A new trend has appeared in cinema and its one some people don’t seem to agree with. While literary adaptations are not a new occurrence, it seems Hollywood has the desire to turn one book into multiple movies. Some people don’t understand why directors choose to split up novels into two parts. Case in point, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” became two films and some critics slammed the decision. However, it was necessary because there was just too much to contain in one film.
The seventh “Harry Potter” book had seven hundred and fifty nine pages, which amounted to thirty seven chapters. Loyal fans of the book already knew that a lot of information had been removed in the transition from page to screen. Fans wanted to know why Peeves the Poltergeist was left out or why the story of the Marauders didn’t make it into “The Prisoner of Azkaban”. Despite all that, there was simply no way “Deathly Hallows” could have one movie. There was far too much information that needed to be included. If it had remained as one movie, it would have lasted two hundred and seventy six minutes, which equates to four hours and thirty six minutes. The average run time is about two hours.
While die hard fans would be more than willing to sit through that, it is still an abnormally long time. Because there was so much that could not be left out, David Yates, director of “Deathly Hallows” managed to split the story into two parts and still capture the essence of what J.K. Rowling wrote. It became a smashing success and one of the highest grossing films in the franchise. It seems that this idea became a trend for future series, such as “Twilight” and most recently “The Hobbit”.
“Breaking Dawn” is another film that could not have been condensed into one film because the book was seven hundred and fifty six pages, but within the pages, there was three stories being told. It starts off with Bella’s wedding and subsequent honeymoon with Edward, which is part one of the story. Part two revolves about the werewolves, whose pack is on the verge of anarchy. Most of them see Bella’s unborn child as a threat and intend to kill her. Jacob splinters the pack, forming his own group with Seth and Leah Clearwater. They end up protecting Bella, who ultimately dies giving birth to daughter Renesmee. Unable to cope with the idea of losing his wife, Edward injects his venom directly into her heart in the hopes of turning her at the last moment. The final story is Bella’s transformation into a vampire, raising her crossbred child and having a debate with the Volturi.
In a sense, the same is true for “The Hobbit”. While it is a relatively small book, only three hundred and ten pages long, there is still a lot of information Peter Jackson wished to keep in. He gave Thorin Oaken shield an in depth background story, one which is described in detail in the appendices at the end of “The Return of the King”. However, this story was left out of the original novel. Since there are some who do not like to read and prefer to watch movies, “The Hobbit” gives them all the information of the books on screen. And since Jackson decided to include the extra stories from the appendices, once again, there was no way it could have been one film.
Originally, it was intended to be two films, which fans accepted, though were not thrilled about. Peter Jackson caused an uproar when he announced that he’d chosen to turn it into a trilogy. People accused him of simply wanting more money out of the franchise. That may be true, but once again, it all goes back to the source material. J.R.R. Tolkien added six appendices of family trees for Men, Dwarves, Elves and Hobbits, background stories and past timelines. Upon reviewing these, Jackson decided to add this into his original film, which made it blossom into a trilogy of films.
• As stated, there are six appendices in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. They are:
• Appendix A: Annals of Kings and Rulers (which includes Aragorn, The House of Eorl, the Kings of Rohan and Durin’s Folk)
• Appendix B: The Tale of Years (a detailed account of the Second and Third Ages)
• Appendix C: Family trees of Hobbits (Tooks, Brandybucks, Baggins and Gamgees)
• Appendix D: A description of the Hobbit calendar
• Appendix E: A description of Writing and Spelling (includes a pronunciation guide and what Angerthas and Tengwar look like)
• Appendix F: A description of all the languages and peoples of the Third Age
Granted, not all of that information is necessary for a film. The pronunciation guide and descriptions aren’t necessary, but since they do contain a lot of information on what happened before and after the events in “The Hobbit”, the appendices are needed.
For some people, the information presented on screen will not mean anything. For those who have read a lot of Tolkien’s work will see where this all comes to play. For instance, the film explains why Thorin’s last name is Oakenshield. It also shows the destruction of Erebor and how Smaug took over. Jackson even went so far as to show the struggles the Dwarves went through when they had no home. This also helps to show why Thorin comes off as cold and uncaring. He is bitter about the dragon taking his mountain, angry at the ones who didn’t come to his aid and determined to get his home back.
While many people do not support Jackson turning “The Hobbit” into a trilogy, this critic fully supports his plans. Peter Jackson has a knack for making epic masterpieces that are both visually stunning and highly entertaining. The first installment provided plenty of background information and began a journey that many eagerly anticipate to finish. While those of us who have read the book know how it ends, we are still chomping at the bit to see how Jackson interprets it. Others want to see what Smaug looks like since there were only little teasing hints at his appearance in the first film. Benedict Cumberbatch lends his velvety voice to the dragon and plays the Necromancer as well.
Could “The Hobbit” trilogy follow the same pattern as “The Lord of the Rings” where is not recognized for its brilliance until the end? “The Return of the King” won a record setting eleven Academy Awards in 2003 and became the highest grossing film of the same year. So far, “The Hobbit” was made a major impact in theaters. It is the fourth highest grossing film of 2012 (nothing could beat “The Avengers) and is currently ranked as the twenty eighth highest grossing films of all time. It is possible that Jackson is building suspense so that his last movie, “There and Back Again” breaks several box office records. No matter his methods, Peter Jackson knows how to bring Tolkien’s work to life on the big screen. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is currently in theaters and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” hits theaters December 13, 2013.