Word is that the film will include the story of The White Council's battle with The Necromancer (who turned out to be Sauron) at Dol Goldur in Mirkwood.
The White Council was made up of Saruman (before he turned all evil and junk) Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, and Cirdan (bearer of the ring of fire and the guy whose ship bore Frodo and Bilbo away from the Grey Havens at the end of ROTK.) It's possible that other members may have included Radagast the Brown, elf warrior Glorfindel (whose role in the film trilogy was taken up by Arwen - in the book it was him who saved Frodo from the Ringwraiths, after Frodo was stabbed by the Morgul blade) Legolas' father, Thranduil, and Galadriel's husband, Celeborn.
Since so many liberties are being taken with the text, I wonder if, along with Radaghast the Brown, the other two of the five Istari will make an appearance (other than Saruman and Gandalf), maybe at least as a reference. Tolkien barely mentions the other two at all within the breadth of his work, but there were two more and, if I remember correctly, they were of two different shades of blue.
They are both blue, but I seem to recall Tolkien having mentioned that they were nowhere near the action that takes place during the LOTR trilogy. I'm pretty sure they were said to have been traveling far east of Mordor.
The Blue Wizards, Alatar and Pallando (depending on sources) were--as RooJay said--involved in events off to the East of the famous map we always see of Middle Earth. All we know of what Tolkien said of them is that they most likely weren't successful in their activities. I vaguely seem to recall Tolkien somewhere saying he believed they may have done things even as important as Gandalf did in their areas of operation . . . but I can't find anywhere to confirm I'm not just making that up. Of course Tolkien changed things so much I may be thinking of an earlier version of their story.
I'd be really surprised if we saw anything of them, but it would be cool to see Radagast.
I'm cool with any additions to this film. I'm tired of filmmakers attempting scene for scene film versions of books. Books and films are apples and oranges. I LOVED the Two Towers mostly because it kept the spirit of the books but went in it's own direction. I hope the Hobbit starts the same way Fellowship started, with a 5-8 minute pre-history montage of Middle Earth mythos. Then we could see most of the wizzards, elves, and pre-Gondor humans. Plus, I want to see alot of Smaug!!!!!!!
Saw "An Unexpected Journey" last night in 2d, 24fps, and really enjoyed it. I had begun to worry after a week of conflicting reviews and a lot of talk about the 48fps "High Frame Rate/HFR" not looking good - I hate looking at HFR on 120hz tvs so I couldn't imagine seeing it 2d that way on the big screen (although I have heard it makes the 3D look much better, so I'm considering going back for 3D HFR).
The beginning of the film takes a long time to get going, and the stuff with Ian Holm and Elijah Wood introducing it via a scene set a few hours prior to "Fellowship of the Ring" really did nothing for me whatsoever. Hobbiton itself looked a bit flatter than before. It's been decades since I read "The Hobbit" and it wasn't until the Dwarves sing of what Bilbo Baggins hates that I got reminded. The focus on Thorin as a heroic character wasn't a bad choice, I get that he wasn't a great fellow and the task at hand wasn't noble in the book, but for cinematic use I think it was vital. Bilbo unfortunately is left taking a back seat more often though, he loses focus as the protagonist and some moments feel like he's just being dragged behind a cart rather than making his own choices.
The film puts more focus on action than on character building and while it's not a detriment, I found wanting more time with Bilbo fooling the mountain trolls and playing riddles with Gollum, more time in Rivendale, more time with the Dwarves as individuals and less time fighting, fighting, fighting. That said, it's still epic, it's still engaging, there are still character moments, still awe-inspiring elements that take your breath away.
And then there's Gandalf the Grey, who it couldn't be more of a pleasure to spend time with. Had Peter Jackson chosen to film every single nanosecond of this character's story from the book I would have sat through it no matter how long. Ian McKellen brings a twinkle to life, a wizardly element even when helpless, a humor where none should be obvious, and so much more to this part.
I can see why it's not as inspiring as LOTR, but this movie works on its own quite well and hit the right notes for me.
I loved the film. My screening of it was the IMAX 3D, which I later found out was not the 48fps - I think I'll see it again in 48fps to see if I detect any difference. After the showing, I saw a few people with posters, so I went to customer service to inquire and was given a four-print set that was given out the night before at the midnight showing.
