For "The Hobbit", I am a Revisionist

What do you think of Tolkien on the silver screen...? Whether Bakshi, Jackson, Amazon, BBC radio play, or whoever else, come on in and discuss your reflections, opinions, and memories...

For "The Hobbit", I am a Revisionist

Postby thebachelor » Mon May 17, 2004 5:30 pm

Prior to the release of FotR, I considered myself a Pragmatist or even a Revisionist (although I didn't know those terms back then, not being on these boards yet). However, seeing the AATF scene made me start to become more of a Purist, and TT and RotK completed the transformation (although some of my recent reactions to descriptions of the Boorman script make me wonder if I'm a Revisionist after all).

However, I have decided that if PJ makes The Hobbit, I am a Revisionist with respect to that project. Why? Because as wonderful as The Hobbit is, I've never felt the same degree of affection for it that I feel for the Silm and LotR. Of the three works it is obviously the least great. It is a classic of children's literature, but the Silm and LotR are classics of world literature, period.

So I won't really mind if Beorn is omitted; he's possibly my favorite character in The Hobbit, but if PJ and company decide that Rankin-Bass was right and he's unnecessary, so be it. The same goes for the Arkenstone! I understand that it makes the climactic parts of the story more morally complex and "adult", and that it would give WETA the next best thing to the chance to design a Silmaril, but it also might make Bilbo rather unsympathetic to the audience. (He eventually tries to do good with it, but should he really have picked it up in the first place?) I will be disappointed if they have Bilbo kill Smaug rather than Bard -- but is that really any less believable than Elrond's journey to Dunharrow?
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Re: For "The Hobbit", I am a Revisionist

Postby Hobbituated » Mon May 17, 2004 6:42 pm

thebachelor wrote: some of my recent reactions to descriptions of the Boorman script make me wonder if I'm a Revisionist after all


There's a big difference between revisionist and iconoclast. Boorman was definitely the latter.

Now that we've all seen PJ's LOTR (except Wildwood :D ), we are expecting something that is not pure Tolkien, but Tolkien/PJ, if it is indeed made by PJ. We would expect elves in a PJ Hobbit to be suave, not blue, with Hungarian accents, like Rankin/Bass. The "tra-la-lally", while Tolkien, is definitely not PJ, so we probably won't see that either. On the other hand, we could have someone completely different do the Hobbit (like Disney, gag), in which case it could be a children's musical, like Rankin/Bass, but with live actors.
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Postby Dad-human » Tue May 18, 2004 9:09 am

I'm for about the same degree of revisionism as in the Lotr movie. Or maybe a little more. How about Aragorn, Arwen, and Legolas in the Hobbit?
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Postby Ugluk » Wed May 19, 2004 9:50 am

For that matter, why don't we have Bilbo fall in love with one of the Dwarves, who's actually a girl? Smaug could eat her, and then Bilbo, consumed by rage and grief, kills Smaug.

What drama..... :roll:
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Postby halplm » Wed May 19, 2004 2:23 pm

Wasn't there another thread with, like, the exact same title???

I'm all for Bilbo falling in love with Smaug! What fun that would be, then he'd have a reason to hang on to the Arkenstone, and he could take it south To Saruman where we learn it's actually a Palantir! THAT'S when he could find the ring, of course...
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Postby Gondorian » Wed May 19, 2004 2:41 pm

The Hobbit will be a hell of a difficult adaptation since every story element appears in LOTR in a bigger and better form. It may require a much different approach than what was taken for the LOTR films.
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Postby 1eowynfanshieldmaiden » Wed May 19, 2004 6:22 pm

I would be so mad if the Arkenstone in it!! :x :x It would just be upsetting to me. :x :x :x
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Postby PrincessIlarian » Thu May 20, 2004 11:50 am

I am probably the only person on this entire website who's not really excited about the possibility of a 'Hobbit' film. While, as thebachelor pointed out, the Hobbit is good children's literature, LoTR is simply classic.

