October 21, 2010


New Zealand may have screwed the Nazgul, as Peter Jackson is threatening to pick up his Hobbit and go elsewhere to film what is just about guar-un-teed to be a colossal money-maker.

I'm kind of torn about this story. On the one hand, I kind of feel sorry for New Zealand having this thing blow up, apparently because of union trouble. On the other, long time camelidophiles will already know what I think about Jackson and his handling of the Lord of the Rings movies. For those of you who may be new, allow me to repost what was, in fact, my very first entry into the blogsphere, originally posted November 24, 2003:

I have absolutely no proof that the following conversation took place. However, I am morally certain that it did:


"Yes, Mr. Jackson?"

"Simpkins! Mate, we've got to discuss this character treatment of yours."

"Er, yes, Mr. Jackson - what about it?"

"Right. Look, mate, I told you off to do Gimli, right?"

"Yes, Mr. Jackson."

"Okay, so who is this Gloin guy? You give me five freekin pages of dialogue between him and Frodo at Rivendell. I mean, it reads like My Dinner With Andre, right?"

"Well, Mr. Jackson, Gloin was Gimli's father. He was also one of the thirteen dwarves who went with Bilbo to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug in The Hobbit. You know, where Bilbo finds the Ring? His conversation with Frodo is important because it both ties the stories together and also gives the audience an overall vision of the strategic situation east of the Misty Mountains. You'll see, Sir, that Gloin is also the Dwarves' representative at Elrond's council and reports that Black Riders are looking for Bilbo and the Ring."

"Wake me when it's over...."


"Look, mate. First, I've already got a bunch of dwarves fighting each other and the elves at the Council. It's a very significant moment in my vision."

"But Sir, Gloin was the only one there in the book. And nobody fought with anybody else."

"F**k the book. Right. And for the tie-in thing, I've already got that covered in the prologue, right? I mean, I'm not paying Cate Winslet all that money for nothing, am I?"

"No, Sir."

"Right, and this dinner thing at Rivendell. Screw it. Would take ten minutes. How the hell can I find room for that and keep Liv Tyler's "Xena" chase with the Black Riders?"

"Well, about that, Sir....."

"Right. Now look, mate. LOTR is a very wonderful and meaningful vision of mine, right? So I need you to be realy respectful of that. Now, we have a problem with Gimli."


"See, we have these big hunky Men, right? Audience will love 'em. And we got that dude playing Legolas, you know, the one who looks kinda like di Caprio on steroids? They'll be all over him. But Gimli is, well, not really eye-candy. Know what I mean, mate?"

"Well, Sir, it's interesting because Tolkein really went out of his way to explore the dwarves in some detail - their origins and so on, and to show how and why they were so different from Elves and Men. There is a lot of source material in The Silmarillion and...."



"I don't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for the Simil-whatever. Audiences don't care. How can I bring my wonderful and meaningful vision of LOTR to the screen in a meaningful and caring way if I can't connect with the audience?"

"Well. Sir..."

"Shut up. I'll tell you how. The dwarf isn't sexy, right? Can't do anything about that. I mean, dwarves are, well, YOU know..... Anyway. So what we want is something that's going to connect with the audience. Something that makes them think 'Oh, that's a dwarf. I know about them. I like them!' So what you need to do is write something into the story that is going to cause that connection. And I've got just the thing for you. (Don't know why I pay these blokes when I have to do all the thinking myself.)"

"Yes, Sir?"

"Two words: Dwarf tossing."


"Dwarf tossing."


"Goddamit, mate, are you deaf? Put in something about dwarf tossing, right? Audiences will love that! Kind of a comic relief thing. Maybe when they're running around in that big cave thing. That'll really get them into it - and let them share my wonderful and meaning vision of what LOTR means in terms they can relate to. So you put it in. Got that? Dwarf tossing!"

(Sadly) "Yes, Sir."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ha, ha, ha. I STILL think that was pretty durn good.

Anyhoo, I'm sure our fellow-Llama Gary is all over this story and can give a better (and far more sympathetic) analysis of it.

Posted by Robert at October 21, 2010 01:54 PM | TrackBack
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