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Peter Jackson Will Not Be Making The Hobbit 467

An anonymous reader writes "Due to legal wranglings with New Line Cinema over accounting issues for Lord Of The Rings, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will not be involved in the making of either The Hobbit or the planned Lord of the Rings prequel." I suppose there is still a chance that Jackson & Co. could end up involved, but at this point that looks unlikely.
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Peter Jackson Will Not Be Making The Hobbit

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  • First reaction... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @10:41AM (#16914194) Homepage Journal
    .... WTF? What do you mean "The Hobbit or the planned Lord of the Rings prequel"? Aren't the two the same thing? Or is this an allusion to The Silmarillion? Alas, the article is slashed, so I can't find out!!!
  • Blame Jackson? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @10:46AM (#16914290) Homepage Journal
    For all the negative comments towards Jackson's work on the trilogy, the fact that they somehow have the idea that a prequel and "the Hobbit" are two seperate things bodes very ill for the "It absolutely must be exactly like the book" nerds.

    On the plus side, maybe some of us will appreciate Jackson more when we see how Hollywood botches these films. That or I'll eat my words.
  • The Silmarillion? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Upaut ( 670171 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @10:57AM (#16914474) Homepage Journal
    Man I hope they don't try to tackle that one... Its not a novel, but a book of history. To cover it properly one needs a three week mini-series run on the history channel. (Please? With sugar on top? I put up with a week of fictional bible history, give me my Tolkein...)
  • How about no? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CharAznable ( 702598 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:13AM (#16914726)
    How about not making the Hobbit at all? I loved the Lord Of The Rings movies, but for all the good in them, they ruined the books forever for me. When I read them now, I can't help but imagine Frodo being Elijah Wood and Gandalf being Ian McKellen. Every picture that had been formed in my mind by reading the books has been wiped over and replaced with Peter Jackson's vision, and that sucks.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:14AM (#16914750)

    I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you. I mean who ever heard of a movie studio cheating someone out of their money? Really, it goes to show you, it doesn't matter who you are, the movie studio will try anything to keep their money.

    Like the RIAA's accounting, movie studio accounting is even more devious. Whenever someone tries to get paid a "part of the profits" for which they deserve, the studios always pull the "but according to our estimates, we didn't make money on that film." That's why there will never be a Forrest Gump sequel. The author, Winston Groom, was supposed to get a part of the profits. But according to Paramount, Forrest Gump didn't make any profits despite its $600+ million in sales. So he refuses to let the sequel become a movie.

    Another example is the dispute between Art Buchwald and Paramount. [] Buchwald pitched a script to Paramount about a movie in which Eddie Murphy playing an African king comes to America to look for a bride. After some development with director John Landis, it was abandoned. Paramount later produced a movie called Coming to America about an African prince played by Eddie Murphy that comes to America to find a bride. John Landis directed the movie. But according to Paramount, they were different movies completely. When Buchwald won his lawsuit, Paramount then argued the movie that though it had $350 million in sales, it made no profit according to their accounting. The court found their accounting "unconscionable". Rather than have the court delve into their accounting practices in detail, Paramount settled.

  • Re:prequel? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:37AM (#16915112) Homepage Journal
    Funnily enough I was thinking that too. I don't know if I want to read them any time soon though, apparently they're very heavy going compared to LOTR (and I got bored 20 pages from the end of LOTR book 2, that Tolkien fellow needs to cut back on his descriptions of geography). The Hobbit was an excellent book though. Second time I read it (must have been when I was 9 I went through it in a day.. no idea how old I was the first time..
  • Re:prequel? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sauron_of_mordor ( 931508 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:54AM (#16915426)
    "I can't imagine the silmarillion being made into a movie of any value. The stories are simply too involved and too mythologically based."

    You know I can't help but think that this is what provides license to directors to create a story from a mythology. Just look at some of the other mythology type stuff that shines - homer and the bible alone have spawned countless great movies. The story of Beren and Luthien has loads of potential for a film and thats probably 5% of the content or less...


  • by dabsynth ( 1029720 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:56AM (#16915458)
    I for one am going to Boycott any Hobbit movie made without Peter Jackson. I mean come on so the LOTR was not exactly like the books big deal they put in the parts that kept the story moving and some of the stuff they left out was infered. All this is about is New Line not wanting to miss out on the Billions this movie would make with PJ at the helm. Their rights to make a hobbit movie run out in 2007 and go back to the publisher at which point MGM or Peter Jackson himself could buy the rights to make it. I for one hope that people like Sir Ian McKellen, and Andy Sirkis also say no without PJ. Think what you will this is MY opinion and as far as I am concerned they wont see a penny of my money on the hobbit or a 2nd prequil without Peter Jackson directing it.
  • My prediction (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geobeck ( 924637 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:01PM (#16915574) Homepage

    LOTR will remain popular as a rental with future generations, will remain at the head of Peter Jackson's CV, and will be the movie that inspires many big-screen TV purchses for years to come.