I have several things that I can think of that could go wrong. First, PJ chose to make the LOTR films in a serious, grand, 'epic' style that worked quite well given the tone and style of the books. However, The Hobbit is just a whimsical children's story. I do not think the style that PJ used to make LOTR would fit with the Hobbit - it would strip the story of its sort of naive charm - and if they made it into a film for children, I would probably lose interest quickly.

And besides, I do not feel nearly as passionately for the Hobbit as I do for LOTR. While it is a good children's book, I really don't care about it being made into a film. That might strike some as overkill...

One last thing...Let's hope that whoever eventually does make the Hobbit has not been reading too much fanfiction, as some deluded Mary-Sue/Legomance authors just love making Thranduil into a complete dolt. I sincerely hope that they do not make the Wood-elves evil, or into blue, twisted Nazis like they did in the other animated Hobbit. *shudder* That would probably absolutely drive me insane, and I'd march out of the theater in protest. I don't have my copy of the Hobbit handy, but there are plenty of passages in there which prove that the Wood-elves are not evil.

While I am currently a Revisionist, I might gain more Puristy tendencies toward a filmed version of the Hobbit. Although, I don't mind if they have to cut out Beorn or the Arkenstone. As long as they keep the trolls, after they even inserted a little nod to them in FOTR. :D

~Ilarian
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Postby thebachelor » Thu May 20, 2004 12:51 pm

If Orlando Bloom appears as Legolas in The Hobbit, that will help prevent the Wood-elves from coming across as evil. Of course, given that Galadriel ended up seeming evil to non-readers in the FotR TE, there's no guarantee that Thranduil won't come across as highly unlikeable at the very least. My best friend, whose favorite character in the LotR books and movies is Legolas, didn't read The Hobbit until after reading LotR, and she kept asking me, "Why is Legolas' father being so cruel to the Dwarves?" I had to keep telling her, "They entered Mirkwood uninvited, and Elves and Dwarves really don't like each other. What if Thranduil was an Israeli leader and a group of Palestinians came uninvited into his territory?" Once she had finished The Hobbit, she understood far more fully than before how special Legolas and Gimli's friendship is.
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Postby Lord_Morningstar » Thu May 20, 2004 3:31 pm

I’m another Hobbit-Revisionist. I just think that PJ especially would have the capacity to make a very good film and I’d like to see him make the necessary changes to do so. That being said, I’m not overly excited about the prospect of a Hobbit film.
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Postby 1eowynfanshieldmaiden » Thu May 20, 2004 4:32 pm

I want him to make the movie, but I agree, if the wood elves are anything like Bashki's I'm going to scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hated the way they were presented :x :evil: :roll: :x
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Postby theduffster » Fri May 21, 2004 3:39 am

Wow, I bet this is the ONLY thread on TORC speculating about making The Hobbit into a movie! I could search for others but nah! Why bother? Surely no one else has ever, ever brought up this topic, right?
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Postby Tookish_Traveler » Fri May 21, 2004 4:51 am

..........sneaks up behind theduffster and catches her in a big net.....
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Postby Aramel » Fri May 21, 2004 4:59 am

Oi, look here! We don't even know whether it is going to be made!

Personally, i'm writing a letter.
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Postby SpringleRing_DragonLady » Fri May 21, 2004 6:42 am

PrincessIlarian"]I am probably the only person on this entire website who's not really excited about the possibility of a 'Hobbit' film.

Nope, you're not. I feel the same as you for all the reasons you stated. Having recently reread The Hobbit I was struck again by its simplicity in characterizations and plot. I hardly recognized Gandalf or the Elves. Who WERE these people?
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Postby thebachelor » Fri May 21, 2004 7:44 am

These theories have been suggested by other fans, but I think the Elves in The Hobbit show us the way Elves act when they're not involved in wars, quests or heartbreaking romantic entanglements. In addition, I suspect that the Elves in several scenes in The Hobbit (not just the Wood-elf character who gets drunk) have been imbibing quite a bit of fine Elven wine. JRRT actually unconsciously foreshadows the transformation in the way Elves are depicted in LotR through the song sung outside Bilbo's window at Rivendell near the end, which is much more serious and beautiful than the earlier Elven songs in the book.

