287 Days to Go

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Movie News

Thorin & Company

It’s March now, and the wait for the highly-anticipated, can-it-come-any-slower Hobbit film is building up in tension. But take heart; there’s only 280+ more days to go. The expectations are high. The tension great. And Peter Jackson is treading through dangerous waters as fans of not only The Hobbit book, but also fans of his Lord of the Rings films, are expecting him to deliver.

The greatest consolation that Peter Jackson is not taking the easy road to a big box office blowout is twofold:

First, his previous films. This is the Peter Jackson who went for quality, not quantity. This is the Peter Jackson who had the Mordor speech engrained onto the Grond battering ram in Return of the King, even though no one would ever be able to see it, for goodness sake! This is the Peter Jackson who put his actors into such a superbly-refined story and environment that they couldn’t help but thinking that they actually were in Middle-earth.

I don’t think we’ll have to worry about Jackson’s ability to bring this story to life. The Lord of the Rings was tribute to his brilliant movie-making abilities.

Second: his video diaries. Since production began back in May, Jackson has been chronicling the filming of The Hobbit  and releasing a video blog every few months. This is the first time in cinematic history that a film director has ever done anything like this. It’s unprecedented.

You can tell that Peter Jackson cares about not only fans of the book, and fans of his films, but also fans of both (like me). P.J. has a heavy price on his head if he doesn’t deliver well, and he’s taking the necessary steps in assuring his audience that this will be a genuine, authentic Peter Jackson “quality, not quantity” film. If you wish to see the newest video, follow this link. I would greatly suggest starting with the first if you haven’t already viewed them.

I sincerely believe that the same passion and love that was put into Lord of the Rings will be put into The Hobbit as well. Rather than feel like a separate story, the films will be simply a precursor to the already-traversed stories. We’ll be able to see the same familiar Middle-earth as before, while seeing new parts of it that we haven’t seen yet.

A wisp of fresh air is about to descend upon Hollywood, hopefully to blow away some of the trite popcorn thrillers that have been occupying the screen since Lord of the Rings.

These films will introduce new characters, new sights, new action, and a fresh approach to Tolkien’s story. I say “films” because The Hobbit will be split into two parts, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey slated for release this December, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again the following year.

Now lest you think that Jackson is trying to use the story to make some extra dough, let me explain.

Peter Jackson knows that a story such as this with so much mass cannot be properly told in a two-hour movie—or even a three-hour movie, as each of his proceeding films were. There’s simply too much content that can’t be left out, and the only way to solve that problem other than to make a five-hour long film is to create a two-part story.

“Should I risk annoyed film-goers falling asleep in their seats?” asked Jackson, “Or should I risk angry fans?” The solution was simple. No one likes seeing an adaption of their favorite book and discovering that their favorite scene has been left out. I understand that film does have its limitations in that sense, but Peter Jackson handled it with aplomb.

There is no other director I would more willingly trust to turn this into an outstanding work of art than Peter Jackson. He has proved his mettle three times already. If half of the care and devotion that was put into Lord of the Rings  is put into this project, then we are in for a visual treat come this December.

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