    The Hobbit and The Sillymarilly--Silamarilia--The Three Rocks will go straight to DVD, will not make a name for the director, possibly the same one responsible for such cinematic triumphs as "Rob Schneider Doo-pa Doo-pa Doo", and will be responsible for many Blockbuster membership cancellations because "they just don't make anything worth watching anymore."

    New Line will write off the loss, and make the excuse that the movies were doomed from the start because those "lesser stories" didn't compare to LOTR anyway.

  • Re:prequel? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eternauta3k ( 680157 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:04PM (#16915640) Homepage Journal
    Pray tell, how would your represent Iluvatar and the thinguies that helped him?
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by roamzero ( 920097 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `orezmaor'> on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:12PM (#16915800)
    I also had a problem with the Warg battle in the second movie. That wasn't really in the book and I would have been less annoyed if it just ended with the battle for a bit of action, but the whole cliff scene making everyone think Aragorn was dead is what really irked me. That wasn't in the book and it was just Jackson pointlessly trying to tug at the heartstrings of the audience. Adding that to the similar events that ARE in the book takes away from those events IMO, and the time could have been better spent for other things.
  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:40PM (#16916254) Homepage Journal
    Oddly enough, this isn't the first time someone involved of making a film of Lord of the Rings has been scrood over it. It isn't even the first time it happened to someone named Peter. If information posted at Conlan Press [] can be believed, Saul Zaentz made a number of promises to Peter S. Beagle in return for his writing the script for the animated LotR, and then reneged on them.

    Guess that's how it goes in Hollywood.
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Himring ( 646324 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:51PM (#16916462) Homepage Journal
    Let's not forget a scene was added in Gibson's "Hamlet." Talk about thinking you can do better than the author....

    Tolkien stated that LoTR "uniquely leant itself to not being dramatized." Or something to that effect. Exactly, the movies are not LoTR. They are another man's interpretation of the original story. Being that as they may, it is still well done. I was extremely nervous -- as a huge fan -- that Jackson would blow it, but I think he did not. Liv Tyler as Arwen freaked me out, but I think she did a superb job.

    I also noted in all of Jackson's interviews he rarely mentions Tolkien. This troubled me as I feel he is a fan, and maybe it is nothing, but still. I think he has a tad bit of the, "this is my work. I'm the director," thing going on.

    The movies are what they are, and 50 years from now they may do another whole adaptation. Jackson, btw, took many concepts of depiction from the animated movie -- I actually picked it up in a checkout line for a buck and watched it recently. I think Jackson even states he took the scene of the rider along the road -- indeed, the animation has the same angle and shot. Jackson did a far better job with the treason of Isengard (Gandalf & Saruman). What a great line, "Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the wise abandon reason for madness?!" That's not in the book. Also, he really pumped up The Bridge of Khazad Dum (sic?). Gandalf's fall into the shadows. Ebert points out that the book's piece on that is only a few hundred words.

    Finally, the discovery of the party of Dwarrowdelf (sic?) the dwarvish city in Moria, is incredibly done by Jackson. I got goose bumps as the scene revealed itself, Sam looks up and says, "now there's a sight you don't see every day." The background music, the look on their faces, Sam's words -- it really made the great city become what I think Tolkien would want it to. In the book, you just don't get that sense.

    Finally, finally, Boromir's death was incredible. The book did nothing for me, but Jackson really built that up. I was right there in that scene as each arrow sunk into him, as he looked back to the hobbits, then fought, then shot, then back again. Each arrow weakening him, yet he finds it within himself to go on. Aragorn saving him, yet he died but not without a final bonding moment where reconciliation occurs as he blesses both the quest and the king. Jackson deservs mighty praise for that scene (which, btw, he did not edit).

    I am very proud of the movies. I do think before Jackson dies he needs to film a Bombadil piece for an extra, extra, lucasian DVD release (digital enhancements and remastering and all that).

  • Re:prequel? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr. Shiny And New ( 525071 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:54PM (#16916516) Homepage Journal
    Actually, I think when he wrote The Hobbit JRRT "didn't realize" that it was set in the same world as his other stories. The original version of The Hobbit had Bilbo win the Ring from Gollum (See Wikipedia []). Later on, as he was writing LOTR, he went back and revised The Hobbit to make it consistent with the rest of the universe. This explains why the terminology in The Hobbit is different (The orcs are referred to as Goblins, etc) and the other inconsistencies.
  • Re:First reaction... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Woldry ( 928749 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:10PM (#16916764) Journal
    You know, I've never understood all the Silmarillion-bashing. Call me a drooling fanboy, but I enjoyed the Silmarillion far more than the Hobbit, and about as much as LOTR. Tolkien captured the feel and pace of the medieval literature he studied and loved all his life. If you are at all familiar with the Norse sagas, or with a lot of the original Arthurian literature (as opposed to the pap novels put out in the past 50 years), or with Spenser and Chaucer and Beowulf and Sturluson, The Silmarillion conveys their flavor with remarkable authenticity, and adds some theological, philosophical and moral depth. Reading some of Tolkien's predecessors in fantasy (E. R. Eddison, George Macdonald, William Morris, even H. Rider Haggard to some degree), you can also see where he learned some of his stylistic habits; Morris's style is echoed especially. The style is archaic, certainly, and that could make it difficult for a modern reader, but that is not a flaw per se. It's an aesthetic choice that has its own cadences and beauties.