Gandalf appears filtered through the perceptions of Bilbo; moreover the Quest of Erebor, while a very serious affair, comes nowhere near the deadly seriousness of the Quest of Mount Doom. I think also that the depiction of Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit, as more of an eccentric, loveable children's book character than he is in LotR, actually contributes substantially to reader's perceptions of the LotR Gandalf and their grief over his death if they read The Hobbit first. Indeed, I think Ian McKellen layered elements of the Hobbit characterization into his performance in LotR -- IIRC, he read The Hobbit as a teenager and didn't read LotR until he was cast in the film.

Of all the LotR cast members, McKellen also appears to be the most enthusiastic about making The Hobbit. Of course, he's the only one who would have a starring role in The Hobbit, since Ian Holm is probably too old to play the 50-51-year-old Bilbo; but given the small size of some movie roles which have won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for their portrayers, I can imagine Andy Serkis finally getting an Oscar for The Hobbit. Gollum is probably the most intriguing character in The Hobbit anyway, even though he only appears for one chapter...
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Postby PrincessIlarian » Tue May 25, 2004 3:42 pm

Here’s my take on the possibility of a ‘Hobbit’ film – or, a longer digression on what I partially started earlier.

This post will probably be rather long.

Responding to an earlier comment in the thread: I had not read LOTR before when I first saw FOTR, and Galadriel didn’t strike me as evil in the slightest. That, however, could be just me.

Okay, back to my opinion on the Hobbit:

First off, Thranduil and the Wood-elves, in my opinion, get quite a bad rap. Whether this is from ignorant fan-fiction writers, misinterpretation, whatnot, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists. I do not think it is warranted.

I’ve never been a big fan of the Dwarves, and my sentiments are decidedly more Elvish. Just so ya know. :wink: Anyway, the Elves let the Dwarves disrupt them three times before they bothered to arrest them, it’s not like they’re torturing the Dwarves once they do take them prisoner, and they even feed them. As Tolkien says, “…for the Wood-elves were not goblins, and were reasonably well-behaved even towards their worst enemies, when they captured them.”

Thranduil asks what Thorin is doing in his realm, which he does have a right to know, but Thorin doesn’t answer. Thranduil is probably very careful of intruders these days because of the presence of Dol Guldur in Mirkwood.

And either the Master of Esgaroth or Bard (can’t remember which) tells Thorin that, “the Elvenking is my friend, and has succored the people of Laketown in their need, although they had no claim but friendship on him.” And Thranduil gives back Orcrist so Thorin can be buried with it. I mean, come on, this guy isn’t a jerk!

(Besides, when Gandalf and Thranduil part back at Mirkwood, I mean, there’s no way you can say he’s a jerk in that scene.)

That would probably be my main concern in a ‘Hobbit’ film. I do not want the Wood-elves portrayed as sneering, scheming villains who fall upon the helpless Dwarves and bind them for all eternities in the darkness…just not right. Something like that in a Hobbit movie would probably send me off into a puristy seizure.

Which is odd, since I’m a Revisionist. :wink:

If whoever does make the Hobbit has Bard kill Smaug, as in the book, then they’re going to have to either a) introduce him sooner or b) give him a bit more to do. You can’t just have the background character march out and destroy the dragon.

As for the Arkenstone – if they want to include it, that’s great. If they don’t, well, it won’t be the end of the world. I imagine that if someone does write a script for the Hobbit, it would be one of the things most likely to get the axe.

And about the Battle of the Five Armies. I never really figured out why that happened in the first place in the book, and it sort of goes against the tone of the rest of the book. Until the battle, we have a whimsical, charming children’s adventure story going, then WHAM! The battle comes along. Not sure how I feel about that one either way.

