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post #101 of 416
Why? Ish there a problem with hish voish?

I would think a connection with an established success like Dragonheart can only be a plus in a struggling franchise like The Hobbit.
post #102 of 416
If they get Chris Masterson to play the Lake Man, we'll be cooking with gas.
post #103 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg David
As long as Sean Connery doesn't do the voice.
Draco: Who's the girl?
Bowen: A nuisance! Get rid of her!
Draco: Why?
Bowen: They're trying to placate you with a sacrifice!
Draco: [knowingly] Oh, now whoever gave them *that* bright idea?
Bowen: Never mind! Just get rid of her!
Draco: How?
Bowen: Eat her!
Draco: Oh, please. YUCK!
Bowen: Aren't we squeamish; you ate Sir Egglemore, hypocrite!
Draco: I merely chewed in self-defense, but I never swallowed.
post #104 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
WB certainly seemed to think it was a shit design, as they put a completely different Smaug design on the cover for the film's video release!
If you think the accuracy of character illustrations on a vhs cover is any reflection of preference and not just being lazily "off model" (or possibly undiscerning art direction), you need to take a gander at a plethora of kid's videos or do a stint in commercial art.

In many cases the characters are off-model (features, anatomy, proportions, etc) or even the wrong color/s.
For an off the top of my head example, look at the difference between Bambi in movie & on the cover:





Do you think the newer artists (ie: commissioned air-brushers) were just trying to perfect the original "crappy" design of the character? Those kind of inaccuracies happen all the time. Even with "uber-anal with their licensed characters" Disney.
post #105 of 416
Thread Starter 
I don't understand why this bridge film is so talked about and there's so much cynicism around it.

There is almost an inexhaustible amount of material within the appendices, so much to cull from and bring to life. The only real question is, where do they begin?
post #106 of 416
Yes, there is a lot of material, but not a character or direction. If they split The Hobbit into two then they have something, but if the first movie ends with The Hobbit then there in no story arc to connect it to LOTR.

As someone mentioned above--Bilbo (after dealing with the "I'm really not dead, Lobelia" debacle) is sitting around enjoying his riches. Frodo is too young. That knocks hobbits out of the main story. You could do the adventures of Aragorn or Gandalf or Legolas or Gimli, but they don't do anything significant enough that warrants a movie.
post #107 of 416
You could make an interesting movie that starts with Aragorn learning about his birthright and his first meeting with Arwen, his time serving Thengel and Echthelian and ending with his time in Lorien. You could also do a good story about the Dwarves dissatisfaction at Erebor and the tragic attempt to retake Moria. The problem is that they are just character backstory.

From The Hobbit to ROTK is one plot--the Ring is found, it is passed to Frodo, the Ring's true nature is discovered, they decide what to do with it and then the quest is fulfilled. Those previous ideas, though they have dramatic possibilities, don't plug directly into the main plot line.
post #108 of 416
Thread Starter 
I would suppose that I would trust the writing team of Fran, Phillipa & Peter to utilize the elements to base an engrossing film around. There's more then just enough, I'd venture to say there's enough story and backstory that centers specifically around the ring of power to create something entirely Tolkien nestled in perfectly with the larger story.

The story of the ring is really a story of the struggle of people, that's what we're doing here. Telling the backstory of the Ents would indeed seem futile and taking a step away from the larger whole.
post #109 of 416
Was it ever explained how and why Sauron was able to come back? I could see a movie being built around that.
post #110 of 416
Spreading The Hobbit over two movies doesn't make any more sense to me than an original bridge film. The Hobbit is the only thing Tolkien ever wrote that was concise, efficient and self-contained. So they're going to take the one thing about it that makes it unique among Tolkien's works and toss it out the window. I just think it's a bad idea. It tells me that they're adapting The Hobbit not because they think it would make a good movie, but because they want to extract more money out of the Lord of the Rings mine. Yes, all movies are made to make money, but one always hopes that there's a hint of artistic ambition involved.
post #111 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
...he remained dormant for hundreds of years until he finally emerged and began to rebuild his forces at Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood.
I don't pretend to know the significances of those places, but that seems awfully vague to me. Why did he emerge? I assume something was preventing him from coming back other than his own sense of restraint, so what happened to change that? You don't think that could be expanded into a film somehow?
post #112 of 416
I'm sure it could, but a disembodied evil spirit trying to get it together enough to move up to a big flaming eye isn't exactly scintillating drama. Sauron was lacking something as a villain in the previous films as it was. Watching him work his way up to that doesn't sound fascinating.
post #113 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin K
I don't pretend to know the significances of those places, but that seems awfully vague to me. Why did he emerge? I assume something was preventing him from coming back other than his own sense of restraint, so what happened to change that? You don't think that could be expanded into a film somehow?
Even though he wasn't killed in the battle shown in the prologue of Fellowship of the Ring, he was greatly weakened without the Ring. As long as the Ring survived he could not be destroyed, but he'd put so much of his power into it, he was relatively weak without it. It simply took him all those centuries to regain any semblance of power -- akin to what happened to Voldemort in the Harry Potter books, only over a much longer period of time.
post #114 of 416
What I'm proposing is not so much a movie about Sauron as much as about his minions trying to bring him back. And maybe about Gandalf trying (and failing) to prevent them from bringing Sauron back to life before it's too late. Something that ends with the return of Sauron, rather than begins with it.

