Monday, April 28, 2008

Expanding the Franchise, Hobbit Style

Guillermo del Toro is off to New Zealand for the next four years to direct "The Hobbit" and what I've read is either "a sequel to The Hobbit" or "a prequel to The Hobbit." I had hoped to get Guillermo, who is a fan and acquaintance of Len, as one of our "Creative Voices" for the series here at Pierce, since he lives not far away. I guess that isn't happening any time soon.

While I really hoped that Peter Jackson would direct, Guillermo is a good choice and Peter Jackson will produce. Weta is, I presume, doing all the special effects and props.

There's an awful lot of material which could constitute a prequel to The Hobbit, but they've already done a sequel, and it is called "The Lord of the Rings." When I first heard about two films being made, my reaction was "what do you do to fill up the time?" It is a short book and aimed at a very different audience than The Lord of the Rings. The stage play only takes two hours. I know. I've seen it twice. My sister starred in it when she was in high school. She made a fine Bilbo Baggins. (I also caught a children's theatre production of it in Washington, D.C. when my son was little.)

I really started thinking about what might make a movie betwixt The Hobbit and LOTR when I read Heidi MacDonald's report about Guillermo on The Beat and I suddenly had a flash of inspiration: there's the untold story about what Aragorn is up to as a ranger between the time of the Hobbit (when he probably met Bilbo at Elrond's; it's quite clear in the book of the Fellowship of the Ring that they are old friends) and LOTR, such as riding to war with Eowyn's grandfather (referenced in the extended Two Towers), looking for Gollum (in the book of Fellowship of the Ring) and protecting the border with other rangers. Clearly, Legolas and Aragorn have some history (based on the exchanges of the council of Elrond--Legolas might even have been at home when Bilbo visited the Woodland Elves) and somewhere along the way Aragorn and Arwen fell in love and had to deal with her father's disapproval.

That's it! An Aragorn film. I'm there. And so are a lot of my fellow female aging boomers who get the vapors over Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn.

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