So The Hobbit came to Comic-Con 2012 and the fans went crazy. Not a dry seat for miles, nor an objective opinion. I’ve made it clear in recent articles and podcast that I am concerned over the artistic changes to the narrative of the movie. So far I have read nothing to allay those fears. Believe me, there’s nothing I’d like more than to be proven wrong on this one. We’ll have to wait and see. Anyway, in the meantime there were some interesting sound bites from Peter Jackson. Here are a few to ponder on.
“I don’t want to make a children’s story to go into The Lord of the Rings so we are providing a balance,”
“A lot of the comedy and the charm comes from the characters. You’re dealing with Bilbo Baggins who is a bit more reluctant to go on an adventure than Frodo was… and with Dwarves who have a personality and camaraderie all of their own. There’s a lot of humor. But, there are still some serious themes involved.”
“We’ve used more source material than The Hobbit. For instance, in The Hobbit, when Gandalf mysteriously disappears for chapters, it was never really explained where he’s gone. Much later Tolkien filled in those details. In these appendices he did talk about what happened. And it was altogether a lot darker and more serious than what is written in The Hobbit.”
Now you can read into those comments what you want. It does sound very promising and I’m sure many fans would be delighted to see as much of Tolkien’s work dramatised and up on the big screen as possible. But before we all get carried away let us consider the following. Twelve minutes of footage was previewed at Comic-Con. A scene by scene breakdown of the material has been posted over at TheOneRing.net so only go and check it out if you don’t mind spoilers. However one simple sentence stands out from their analysis, as bold as brass and grabs your attention. Once read it takes a while to digest.
Radagast, (is) racing through the forest on his bunnysled. Yes, a bunnysled. A sled, pulled by surprisingly strong bunnies.
Yes, you did read that correctly.
Okay. Has that sunk in?
Now tell me with a straight face and one hundred percent conviction that you are confident that Peter Jackson will not take liberties with the source text. Go on. Tell me it will all be okay. It’s Peter Jackson. How could he possibly fail?
Is your sphincter puckering up just a little?