I'm just throwing out ideas, I'm not a huge Tolkien fan, I'm just saying there are a few holes in the movies' version of the story, like how Sauron was able to return (which is never really explained in the films) to provide enough material to make the bridge film worthwhile.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
It simply took him all those centuries to regain any semblance of power...
So it basically equated to Sauron taking a giant nap? If that's the case, that's incredibly uninteresting, I agree. So why not go in a different direction? What you guys seem to be saying is that even though what's in the book isn't the least but interesting, you're still opposed to it being changed. Which makes no sense to me.
post #115 of 416
I'm not opposed to it being changed, I'm opposed to it being done at all. If they don't change it, it's dull, but if they do, then they're just making shit up. That's why it should just be left alone. Just adapt The Hobbit and forget all this business of dovetailing into the trilogy. But that won't happen.
post #116 of 416
The problem is that while Tolkien painted broad strokes as to the events between The Hobbit and LOTR, there's no detail. It says "Gandalf and Aragorn hunt for Gollum". Okay, where? How? None of that is answered, so it would have to be dreamed up out of the air. And while Jackson and company did a fantastic job with the material they added to the Rings films, they were tweaks, not entire plots and storylines.
post #117 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg David
I'm not opposed to it being changed, I'm opposed to it being done at all. If they don't change it, it's dull, but if they do, then they're just making shit up. That's why it should just be left alone. Just adapt The Hobbit and forget all this business of dovetailing into the trilogy. But that won't happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
The problem is that while Tolkien painted broad strokes as to the events between The Hobbit and LOTR, there's no detail. It says "Gandalf and Aragorn hunt for Gollum". Okay, where? How? None of that is answered, so it would have to be dreamed up out of the air. And while Jackson and company did a fantastic job with the material they added to the Rings films, they were tweaks, not entire plots and storylines.
My opinion/s exactly.
post #118 of 416
Thread Starter 
Greg David Wrote :
"but one always hopes that there's a hint of artistic ambition involved."

Because there was a complete lack of artistic vision involved with the LOTR trilogy.....right O.
post #119 of 416
I think a film depicting Aragorn's adventures while posing as Thorongil could be interesting -- it would give glimpses of Rohan and Gondor before LOTR and could end with a pretty decent battle at the Havens -- but would Viggo come back for what basically amounts to the Middle-earth version of The Scorpion King?
post #120 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu

# 2995 - Birth of Éowyn
# 3001 - Bilbo Baggins turns 111, passes the One Ring on to Frodo Baggins, and leaves the Shire. From now on Aragorn and Gandalf intermittently hunt Gollum
Wait so Eowyn is supposed to be only six years old during Lord of the Rings?
post #121 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
Wait so Eowyn is supposed to be only six years old during Lord of the Rings?
No. Gandalf (according to the book) is away from the shire for like 17 years before returning to warn Frodo IIRC. To create a sense of urgency, and to keep the plot moving, the movie disguises that fact and makes it seem like a week/month or so.
post #122 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
Greg David Wrote :
"but one always hopes that there's a hint of artistic ambition involved."

Because there was a complete lack of artistic vision involved with the LOTR trilogy.....right O.
Praeter no ones suggesting for one moment that Jackson, Walsh and Boyens wouldn't do their utmost to treat the property with the integrity it deserves - but their not the ones funding this thing, New Line is, and thats the problem.

