Given my disposition towards adaptations from books to movies, and my loathing for Peter Jackson as a result, this latest news isn’t necessarily sending me off the high diving board of happiness. Nevertheless, it has been announced that executive producer Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro have announced that they will be writing The Hobbit.
Jackson was part of the writing team for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, along with his wife Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, both of whom have also signed on to write the two planned prequels (The Hobbit and a sequel) to Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies.
The Jackson and del Toro have just concluded an eight-month search for a writer, finally picking themselves for three reasons. First off, they suddenly saw their busy schedules open up; two, they realized that they both loved the book; and three, they realized that in order to achieve the release dates set for the movies, the process would require people intimate with Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth.
I have nothing against del Toro, wouldn’t know where to start looking even if I wanted too. But, as Empress Eve has found out, I have a massive chip on my shoulder when it comes to adaptations of books to movies. Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy was, as movies, a phenomenon. However, as adaptations of the books that they were based on, it was nothing short of a farce.
Adding that to the fact that the pair has decided that they are automatically the most in tune with Tolkien’s work, and the only people up to scratch to write it, does not bode well for me either. Maybe I’ll be surprised, but I have no doubt that there are many more people out there, more qualified in both the arenas of writing and Tolkien lore, that could have been found. This seems nothing more than a giant ego-trip.