All in all, however, I’m not entirely excited about the possibility of a film. It definitely is a possibility, but I just don’t feel as strongly about the Hobbit as I do about LOTR. LOTR is a serious, beautiful, epic story with layers of meaning, heartbreaking scenes, and one of the best literary characters ever created (Gollum.) It’s one of the best books ever written.

The Hobbit, on the other hand…well, it’s really, in the end, just a nice children’s book, and indeed, the esteemed JRRT wrote it as a story for his children. It just doesn’t get me hopping up and down with excitement.

Some people, no doubt, are excited, and there are undoubtedly quite a lot of them. Sorry to say, I’m not among them. I’m afraid that in the end, the Hobbit would either be too cutesy or too adult, and neither tone fits the story well. And I don’t think that it would be ‘dumbed down,’ as the Hobbit is essentially a simple story (and I don’t mean that in a bad way.)

I really don’t want a children’s film with singing and dancing (like Rankin Bass ROTK) and I’m not sure if the style PJ used to make the LOTR films would work so well on the Hobbit. Since I don’t feel strongly about the story as a whole, perhaps it would be a bit better (for me) if the film just wasn’t made.

Although, if it was made, I’d certainly go to see it. :D

~Ilarian
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Postby greatsantini » Wed May 26, 2004 7:28 pm

The Rankin/Bass version made an interesting change at the end, and I wonder if PJ will do the same. Gandalf tells Bilbo that "if you really knew the truth about that Ring, as members of your family, not yet born, someday will, you'd know the adventure is only beginning." Considering that PJ started with LOTR, I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to include information that would make it a more fitting prequel. As one of the changes he made to LOTR was including more of Saruman, I could see him doing the same thing here. After all, Gandalf's frequent absences are tied to his involvement in defeating Sauron, so why not show it, and identify the Necromancer as Sauron early on?

And as for Thranduil, wouldn't he be redeemed by fighting alongside the dwarves and men against the Orcs?
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Postby thebachelor » Thu May 27, 2004 12:58 pm

I'm sorry to say I've never seen the Rankin/Bass Hobbit, especially since that's a great line. Some fans in the past have suggested ending the Hobbit film with an ominous close-up of the Ring in Bag End or with Gollum emerging from the mountains, either of which I think would be wonderful.

A while ago there was a thread called "If you can play this game, you have a prototype Mirror of Galadriel", in which people were writing a Hobbit screenplay in round-robin fashion (like the other "If you can play this game..." threads). I think it didn't go far -- maybe it's time for it to be bumped?
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Postby Valdagor » Thu May 27, 2004 1:41 pm

[q]the Silm and LotR are classics of world literature, period.[/q]

Well I agree about LotR obviously, but The Silmarillion? That's a classic of geek literature at best (and I mean that in a good way).
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Postby Brannon77 » Thu May 27, 2004 2:12 pm

Uh, even though you meant "geek literature" in a "good way" I don't really take it as such. Oh for the era of J.R.R.T when depth and complexity where seen as admirable traits and not labeled with sophomoric terms even if meant as a compliment. :wink:

I think for the film to succeed they should simply keep the exact tone of the book. What a concept huh? People who haven't seen the Hobbit wouldn't know the difference and only the people who are fans of the book would be irked. The humor HAS to be kept intact. The mood HAS to be kept intact. Whe all have to remember that the one ring, the return of Sauron etc... where not certanties at this time and thus the more upbeat and playful moods of Gandalf and co. If the people wanting to adapt this have a problem with the tone of the book I beg them to go do something "darker and cooler" if they can't get into it. My only request.
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Postby PK_00 » Sat Dec 18, 2004 8:49 pm

Sorry for replying to a topic so old.....this was the only Hobbit thread I could find.

Anyway, I don't the tone of the hypothetical Hobbit movie would have to be very different from the first half of the Fellowship of the Ring. In fact, Tolkien wrote this half of the story as if intended it to be a follow-up to the Hobbit. That's what he even told his publishers too. Jackson conveyed this mood quite nicely, so I don't think the mood would prove to be any trouble.