This isn't Robert Shaye wanting to make an epic of books he'd grown up loving and pushing for three films to do the story justice in 99, this is the New Line that hasn't had a real hit since then and just taken the mother of cold showers from The Golden Compass circa '07, and now theyre completely and utterly desperate.

You think they wouldn't have made up with Jackson all of a sudden if they weren't?

You think this announcement wouldn't have been made hot on the heels of the Compass flop news if they weren't?

Sure, Jackson and co. will bring as much artistry and integrity to this as they did to LOTR Im sure, but if you've got executives desperate to stay off the unemployment line pushing to milk this for all it's worth, and they have the chequebook - what do you think's gonna happen?

The Hobbit is not being pushed in the spirit of the LOTR trilogy. This isn't "this is the most effective way to do the story justice", this is "we've only got one book left so lets stretch it as long as we can cause this seems to be the only property we own that has made us any money."

Im pretty surprised you can't see that - this art is money-driven, and when that happens you invariabley get bad art
post #123 of 416
So Gandalf, despite an unease over the ring, dicks around for seventeen years before doing anything about his discomfort.

That's why I can't stand the Lord of the Rings novels.
post #124 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
That's why I can't stand the Lord of the Rings novels.
First, you publicly insult Aliens, and now this. You are calling the lightning, man.

I happen to agree with you here as well, though. Those books have some serious narrative issues.
post #125 of 416
I thought not liking the Lord of the Rings books was pretty common? Not liking Potter, though...
post #126 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca S.
I thought not liking the Lord of the Rings books was pretty common?
It depends on your the company you're keeping. Around here, it's not sacrilege. If you know a group of D&D nerds, though, don't say such things unless you can run faster than them. Really, though, what are the odds that you can't?
post #127 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
So Gandalf, despite an unease over the ring, dicks around for seventeen years before doing anything about his discomfort.
It's not like Sauron was putting out pamphlets outlining what he was up to. And he wasn't totally sure Frodo had the One Ring. Gandalf spent this time tracking down Gollum and trying to learn what Sauron was up to. When he finally managed to track down Gollum, he found out that Gollum had been captured by Sauron and had revealed the story of Bilbo's winning the Ring. He'd also arranged for the Rangers to keep an eye on the Shire just in case his suspicions were correct. And there was really no indication Sauron was moving again until the Nazgul revealed themselves, which happens during this time as well.
post #128 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
# September 22, 2968 - Frodo Baggins is born
# 2978 - Boromir is born
Huh?
post #129 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham
Huh?
Wikipedia says

"Hobbits can sometimes live for up to 130 years, (...). The time at which a young Hobbit "comes of age" is 33. Thus a fifty-year-old Hobbit would only be middle-aged."

This way Frodo can easily be older than Boromir while appearing way younger. Boromir would be about 40, Frodo about 50.
post #130 of 416
Thread Starter 
RainDog, if LOTR is the thermometer of artistic integrity in terms of what New Line wants, I'd say we have a better chance of seeing yet another amazing set of films as opposed to a quick way to make loads of money. I'm surprised you can't see that.

Art CAN BE money driven, but contrary to popular belief, there are studios that want their pictures to be as full of artistic integrity as much as the box office is full of ticket buyers. LOTR is proof of this.

With LOTR, we didn't get bad art, they weren't perfect forms of art, but they were brilliant works nonetheless.

There are soo many naysayers screaming about this, and yet, we have a set of films that prove that it's not JUST about the money, it's about the quality, and they realize that the quality they seek pivots around Jackson, Weta and Co.

If some one has any proof that a bridge film [if that is indeed what happens] is only being talked about for the sake of the mighty dollar, then I'd be happy to discuss it further. I remember reading a couple of years ago an interview with Jackson where speaks of making The Hobbit as two films, so, to me, this isn't about the studio and their alleged greed, this is about Peter Jackson's ultimate vision.
post #131 of 416
For New Line it is pure greed. They have tried desperately to get any franchise going without Jackson, including trying to get Raimi to direct. They were looking at the superficial similarities of the two men and not whether Raimi would be a good fit.

The difference is that Jackson is involved. Even after the Hell of shooting three movies simultaneously, he still seems to have passion for the material. My personal hope is that they expand The Hobbit to two movies and there is no bridge film.

