Is Warner Bros. studio, inspired by the dwarves of Khazad-dûm, determined to “dig too greedily”?
The studio announced yesterday that it plans to make a number of films set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The films would be developed through New Line Cinema, which produced the original three films directed by Peter Jackson two decades ago. (Read more at Variety.)
Even limited to what is available in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (especially TLotR’s appendices), I think that there are many additional wonderful stories that could be told set in Middle-earth. However, I don’t have a great amount of faith that these new film projects will succeed in this endeavour. The Amazon television series, despite some bright spots (e.g., the beautiful sets), deviated wildly from Tolkien’s writings – and for the most part unnecessarily so. (I accept that some changes are necessary in adapting a complex work of literature to film or television, but many of the changes made in the Rings of Power were ridiculous.) And despite his admirable accomplishment with the original trilogy, Jackson’s The Hobbit films are something of a mess as well. (I will never forgive the shabby treatment of Radagast!)
So I’m rather pessimistic about these new films. But perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised…
(I am cautiously looking forward to The War of the Rohirrim next year.)