One main concern though, would be the animals talking. The eagles and Shelob never talk in the movie, but it would be hard to make the eagles *not* talk in a Hobbit adaption. I don't see as such a big problem. Perhaps they could make him speak in whatever language Gandalf was speaking to that moth in FOTR?

Also, they would only need to get back Ian McKellan and Hugo Weaving, and since Jackson has talked about the inclusion of Arwen, Liv Tyler. But I do think that Ian Holm is far too old to play Hobbit-era Bilbo. He was younger in The Hobbit than Frodo in FOTR, and besides, a younger actor, someone in his twenties (like Elijah Wood was) guarantees for greater box office results. (the MTV awards, fandom, etc.)

However, if Ian Holm is in the movie, maybe he could start off the movie as a narrator writing his book (like he was at the beginning of Fellowship), or he can be there at the end doing the same, maybe continuing right to beginning of the first scene in FOTR when Frodo knocks on his door?

And an unknown actor can't be cast for Thralin. Next to Gandalf and Bilbo he's the main character, and unlike Gimli he serves as an important and influencial leader. He can't be left in the back to serve as comic relief (as Jackson did to Gimli). I'd suggest someone like Russel Crowe. After all the success of LOTR, I'm sure Jackson would have no problem securing big-names for this movie. (I bet Sean Connery is really regretting turning down the role as Gandalf - what was his last hit?)

And about Thranduil. Yeah he shouldn't be characterized as 'evil', like Jackson had the tendency to do with many of the other characters who conflicted with the Fellowship (Denethor, but then again there was Boromir), but he is not nearly as old as someone like Elrond or Galadriel. I have not read the books in a while but aren't the Mirkwood elves described as being sort of 'lesser' than the elves of Rivendell or Lothlorien?

In any case, I think this would be a good chance to show a different aspect of the elves not in LOTR. I don't think Jackson would do them as drastically different as they're portrayed in The Hobbit, but I do think they would be a bit more light-hearted.
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Postby 10fttall » Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:13 pm

And an unknown actor can't be cast for Thralin.


Sure, why not? An little known actor for a little known character.

Seriously, though welcome to TORC!
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Postby PK_00 » Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:55 pm

double post
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Postby PK_00 » Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:55 pm

Ah thanks. :lol:


Oh what isn't Thralin the main dwarf who leads the 13 dwarves? Oh I meant Thorin!
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Postby dudalb » Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:59 pm

" think for the film to succeed they should simply keep the exact tone of the book. What a concept huh?"
I agree. "The Hobbit' film should have a lighter tone then LOTR. I think the film should be tied into LOTR in the same extent that the books are tied in, but no farther.
I am also leary of all these cameos by LOTR characters who are not in the novel. Too distracting. legalos is on the only one I could see working without a lot of streching.This is not "Around the World in 80 Days", folks.
I agree that the charecter of Bard will have to be built up a little .This should not be hard to do.
I think the Wood Elves should be kept the way they are in the novel. Elves are NOT perfect beings, and have faults and foibles like Humans, as anybody who has read The Sim knows, where Elves indulge in some really
questionable behavior.
I agree the tone of the "Hobbit" changes drasatically in the last fourth of the book, but I would be very careful of "correcting' this. When someone pointing out to David O. Selznick that in "Gone With The Wind", The focus changes from Scarlett in the first Three Fourths of the novel to Rhett Butler in the last fourth, Selznick stated he knew that,that it was probably a flaw in the contruction of the novel but he stated he would not change it out of fear of changing too much of the novel's appeal in the process.
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Postby greatsantini » Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:35 pm

Jackson will have his hands full trying to give each dwarf a distinctive personality, while still making Thorin the leader, but giving enough time to Gloin to satisfy those who know he's Gimli's father. Plus, LOTR fans know why Gandalf is absent so often: he's meeting with Saruman to discuss the return of Sauron. Much like Red Dragon had more Lecter because it knew it was a SOTL prequel, The Hobbit may need to include this so it will lead into LOTR.
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Postby Dad-human » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:55 pm

I still like the idea of young Aragorn replacing Bard. :)
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Postby DrunkardofDorwinion » Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:18 pm

Just a few thoughts on a potential "Hobbit" film, I would not be a purist on this, and think it should be done in PJ's style (ie. the elves in Rivendell being the stately elves of the trilogy and not singing the comic song of The Hobbit book).