    Attempting to read the work as a modern novel will not serve the reader well. If people go into it expecting a genre fantasy novel, they are bound to be disappointed. But it is a tremendous and unique accomplishment in fantasy. Read it with an eye to its place in the fantastic tradition, and with an understanding that you are not reading a novel, but a chronological and cosmological saga (in the old, strict literary sense, not the back-of-the-paperback-blurb sense), and its power and creativity are breathtaking.
  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:50PM (#16917390)
    The Scouring of the Shire was too damning a criticism of socialism for Hollywood to let it play.
  • by Thomas Miconi ( 85282 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @02:14PM (#16917796)
    Hollywood is known for borderline illegal accounting practices, NO move has ever made a profit, so if you get net points on a film you are royally "fubared"

    While it may well have been the case in this particular occurence, and while I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next /.er, it's worth pointing out that quite often hugely successful movies will indeed turn out a net loss for the studios, especially in the short term. That's why huge hits like Terminator 2 and Silence of the Lambs actually caused their studios to go bankrupt ! []
  • by Suspended_Reality ( 927563 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:22PM (#16919006)
    I intend to boycott any Hobbit movie altogether (please read on, slashdotters).

    I've said this several times on Digg, but always get the thumbs down from the largely adolescent juvenile crowd. The Hobbit, unlike LOTR, has a much more rhythmic momentum, and each chapter in and of itself, has an up and down cycle to it (it is a children's book after all). Am I the only one who thinks that the Hobbit would be much better served as a 21 episode mini-series? Think Sopranos, Band of Brothers, etc. Each chapter becomes an episode. Much of the storyline would therefore remain intact (a lot more happens in 302 pages of the Hobbit than the 900-or so pages of LOTR), and the original flow would be better observed.

    When its all done, release a $119 nine disc DVD set. Sell 1 DVD set for every 12 people who would have gone to the movie, and you're already making serious money. Throw in advertising for the 21 episodes, and you've got a goldmine. Seriously, why isn't anyone pitching this? Haven't LOST, The West Wing, and these other dramas shown that the mini-series format is what people are now looking for in movies (big sweeping story arcs with smaller plots along the way)? Am I crazy? Please, somebody give me some honest feedback on this. Thanks!
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:33PM (#16919218) Homepage Journal
    Hear hear! When Aragorn went over the cliff, I was thinking WTF! The movie is already so long that parts of the story have beeen omitted. Why the hell is he adding new stuff?

    That incident was, I suspect, added to provide something for Eowyn to react to - the point being to give clear indication of Eowyn's feelings for Aragorn. She can't say anything to him because anything that explicit just isn't going to work, and there's only so many longing looks you can include to make your point without something to hang it on. By having Aragorn presumed dead we get to see Eowyn's reaction thereto, and we also have her reaction to his return, along with Aragorn's reaction to her. In other words it provides something upon which to actually hang the Eowyn/Aragorn relationship visually. Whether it was the best way to do that is up for debate - it was, however, meaningful and done with reason.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by igb ( 28052 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:55AM (#16926442)
    Her Earthsea books stand head and shoulders above the rest of her stuff --- for a start off, they're not mired in leftish Berkeley politics, as a lot of the rest is (including the books you mention: if she's not fighting the 1972 US presidential election, she's fighting the ERA wars).

    The key three texts are Wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, and especially The Farthest Shore. The last is in turn head and shoulder above the other two, but I don't know how readable it is in isolation: I have returned to it regularly over the thirty years since I first read it, the other two less so. There are a couple more novels in the same series she wrote later, which are hopeless, and a book of short stories, which is actually rather good.

    Why do I rave?

    • She can write, which a lot of fantasy authors can't, so at a purely literary level they work. She can write compellingly of the context she has created, without it turning into a faux textbook, and she can turn a memorable phrase.
    • She, or her editor, can edit, so rather than being sold by the inch they don't have a scrap of fat on them. They're putatively kids' books --- my early seventies copies are explicitly in a kids' imprint --- from the days before Harry Potter provided the bloat.
    • By having what D&D fans would call ``low entropy'' magic she avoids the obvious question: ``If they're all able to do magic, why not just zap the bad guy?'' which Tolkein struggles with, and fails to answer.


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