Wednesday, November 29, 2006

All of this fuss...


...over a movie with no cast, no script, no budget, no production date.
Peter Jackson posted a letter on a website saying that NewLine had passed on him as director of The Hobbit, siting reasons of timing. To complicate matters, Jackson is suing New Line over profits from The Fellowship of the Rings. Apparently, Mr. Jackson wants to make sure that there were enough zeros at the end of his big paycheck for that movie. Given that the LOTR trilogy grossed in the three billions of dollars, I assume he's not hurting. Not scratching to try and get the kids to the dentist, or pay the past-due hospital bills.
Do you sense a lack of sympathy?
Certainly, Jackson is due whatever his contract calls for, but his demand for NewLine to submit to an audit is just Never. Going. To. Happen. Accounting in the film industry is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a conundrum, and they don't want to reveal the charlatan behind that curtain.
Having said all of that, I doubt I would see a Hobbit remake that wasn't directed by Jackson, and didn't include at least Andy Serkis as Gollum and Ian Mckellen as Gandalf. The LOTR movies were more than mere cinema, they were events of the first caliber. My top five movies of all time would include all three. I am to this day astounded at the technological leaps that were taken in those movies, the breathtaking battle scenes. The moment when the Rohirrim swarmed into Sauron's army at Minis Tirith is perhaps my top movie moment, ever. I nearly came up out of my seat with excitement.
The Hobbit is not nearly the story that LOTR is. It's mainly a series of adventures on the way to retrieve some treasure and kill a dragon. Individually, the scenes make good bedtime reading for the kids. When Bilbo first meets Gollum, or first encounters Smaug, or gets caught by the trolls... my kids love to hear them. The book as a whole, however, is lacking in depth.
I've been looking forward to a new attempt at The Hobbit. There has been at least one animated attempt that fell flat. I'll be thrilled again if the time comes to visit Middle Earth with Peter Jackson as our guide.
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