The film had everything I wanted it to have. I was not bothered by the omission of Cirdan the Shipwright in the White Council, since he really wasn't necessary to it. That was the only scene I really hoped might be a bit longer, but it did what the story needed for it to do. I'm glad the eagles did not speak as they do in the book. I clapped loudly when Gandalf found Glamdring, a replica of which hangs on my wall (my car's license plate is Shadowfax). Every scrap of dialogue that Ian Mckellan delivers rings with such a genuine truth that I defy any audience member not to follow whatever instruction he gives. I can't wait to see how his confrontation with the Necromancer goes down.
I truly hope that each of these films hits the billion dollar mark so that the Tolkien estate seriously considers adapting The Silmarillion to the screen. That text could easily make five films, given the ground that is covered.
I went back and watched the movie again for the second time on Sunday and I loved it even more. Like I mentioned in another thread, if I was forced to nitpick about anything it would be that some of the dwarfs don't look dwarfish enough, especially Thorin. However, I do understand the need for the audience to be able to distinguish between them all; but my favorite dwarfs from the film were the ones that fit the archetype the closest.
I agree with JT, that the opening scenes with Bilbo and Frodo felt unnecessary, but I was fine with them overall.
Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum were just perfect on every level in the movie. I also really liked the Pale Orc. Plus the voices used for the Trolls and the Goblin King were pretty much exactly the way I imagined them in the books.
Our theater isn't really that hi-tech, so I didn't get to see the film in 48 fps or 3D. I think the complaints about the high frame rate might just be because audiences aren't accustomed to it yet. The human eyes can detect up to 60 frames per second, so 48 fps is still well below what our eyes see everyday. I remember reading about similar complaints when video tapes started to replace film. Video tapes have a 29.97 frame rate and audiences were initially disturbed by that, since they were used to 24 fps.
Also, I'm actually kind of confused on the sequel situation here. Is there going to be one more Hobbit movie or two more?
Thanks for the intel on Imax 3d, will be trying hfr next time I see it so I'll avoid Imax. Let us know what you think if you see the hfr.
Originally Posted by Maradona
The white council scene I think couldn't have stayed too much longer unless they had intercut with a scene with the dwarves and Bilbo, as it would be to much talking about things we won't be seeing.
I didn't realize you were such a fan! I am not anywhere near that but I did set up all my 1:6 LOTR figures on my dining table along with my master replicas fx light up Sting, which I wanted to bring had I made time to do a midnight showing.
I fear the film doesn't have the legs to make that pace. I thought the estate was super mad about WB licensing beyond approval for stuffs like the LOTR Lego game.
I think Thorin looking not so dwarf like was reasonable, but it'd the closest thing I have to a concern. The others I think look right and yet still distinguishable from each other, but I don't have a favorite so maybe I'm not paying enough attention. ;)
Originally Posted by bigbarada
Audiences have hated the video tape look for 50 years now, it's not that they aren't used to it, they are now, it's still considered an unappealing look, overly fluid, like an undercranked movie. I see people complaining about it to this day, and most '60s and '70s shoes shot on video are treated with disdain for that look today.
There was going to be only 1 more movie, but they have so much content shot that it's now 2 more movies: next December and then July 2014.
That's something that I've been thinking about since the first LOTR movie. In one way, I kind of wish that they did speak so that audiences would realize that they are a sentient race of beings right alongside elves, dwarfs, hobbits, humans, etc.; but that's a tricky thing to make work in a movie, since birds' beaks are too rigid and can't move in the same way as a human mouth. So, trying to have the eagles' beaks move like lips would be Fakey McFakerson as soon as they uttered their first word. The other option would be to have sort of a "telepathic" speech, where their mouths don't move but you hear their voices. However, then you'd have the question of, "Does everyone hear them or does only Gandalf hear them?" So, I guess it's best to not allow the pacing of the movie to grind to a halt over such a minor detail and keep the eagle's speech out of the film.
Originally Posted by Maradona
Of course, there are still two movies to go. They might speak after all.
I see what you are saying about the videotape. I remember hearing about all of those "lost" episodes of The Twilight Zone that were rarely shown because they were filmed on videotape and audience hated the look.
Originally Posted by JediTricks
I'd still be interested in seeing the movie at 48fps.
I'm glad to hear about the 2 sequels. Especially since it's a case of "we have too much material for only 2 movies, so we are making three movies." Which is far preferable to "we only have enough story for one movie, but we're going to stretch it out into a trilogy so we can triple our ticket sales."