John Howe talks The Silmarillion

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by oscar_merkx, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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  2. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    Interesting. I find it quite intriguing that he didn't rule out "The Hobbit". This is what I'd like to see, after RotK, of course. Silmarillion is probably way too complicated to make a movie anyway.
     
  3. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    The Silmarillion would have to be tackled piece by piece, with each movie being a complete story in itself -- more so than the Lord of the Rings movies -- but also fitting in to the large picture. Each story could focus on an important character or characters, such as Feanor, Beren and Luthien, Turin, Earandil, etc. and encompassing a major battle. For instance, a movie about Earandil could begin with the Fall of Gondolin, showing his family escaping when he was a baby, then pick up later in his life and show the events leading up to and including the War of Wrath.

    The total number of movies would be open ended, and if the first one or two weren't successful there would ne no obligation to keep making them. And if they were very successful they could continue making them, telling the story of Numenor, perhaps going all the way to the Last Alliance, where the Lord of the Rings picks up.

    I don't see any director setting out to tell the entire story, but it would definitely be possible to begin by telling a chapter of it. If that were to go well and result in a successful movie, who knows where it could lead?
     
  4. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    Ben,

    If New Line wants to do The Silmarillion they better pony over seriously big bucks to the Tolkien estate to pull it off.

    More importantly, the movie will very likely require scholars and conceptual artists that are approved by the Tolkien estate to do it, too. That means the producers will need to have full access to ALL of Tolkien's published and unpublished works to create an idea of what the creation of the world looks like, what Aman looks like, what Beleriand looks like and so on. I also hope that moviegoers are willing to stomach tragedy because the book is one tragedy after another, to say the least. [​IMG]
     
  5. MikeRS

    MikeRS Screenwriter

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    If they tackle THE SILMARILLION, it must be a complete thing. That has to be the concept. The stories are epic & self contained, yet together tell a much bigger story. The "sum of the parts" is what makes it so sweeping a mythology. This could only be maintained in a 10+ hours HBO mini-series, which won't come cheap.


    I don't think it will ever happen, and I'm kinda glad.
     
  6. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Shouldn't they think about doing The Hobbit, a much easier to do story that would logically be made next, before the Silmarillion?
     
  7. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    Yes Morgan, definitely if PJ does anymore Tolkien after RotK, it should be The Hobbit!
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Christopher basically cobbled The Silmarillion together out of his father's sketches, so apparently he owns the copyright to it. And he hates the movie version of LOTR according to all accounts, so I doubt he would ever license the film rights to The Silmarillion
     
  9. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    Actually I don't think Christopher has even seen the movie versions. He refused to see them when they came out, and actually disowned his own son when his son supported the movies. So I think it was a foregone conclusion Christopher will do everything he can to veto the Silmarillion (which J.R.R. considered his biggest work, not LotR). To be honest, I'm fine with that anyway, telling the Silmarillion would be near impossible in a movie setting, it's too big, too epic, dwarfing the scope of even LotR, which is the biggest movie project in motion picture history. I just don't see how it would be physically possible to pull it off.
     
  10. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Wow, the Silmarillion as a movie? I adore the book and I'd love to see it as a film but it's very dense, complicated, and covers so much time it would have to be done in chapters.

    I suppose you could make a reasonable argument for doing a movie about Beren and Luthien, considering the connection to Aragorn and Arwen. Feanor and the Silmarils, Numenor, and the Fall of Gondolin could also be done.

    Man, how many books can you think of that could be subdivided into half a dozen or more films? I'm sure there are some but not many. It says a lot about how thoroughly Tolkien developed middle earth.
     
  11. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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  12. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I hope they don't make The Silmarillion into a movie. I haven't read it yet, but I think that just because one of his books makes a good movie, that doesn't mean they all should.

    I think they should try to make the Hobbit, simply because it's the next logical thing to do (since it is technically the prologue to the Lord of the Rings). After that, I think they should leave it alone so that people go and read the books themselves. The books are just as amazing as the movies, if not moreso, and should not be replaced by the movies.
     
  13. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    Morgan, I don't think a Silmarillion movie would replace the book any more than the hundreds of illustrations of the Silmarillion replaced the book. It would just be another visual interpretation of the book, and it would almost definitely get more people to read it if the movie was any good.

    I myself was prompted to read The Silmarillion by the excellent concept album about it, Blind Guardian's Nightfall in Middle-Earth. Talking to other fans of the band, I found that my experience was not isolated. And think how many more people a movie would reach than an obscure album.

    But getting people to read the book should not be the aim of the movie. I agree that if a good movie couldn't be made out if it, they shouldn't try. But, I think that many good movies could be made out of it. Even if they just made one movie about Beren and Luthien or Earendil, I think it could be very good. There is so much material there for epic battle sequences, and the stories are all very compelling. Being moved to tears while reading the book in not an uncommon experience.
     
  14. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    I wouldn't want to see a Silmarillion mini-series on TV. Reason? Low budget. You CANNOT do it justice with a low budget. As others have said, its scale dwarfs LOTR.
     
  15. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    The only one that might be able to do it justice mini series wise is HBO. They've put some serious money into their previous mini series and had some big winners.
     
  16. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    Yes, I'd hate to see it done with a low budget. That would be a waste. I'm also not too wild about the idea of doing only "select parts". Beacuse that woulnd't be "The Silmarillian" would it? It would be be something like "tales FROM the Silmarillian".

    I think the best way to go would be something that is UNLIKEY to ever happen. Someone who has vision and is willing to take a risk finances a huge 10-12 part miniseries. I'm not talking ABC or FOX (etc..) "TV miniseries". I'm talking about something like BAND of BROTHERS. HBO is the only one right now that I can see who can provide top notch production values like with the excellent BoB.

    But it couldn't happen anyway until Christoper Tolkien passes away. And I would never wish for that just so that a movie might get made. But perhaps, after the inevitable, his son might be willing to sell the rights.
     
  17. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Count my vote toward the Hobbit. I siply don't believe The Silmarillion could be made into a movie that would do it any kind of justice.

    Though, the truth is, I didn't think the LOTR could be done either! And they have become two of my favorite movies of all time, with the third sure to follow suit! With the right people involved, who knows?
     
  18. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    >>I myself was prompted to read The Silmarillion by the excellent concept album about it, Blind Guardian's Nightfall in Middle-Earth. Talking to other fans of the band, I found that my experience was not isolated. And think how many more people a movie would reach than an obscure album
     

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