Also the Chapter "The Quest of Erebor" in "Unfinished Tales" could provide additional material, we could see Gandalf meeting Thorin on the road to Ered Luin going through The Shire, Thorin being unimpressed by Hobbits, Gandalf perusading Thorin in the Ered Luin to take an additional member on the quest, and it being Bilbo.

We should definitly see Gandalf entering Dol Guldur -perhaps in disguise having waylaid an Orc or Easterling in Mirkwood and taking his armour (after all he doesn't explain how he enters Dol Guldur) perhaps he could get some Woodmen or Bard!! to help, we should see the meeting with Thrain inside and some way of Gandalf learning the Necromancer is Sauron (a black shadow turning into a flaming eye perhaps??)

As Beorn was lost in the Rankin-Bass version also, perhaps Gandalf could take the dwarves to the house of Radagast, that way if the two wizards leave the dwarves at the forest gate a logical cut would be to see them riding to Orthanc for the meeting with Saruman.

I would think that from a film-makers POV Legolas would need to appear in Mirkwood and at the battle of the 5 armies, and ditto Arwen in Rivendell.

As an ending I would go for Gandalf Balin and Bilbo in Bag End (perhaps with a hint Balin is on hs way to Moria??) as the three sit and Bilbo reaches for the tobacco jar we should see the Ring in ominious close up, cut to Gollum emerging from the Misty Mountains with a cry of "Thief Baggins we hates it for ever!!"

Now all I've got to do is get the job writing the screenplay! :)
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Postby thebachelor » Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:15 pm

DrunkardofDorwinion wrote:Also the Chapter "The Quest of Erebor" in "Unfinished Tales" could provide additional material, we could see Gandalf meeting Thorin on the road to Ered Luin going through The Shire, Thorin being unimpressed by Hobbits, Gandalf perusading Thorin in the Ered Luin to take an additional member on the quest, and it being Bilbo.


Unfortunately the film rights to "The Quest of Erebor" and the rest of Unfinished Tales are unavailable. A shame, especially as beginning the film with Gandalf and Thorin rather than Bilbo would mitigate my disappointment that the use of 3 Bagshot Row in the final scene of RotK means the whole epic can't both begin and end at Bag End, as in the books.

DrunkardofDorwinion wrote:We should definitly see Gandalf entering Dol Guldur -perhaps in disguise having waylaid an Orc or Easterling in Mirkwood and taking his armour (after all he doesn't explain how he enters Dol Guldur) perhaps he could get some Woodmen or Bard!! to help, we should see the meeting with Thrain inside and some way of Gandalf learning the Necromancer is Sauron (a black shadow turning into a flaming eye perhaps??)


All of that is possible because it's implied by statements in LotR.

DrunkardofDorwinion wrote:As Beorn was lost in the Rankin-Bass version also, perhaps Gandalf could take the dwarves to the house of Radagast, that way if the two wizards leave the dwarves at the forest gate a logical cut would be to see them riding to Orthanc for the meeting with Saruman.


I think that would be a little too much elaboration and alteration from the book. I wouldn't mind Beorn being omitted, but if Radagast appears at all it should only be in scenes of the White Council and the assault on Dol Guldur.

DrunkardofDorwinion wrote:I would think that from a film-makers POV Legolas would need to appear in Mirkwood and at the battle of the 5 armies, and ditto Arwen in Rivendell.

As an ending I would go for Gandalf Balin and Bilbo in Bag End (perhaps with a hint Balin is on hs way to Moria??) as the three sit and Bilbo reaches for the tobacco jar we should see the Ring in ominious close up, cut to Gollum emerging from the Misty Mountains with a cry of "Thief Baggins we hates it for ever!!"


I agree with all of this.
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:14 am
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