Not only can they expand on the original book with background material from the appedices, they can also flesh out the characters of the dwarves. As stated before expanding Gandalf's part and giving an in-story explanation for leaving the party before Mirkwood would do a lot to expand the story without losing focus.
post #132 of 416
THE STORY DOES NOT NEED EXPANDING.

Tell you what, let's go make a three-film version of The Wizard of Oz where we explore Dorothy's life before the tornado, actually see how the Tin Man got rusted in that spot, reveal the politics of Munchkinland and see how the mayor got elected, see the Wizard land in Oz, and hell, throw in the entire plot of Wicked so the Wicked Witch of the West has a backstory too.

Great. Now we've expanded the story and completely obliterated any sense of immediacy. Congratulations.
post #133 of 416
Maybe the bridge film will be the Adventures of Tom Bombadil.

I'm a huge fan of LOTR, both the books and the films. I started being quite enthusiastic about those new films, but during the holidays, as I started thinking more about it, I gradually became colder and colder to the idea of the new films. I'm afraid that lightning isn't gonna strike the same place twice and we'll end up with another case of the prequels in our hands.

It's not that I don't trust Jackson and Co. It's just that the trilogy succeeding seemed such a long shot that I'm having trouble seeing it repeated.
post #134 of 416
I was thinking that the bridge fiolm could really set up the characters from LOTR in a big way. What about Gimli having an elf partner who betrays him, setting up his dislike of elfs? Also, Aragorn and Arwen meeting. The movie could end with Frodo being born and the ring whispering his name.
post #135 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
THE STORY DOES NOT NEED EXPANDING.

Tell you what, let's go make a three-film version of The Wizard of Oz where we explore Dorothy's life before the tornado, actually see how the Tin Man got rusted in that spot, reveal the politics of Munchkinland and see how the mayor got elected, see the Wizard land in Oz, and hell, throw in the entire plot of Wicked so the Wicked Witch of the West has a backstory too.

Great. Now we've expanded the story and completely obliterated any sense of immediacy. Congratulations.
"You must spread some reputation points..." Yeah, you know the drill, Dickson.

And, hey, Don Piano, have you met Duke Fleed yet? I think you two would get along famously.
post #136 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Piano
I was thinking that the bridge fiolm could really set up the characters from LOTR in a big way. What about Gimli having an elf partner who betrays him, setting up his dislike of elfs? Also, Aragorn and Arwen meeting. The movie could end with Frodo being born and the ring whispering his name.
What are you, like a fleed tribute band?
post #137 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Piano
I was thinking that the bridge fiolm could really set up the characters from LOTR in a big way. What about Gimli having an elf partner who betrays him, setting up his dislike of elfs? Also, Aragorn and Arwen meeting. The movie could end with Frodo being born and the ring whispering his name.
Oh god....
post #138 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Edge
Faramir taking Frodo ALL THE WAY BACK to Osgilliath when they were already in Mordor is the dumbest addition to TT.
I've always found the alteration of Faramir's character to be a bit bizarre. In the books (if I recall correctly), he was written as a much more black-and-white character: the less favored son who, ultimately, is the more noble of Denethor's children. He's able to let the Ring go whereas Boromir could not. In the films, he's just as flawed as Boromir, only releasing Frodo after the assault on Osgiliath shows him the hopelessness of returning the Ring to Gondor. It's an interesting characterization that gives Faramir's character a bit more depth than in Tolkien's novel. But, yeah, the backtracking is odd.
post #139 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattioli
I've always found the alteration of Faramir's character to be a bit bizarre. In the books (if I recall correctly), he was written as a much more black-and-white character: the less favored son who, ultimately, is the more noble of Denethor's children. He's able to let the Ring go whereas Boromir could not. In the films, he's just as flawed as Boromir, only releasing Frodo after the assault on Osgiliath shows him the hopelessness of returning the Ring to Gondor. It's an interesting characterization that gives Faramir's character a bit more depth than in Tolkien's novel. But, yeah, the backtracking is odd.
I think you missed the point. The reason faramir took Frodo to Osgiliath was because he thought that taking the ring to Gondor would earn him his father's love, but saw that it just brings evil upon itself, so he lets Frodo go and learns something about himself at the same time.
post #140 of 416
Actually, in the book, after seeing the Black Gate is closed, Gollum decides to lead them through Cirith Ungol. It's on the way there that they're captured by Faramir's Rangers and released. Taking them to Osgiliath in the film actually helps them get to Cirith Ungol, since the city is only about 40 miles west of the pass. It's not a huge detour -- they would have been heading south alongside Mordor anyway.

