Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reading "The Hobbit"

You've all probably by now seen the announcement that New Line Pictures has come to an agreement with Peter Jackson (and Fran Walsh) for the latter to produce two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit for the former.

A lot of people don't seem to have read that announcement, because they're speculating loudly online about how The Hobbit will be divided into two movies.

According to the press release, it won't be: there will be one movie based on The Hobbit, and one "sequel," which will be shot simultaneously starting in 2009. (Of course, that's assuming there's a script in time -- someone needs to write these movies, and the WGA is on strike at the moment.)

I assume that there's some manner of "treatment" for the two movies in play -- though it may be outdated (written before the strike) or a purely verbal pitch. But I haven't seen anything that looks official about what this "sequel" will be about. (Some are speculating it will be the "Young Aragorn Chronicles" movie.)

Things probably won't become any clearer until there actually is a script for the two movies, and that might take quite some time. (There's that strike again.) But for all of the people jumping up and down and squealing in glee, I have two things to keep in mind:
  • Jackson doesn't have the time to direct this; it will be done by someone else. He's Executive Producing, which means he probably won't be on-set much, if at all.
  • Think of the new element that you least liked about Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies. Now imagine that blown up to a three-hour movie of its own. That might just be the "sequel"....

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