Well, it took me a few weeks, but I finally finished it. So here we go:
- This was a great book, and will make a GREAT movie. The one thing that stands out for me is that I think this could be a great family film. The LOTR trilogy was a little dark and violent for younger kids – but I think this could be different. I think there can be a lot of laughs here (bumbling dwarves and an overly polite hobbit are the heroes of the story, for pete’s sake) and the book provides plenty of spectacle. I’m already drooling over Smaug’s clash with the Lake-men and the epic final battle of the races.
- Originally I stated that I didn’t think there was enough story in THE HOBBIT to split into two films. I was wrong. My assumption was that the story was going to end with Smaug’s death, but it didn’t – there was still an epic battle between the dwarves, elves, men, and goblins to go. With that battle in thrown in there, this could definitely be two films. But as I mentioned in a previous post, this may not happen. We may see a “bridge” between THE HOBBIT and LOTR in the second film, rather than having THE HOBBIT split in two. After some reflection, I’m not sure I want to see that. I kind of like seeing only Tolkien’s vision on the screen – part II would have to be an original work. It wouldn’t have Tolkien’s “street cred” behind it.
- Since Tolkien wrote THE HOBBIT prior to LOTR, he may not have intended this interpretation of the story, but I think it is unavoidable since THE HOBBIT is being made as a “prequel.” A major theme of THE HOBBIT is Bilbo’s evolution into a hero, albeit an unlikely one. In his most dashing moment, he single-handedly frees his friends from the clutches of the Mirkwood spiders (“from the clutches”…sheesh. I need to find a better cliche). I think a central theme of the film version should ask: Is it Bilbo, or is it The Ring? And I think the answer should be a little bit of both.
- You could probably get rid of a number of the dwarfs. Dori, Gloin, Nori, Oin, and Ori don’t add anything to the story – you could probably combine them into one dwarf named Dorigloroiri.