I liked the film version of Faramir better than the book -- in the book, he's never even tempted by the Ring, saying if he saw it lying in the road, he'd let it alone. Which doesn't make sense when even Gandalf and Galadriel have been tempted by it. Having him tempted to the point of taking Frodo and then letting him go makes it a much more considered decision and therefore makes Faramir a stronger character.

And seeing how much a part Osgiliath played in Return of the King, it made sense to introduce it in Two Towers.
post #141 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Piano
[S]o he lets Frodo go and learns something about himself at the same time.
And now, I've learned something about myself, as well. Thank you.
post #142 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
THE STORY DOES NOT NEED EXPANDING.

Tell you what, let's go make a three-film version of The Wizard of Oz where we explore Dorothy's life before the tornado, actually see how the Tin Man got rusted in that spot, reveal the politics of Munchkinland and see how the mayor got elected, see the Wizard land in Oz, and hell, throw in the entire plot of Wicked so the Wicked Witch of the West has a backstory too.

Great. Now we've expanded the story and completely obliterated any sense of immediacy. Congratulations.
Yeah that's ridiculous, there doesn't need to be anything added. But I still say that the flick has the potential to be 3+ hours (as written), especially if they keep Beorn (who doesn't want to see a were-bear?) and the stuff missing from the cartoon... and they could "Kill Bill" it if they felt the need to. FOTR had plenty of immediacy despite its running time, but mainly because of Saurons forces on the move and the Nazgul always on their tail. Considering that the Hobbit is a bit more of a meandering adventure with less of a deadline (Smaug's snoozing until the "lucky" 13 show up at the door), they'll probably keep the Hobbit's pit-stop type events (Beorn, etc) that they left out of FOTR's script (Old Man Willow, Tom B, Barrow Dows, etc). Hobbit has a different tone/weight from the Trilogy... and a different pace. Hobbit's seems more about the journey, and LOTR is more about the destination (sense of urgency and impending doom).


And MGM's version of Baum's tale/s took quite a lot of liberties (edits & subtractions) and added a ton of stuff to the Kansas bookends especially (that was not in the book).
post #143 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Edge
The padding that Jackson did in TT pretty much ruined the movie for me. The warg attack is dreadful. Faramir taking Frodo ALL THE WAY BACK to Osgilliath when they were already in Mordor is the dumbest addition to TT. Why did they do it? Because they wanted to save Shelob for ROTK. Interrupting the flow of these books by adding unnecessary things is not a good idea.

They had to bump Shelob to the ROTK film though. Even though it's in TTT novel, chronlogically the Shelob business goes on at the same time as the siege of Minas Tirith in the ROTK novel. The films just rearranged the narrative order in a way that I think makes a lot of sense.

The padding that pisses me off was all the Arwen stuff in TTT and ROTK. She's such a nothing character, it would have been better to just leave her out of both films until the very end. Flashbacks are fine because they serve Aragorn's motivation, but trying to shoehorn her into the events of the story is just clunky and unnecessary seeing as there's already a perfectly good female hero in Eowyn.
post #144 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMushnik
The padding that pisses me off was all the Arwen stuff in TTT and ROTK. She's such a nothing character, it would have been better to just leave her out of both films until the very end. Flashbacks are fine because they serve Aragorn's motivation, but trying to shoehorn her into the events of the story is just clunky and unnecessary seeing as there's already a perfectly good female hero in Eowyn.
Romance for the ladies. It is a fairly guy-heavy historical-adventure series. I think it's softened in the right way to make it universally pallatable/profitable. The Hobbit has even less females, but the tone is more light-hearted. Hopefully, they won't make any of the dwarves female...
post #145 of 416
Rather than a 3 hour movie, I would prefer to see 2 1:45 to 2 hour movies. You wouldn't need to add that much back story.

I see The Hobbit as a two part mission movie where you have a number of different characters that don't necessarily get along getting together to accomplish a common goal.

