Allow me to start by saying I was a huge fan of yours. I had a poster of The Frighteners on my wall when I was in high school. I loved that movie. When they picked you to direct the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the fanboys were getting cranky about it, I was a huge defender. I was certain they had the right guy to make these movies special.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I was mistaken. I’m sure you read my blog regularly, so I don’t need to rehash all the problems with the trilogy that I have pointed out ad nauseam in the past. Suffice it to say I thought there were a few too many slow motion close-ups of people crying.
Now, the news has broken that you’ll be transforming the two movies you had planned for your adaption of The Hobbit into three movies. Allow me to summarize what everyone who cares about Tolkien and wants these movies to be awesome is thinking:
Please don’t fuck this up.
It’s too late to fix The Lord Of The Rings. But it’s not too late to save The Hobbit. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
You are good at set design and casting. Sir Ian Mckellen as Gandalf? One of the most inspired choices since Spike Jones picked John Malkovich to play John Malkovich. The look of the Shire? Better than I could have ever imagined. Martin Freeman as Bilbo? We love it!
You are bad at story and characterization. Almost every mistake in the Trilogy can be directly attributed to a change you made from the novel to the screen. Liv Tyler added as a romantic love interest? I hate her more than Jar-Jar Binks. Faramir turned into a jerk? I will punch you in the face if I ever see you in a bar.
So this is very simple, PJ. Stick to the source material as much as possible. The Hobbit is the best novel ever! You don’t need to spice it up. You don’t need to add characters. You don’t need to change things around just for the sake of your ego. Take the story that Tolkien wrote and translate it onto film by staying true to the story at its core. If you need a script consultant, let me know. I’ll be happy to help.
And if you need to insert a few slow motion close ups of people crying, go ahead. I know you can’t help yourself. But please, keep them in the single digits.
Someone who wants desperately to love The Hobbit