“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” So said Galadriel to Frodo in the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings.
It’s a line that resonates strongly with us as people. It offers hope that the little man or woman can, indeed, triumph.
At TheOneRing.net, we firmly believe it ought to be our motto for The Hobbit.
If Lord of the Rings made “bongo bucks” for New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson and a lot of other people, it was in no small part due to the passionate enthusiasm of Tolkien fans worldwide — lovers of JRR’s incredible story who saw something similarly magical in the vision of Peter Jackson and the people who worked with him.
Yet it seems as though the parties involved in the Hobbit have forgotten that it’s the fans who are the source of all the money they’re currently fighting over.
Since Peter Jackson’s and Fran Walsh’s open letter to fans, we’ve witnessed a mass outpouring of disbelief and frustration at the current impasse — and the thought that this might be the end of the Peter Jackson-New Line partnership. Jackson and Walsh proclaim that it is. But one wonders whether New Line is now carefully reconsidering its options.
Studios would be wise to listen to the rumblings of their core audience. After all, we saw what happened with The Hulk.
It might be that the number of fans who would actually boycott the Hobbit would be a small proportion of the total audience. Still, their influence on the merchanidise and DVD sales and repeat-viewing ticket sales is disproportionately large. Any studio – and director – understands that it’s these people who make films profitable.
Not that we are endorsing a boycott.
For one, there’s something to be said for New Line having the fortitude to commission Jackson to make a three-film series and – pretty much on faith – commit $300 million to the project. It was a gamble that, perhaps, could have left the company in financial difficulty had the films flopped. Indeed, considering the recent outcry, they must be considering the fiscal impact of not having Jackson and his people involved, and weighing that against their lawsuit with Wingnut.
In Jackson, they have a known quantity.
They have someone who has a strong rapport with the Tolkien community. They have someone who welded together a team of some of the world’s most creative people who undoubtedly were the backbone of Lord of the Ring’s success. And they have someone who turned an ‘unfilmable’ classic into a multiple Academy Award winning monster.
Not only would a new director have to expend energy building trust with the Tolkien community, a new director would have to build the film-making team anew as well. How much harder would it be for someone to involve Alan Lee or John Howe? To encourage Andy Serkis or Ian McKellen to come aboard? To convince Hugo Weaving to reprise Elrond? Would WETA even be able to be involved? Richard Taylor says that he sees no barrier, but would New Line be as sanguine?
All these considerations mean that an unwise choice by New Line could be very costly.
For these reasons we still hold out hope that the vision that New Line Cinema Co-Chairmen Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne showed with Lord of the Rings will prevail with The Hobbit.
However, we know that there are many bitterly disappointed fans out there who *are* endorsing a boycott.
That’s your right – even if we might not agree with it.
The fact is, there are many views among Tolkien fans about what ought to happen with The Hobbit, and what ought to be done to make it happen. There are those who are pro Peter Jackson. There are those who don’t care and just want The Hobbit made soon. There are even those who want anyone BUT Peter Jackson to direct.
TheOneRing.net is home to all these perspectives.
Which is why, as an editorial team, we feel it’s our primary role to act as a facilitator and an information source. How you should act is for you: the fans, the readers, to decide, not for TheOneRing.net to dictate.
Like you, the fans, all of us at TheOneRing.net would dearly love to see JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit adapted into a film. And just like you, many of our staff hope to see Peter Jackson direct The Hobbit.
We don’t claim that another director couldn’t possibly do an amazing job with Tolkien’s tale. But we believe it would be difficult, if not impossible, to recreate the same look and feel that Lord of the Rings possessed. And we know that many, many fans will be disappointed if Jackson isn’t allowed to ëfinish’ what he began.
New Line and MGM should keep the feelings of fans in mind. Because you, the fans, are also a part of this partnership who ultimately cannot be ignored.
– The Staff of TheOneRing.net
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