Why I don’t give a fuck if Peter Jackson directs ‘The Hobbit’

Peter Jackson MGM and New Line are going to make The Hobbit. It will be two films shot simultaneously and will probably come out in 2009 or something. Peter Jackson’s company is suing New Line because they don’t think they earned enough from LOTR and therefore it looks like he might not be able to film it. Reading people’s reactions online you’d think this turn of events was apocalyptic.

If you haven’t seen, or hate, the LOTR (this means Lord of the Rings, gaylord!) trilogy then you might as well not read this. If you think LOTR is the new holy trilogy, then you are who I am talking to. First off I have to say that I tracked the LOTR project online from about 97 and particularly remember reading Peter Jackson’s fantastic online responses to the ‘20 fanboy concerns’ with great relief. He seemed to be realistic, passionate and have a good handle on the need for it to be violent, long, well cast and respectful to the novel and the body of established art. And generally I think he did a great job. I mean he made all the films in one shoot and apparently he was totally chilled the whole time. That’s incredible. The movies were a true phenomenon and he won shit loads of Oscars (for the weakest film) to cap it all off.  It was unfilmable! With the most fussy fans! What a legend!

Yeah, amazing effort and some of it is bang on incredible. He’s clearly a bright guy that loves films and does it for the right reasons. He was clever to get the best two Tolkien artists to design the look of the thing, and sensible to go back to the text more and more during the filming. Personally, I think the original cut of Fellowship is great and The Two Towers is alright too. I can take or leave ROTK. But to be fair that was true of the book as well (I literally can’t imagine 20,000 orcs attacking 10,000 horse dudes and I don’t want to watch it for 4 hours either).

So what’s the problem with PJ tackling The Hobbit? Too many things! First, he cast fucking Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Legolas is one of the coolest characters in the novel and everyone now knows that this guy is the worst leading man for 80 years. He also used WAY too much of that gay, jerky film technique during fights. It’s really fake and pulls you out of the fantasy immediately. As does the curving, extreme zoom move he can’t get enough of in every film. Gollum looked good but he is supposed to be scary and conflicted, not Jar Jar Binks with a split personality. Biggest thing? He messed far too much with the structure and dialogue of the novel. Not many people know that their original screenplay was completely different to the book and they slowly worked back towards the original when they realised what idiots they were. But it was too little too late. What’s the problem PJ? 1000 pages of material not enough for you? He even screwed up in the editing room by cutting Saruman (and Christopher Lee) out of The Two Towers. Sir Chris (who met Tolkien and had read the book every year since 1955) openly and repeatedly said this was stupid and refused to talk to him afterwards. Don’t get me started on the bloated Arwen/Aragorn love story that was crowbarred into the films. Peter Jackson also, somehow, made King Kong boring. His overblown King Kong is a good example of most of the above points (except that he had enough sense not to cast Orlando). For me, it demonstrated that the main reason LOTR worked on screen was the material NOT the filmmaking. I appreciate that he took big budget cinema in the right direction but I think someone else would be better off tackling the fantastic story that is The Hobbit. Personally, I would employ Darren Aronofsky or Paul Thomas Anderson.

10 Responses

  1. Not shying away from controversy there :)

    The problem I have with Jackson not directing the hobbit, is that New Line need to get it done fast, and will in all liklihood get someone crap to direct it, and it will inevitably turn out to be utter tripe. Jackson not doing it + New Line on a short deadline = Shit film. I’d rather it wasn’t made at all than have this happen.

  2. Yeah, I can’t believe Im saying it really but I do believe it now. I totally think that another director could do a better job than him now. There aren’t many, but they are out there. Hell, the Original cartoon from 78 is pretty sweet too. Why? Cos the material is fucking great! I dunno, you might be right!

  3. Umm, you guys are fucking twats. The is only one way this movie should be made, and that is the vision of Peter Jackson. Why don’t you all go fuck yourselves

  4. Hah hah, you knew this was going to put somebodies back-up…

  5. [# Hobbit Says:
    December 1st, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    Umm, you guys are fucking twats. The is only one way this movie should be made, and that is the vision of Peter Jackson. Why don’t you all go fuck yourselves]

    Hobbit, its better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Some people! The only language they understand is too good for them.

  6. I think Big Al hits the nail on the head here. The issue, for me, is not that Peter Jackson isn’t directing the Hobbit, but that New Line have started a fantasy films bandwagon and want ti milk it for all it’s worth.

    I’ll apologise in advance for that appallingly mixed metaphor.

  7. I agree with a lot of your criticisms of LOTR films. Peter Jackson is not infallible and I’d be fine with anyone else directing it.

    I just hope you were joking with your last comment about Aronofsky or PT Anderson directing! Very talented guys, but I seriously doubt they’re right for a big blockbuster franchise like this. The Hobbit is not an art house film. Besides, just hink about it… Return of the King would have probably been about 2 hours longer if either of those guys ever got a hold of it!

  8. wooo hoo hooo Marek jumps right in with the controverstial subject matter

  9. Haha. I just don’t want to see a movie made of The Hobbit, at all. Let alone two. Lord of the Rings is way fucking overrated.

  10. Hobbit – fair enough that’s your opinion and I know where you’re coming from. The comment made me laugh a lot. FOTR blew my mind (at the World Premiere I might add, hehe)

    Sean – thanks, I not joking about PTA and Aronofsky. Peter Jackson went from Bad Taste to LOTR in 10 years. These guys have always made very slick, VERY well acted films with great camerawork. Watch The Fountain and imagine giving him $200m. And you don’t get much more epic than Magnolia and Boogie Nights. Let the nerds do the FX and a proper director handle the narrative and performances…