, Peter Jackson has once again created a visually stunning, exciting, magical film that takes us on a journey through Middle Earth.      The film opens with an aged Frodo (Ian Holm) telling a story.  We are instantly transported to the …
review by . December 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Would somebody buy Peter Jackson Final Cut Pro? I am worried he doesn't have the readily accessible editing software that is the industry standard. That is the only rational explanation on how The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is being broken up into three different movies.       You may remember Jackson's last crack at the J.R.R. Tolkien books, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The series was near-perfect, and while the last movie had eight different endings his hard …
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The Hobbit is an upcoming three-part film adaptation of the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and will serve as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, is directing the film and also serves as producer and co-writer.

The film will star Martin Freeman, known for playing Tim Canterbury in the BBC comedy series The Office, as Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage, known for playing Lucas North in the BBC drama series Spooks, as Thorin Oakenshield. Several actors from Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, and Orlando Bloom. Additionally, composer Howard Shore, who wrote the score for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, has confirmed his role in both parts of the film project.

The three parts, entitled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There And Back Again, are being filmed back to back and are currently in production in New Zealand; principal photography began on 21 March 2011. They will be released on December 14, 2012,  2013 and 2014, respectively.
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