"The Hobbit is a simple adventure tale. By blowing it up into a trilogy, Jackson is clearly demonstrating a lack of understanding and respect for the source material."
Christopher Tolkien: "The Lord of the Rings is a serious work of fantasy scholarship that draws upon the myths, legends, and Epic Poesy style of ancient Europe, and by reducing them to an action-adventure yarn Jackson has clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding and respect for the source material."
"Christopher Tolkien is such a dick."
Look, there need be no "versus" among Tolkien and Jackson fans; I'm both, in one person, and feel no internal conflict in eagerly (nay, giddily!) anticipating whatever Jackson feels he has in store for us that he feels merits three complete films. I can't remember which director it was who said something to the effect of "You write movie A, and then while shooting you realize it's movie B. Then in the editing bay you discover it's been movie C all along." These Chewer-invented behind-the-decision narratives are entertaining to read (it's his unchecked ego! he's desperate for a hit! he's creatively bankrupt! studio cash grab! one from column A and two from column B! that inkblot is a butterfly escaping a mushroom cloud!) -- and yes he put too much into his lifelong wish fulfillment Kong and fumbled The Lovely Bones in execution (remember Beaks claiming the script was brilliant, just not captured?).
I still don't see how those two projects alone can have so soured anyone who loved his LOTR success -- and his LOTR is far from flawless, love it as I do -- to the point where a The Hobbit Extended Edition being the theatrical release is a horrible idea from the jump. I love the book, have read it many times (not to mention most of those posthumous "scraps" C. Tolkien's published), and there is plenty of incident to depict onscreen without even having to go to the LOTR appendices. Not to mention action to flesh out cinematically, more than "They fought" or "They ran." Hell, Bilbo was knocked unconscious right when the Battle of the Five Armies really kicks off. Do we really expect -- or want!? -- a Game of Thrones fade-out or cut there, to him waking up in the aftermath? Or would that be "padding"?
I also get the feeling people are assuming these are each going to be as long as the LOTR entries, and that the third will be as long again as the first two were planned; for all we know, he discovered in editing that instead of two 160-min movies, the story was breaking down better as three 120-minute movies. We don't know. Perhaps also because the normal rule of an adaptation is excision and then smoothing, folks are auto-reducing the book to a 90-minute (or 77! with songs!) version and then assuming the rest of the films' length will be invention. This could very well be a case instead of Jackson having the chance to include as much of the text as possible. The Hobbit is light adventure, but it's not a 6-hour read. (Hold on, I'll do it for you: "Cause of all that Tolkien description!")
Anyway, I just can't help but be delighted and excited that these are happening period, and am baffled by anyone who'd go into the theater with arms crossed and a scowl rather than a big grin and the warm fuzzies. And I may very well be disappointed come December. I'm not telling anyone to stop complaining, go right ahead on with it. I just wish it were a different, happier conversation, so I'll leave y'all to this one. It made me grumpy. Sorry for the harangue.
Shit. Top of the page? Second apologies.