Even though I love the book, except for Thorin, most of the dwarves are interchangeable personality-wise. I'm not suggesting going into every detail of their family tree--just something deeper and more compelling.
post #146 of 416
All good points UC. Its not a lack of faith in Jackson for me, its being worried about New Lien but anyway, if it is just two films with The Hobbit - that I could well and truely get behind - but youre right, who gets to sit in the directors chair will be essential.

Anyway, lets start seeing the glass half full - who's up for fantasy casting?
post #147 of 416
Quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Cthulhu:

I'm sure much of the first film will have the same light hearted nature as The Fellowship of the Ring, up until they reach Bree, but when shit starts to get hairy you can expect the tonality to change accordingly.
The break between the two movies will be just before they enter Mirkwood. Gandalf leaving and them entering the dark woods would be a good cliffhanger.

The second film will start like TT--we're reminded that Gandalf is gone and then they leave the path. I'm looking forward to that stuff with the elf ring--were they are starving and see elves feasting and when they are just about to reach the party it disappears like a mirage. I always imagined that as being really eerie and strange moodwise.

Quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Cthulhu:

You wanna be worried about something? How about being worried that Jackson is going to hand the director reigns over to another, hopefully worthy successor? That's something to be worried about.
I seem to remember Jackson saying that it would seem strange for someone to direct The Hobbit, so I think he might do it. If not, I'm pushing for Del Toro. Yes, I know, he has a lot of projects, but an almost guaranteed success like two Hobbit movie could make funding for At the Mountains of Madness a little easier to get. Unless he does those Universal Monster pictures.

Quote:
Originally posted by The Rain Dog:

Anyway, lets start seeing the glass half full - who's up for fantasy casting?
I'm saying it again--Ian McShane for Thorin. The other dwarves will be harder until we have a general idea of what direction they will go in. I think they will go for an unknown for Bilbo. I don't think they will use Ian Holm.

Yes I know Bilbo is fifty in the book. I think they will go younger. If nothing else the digital de-aging of the main character would be an unnecessary expense.
post #148 of 416
For some reason I keep seeing James McEvoy in Bilbos little green waistcoat - even though I happily concede he's a fair bit different to Holm and would be a differing take on the character
post #149 of 416
How many times do I have to say it Martin Freeman as Bilbo
post #150 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
Yeah, it'd just make a ton of sense to see Arwen appear out of nowhere at the end of ROTK, and it would certainly have as much emotional resonance for the audience as it did for Aragorn, wouldn't it?

As much as you and a number of fans might have not liked it, this is one of many many reasons why The Lord of the Rings was considered to be something you couldn't make a film out of: Tolkien didn't take enough time to flesh out important characters and their relationships, and had featured a shitload of characters which added absolutely dick to the story (i.e. Glorfindel, Tom Bombadil and Merrygold, Sacksville-Bagginses etc.).

The man, a historian and a linguist primarily, just wasn't a good novelist and he didn't have a good sense of story structure.

Major shit had to be changed in order for this to work as a major motion picture. And even so Arwen takes up maybe 10-15 minutes of screentime out of over 9 hours, the complaints about her are greatly exaggerated.
I understand the need to make changes to Tolkein's spotty narrative, but I still think Arwen's character in the film is largely a burden on an already complicated plot. The films pad out several characters wonderfully--Boromir, Theoden, Eowyn, just to name a few--giving them more depth and weight than Tolkein probably ever imagined; I just think that the ball got dropped with Arwen.

I think too much had to be invented with Arwen. Characters like Boromir and Theoden could be fleshed out by inference. Tolkein never (to my memory) touched the relationship between Eowyn and Theoden other than to define it, but it's easy enough for good writers to take Tolkein's framework and fill in the details of real emotion and feeling. Same with Boromir, a fairly one-dimensional character in the novel, his character in the film was expanded in a way that was natural and made sense to the story. Arwen's character in TTT (to some extent) and ROTK just felt unnecessary, contrived, and inconsistent with the story. I know it needed a major overhaul from the novel, but I'm not convinced that the films found the right way to do it.

So, when it comes to adapting The Hobbit and fleshing out the relationships between those characters, I hope that we get more Boromirs and Theodens and less Arwens. ThomasMN is right that pretty much all of the dwarves are interchangeable. Do you think that the film should keep all of them? Or should they whittle down the size of the group a bit?
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