The news reported today that shooting began on Peter Jackson’s film version of “the Hobbit”. For some readers that shall be joyous news, to others it will be the chiming of the bells of dread.
First, logically, “The Hobbit” was one book, “The Lord of the Rings” were in fact three books “Fellowship of the rings”, “The Two Towers” and the “Return of the king”. LOTR was made into three films.. makes sense... however “The Hobbit” will be made into two films... go figure.
I love the Hobbit, I read it more then any of the other books, I read it to my son, it was my introduction to the Fantasy genre and I still will re read it to this day. In defense of Jackson... I love his choice to play Bilbo Baggins, he is filming once more in New Zealand and Ian Mckellan reprises his role as Gandalf... Thats good. However Jackson also has some of the cast of LOTR showing up playing Characters that did not really appear in the Hobbit... so that concerns me.
“The Hobbit” was really a book for younger audiences and I hope that Jackson can bring its charm to the screen and make it friendly for younger viewers. I imagine some people may think the gathering of the party at Bag’s End a little silly but I do love it ( I know what Bilbo Baggins Hates). The escape from the wood elves, The shapeshifter may seem some what over the top when on the screen.
I hope that Jackson can capture the splendor of Smaug’s Lair and the Terrifying menace and pomposity of the dragon that exists in my brain, I do think those scenes can be some truly great visuals as Smaug attacks Laketown ( go Bard and his black arrow!!!). There are so many things I want to see...yet fear seeing how someone else visualizes them... Beorn, The riddling contest, The Trolls, the Keyhole and the death of Thorin... but I have the fear derived from the earlier films that could make a fan break into a cold sweat.
I wasnt a fan of the way Gimli looked in LOTR, so I do have some fears of how the Dwarfs will appear (will I be able to identify them by the color of their hoods?).
I will see this film, and I will pray it doesn't “Phantom Menace” my love for the book. I cant wait to see some stills from the production, but I will have a glowing ember of dread in my belly as I pray that they don’t mishandle something so beloved to so many.