Monday, 30 June 2008

'There' and 'Back again' - Two Hobbit movies...


I wrote, last week, about Disney’s issues with Narnia as a basis for a successful fantasy film franchise. I note with some pleasure today that Guillermo Del Torro has stated the he won’t be making a second Hobbit film, if there’s no material for it.

Good.

I love Tolkien. I love his hobbits, his Englishness, his obscure short stories (read ‘Leaf by Niggle’ (by Tolkien), if you haven’t. already done so – it’s my fave’). I loved the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which (apart from the odd added cave troll scene and the omission of the journey home) was close to perfect (in my humble opinion). And I love the idea of a Hobbit film. But note ‘a’ (singular) Hobbit film.

Two films? Come on.
What is the first one going to be called ‘There’ and the second ‘Back again.’?

If you want to make great Tolkien films pick some stories from his earlier works.
Failing that look elsewhere. There’s some great fantasy out there at the moment – even some great urban fantasy that deals with more modern issues.

After all, for me, that’s what fantasy is for – it enables you to deal with issues which, without some form of abstraction, you couldn’t deal with.

So what’s the point?
Brand extensions. It doesn’t matter the category. If you’re going to extend it must be based on a consumer need/desire. If its not you risk weakening your brand, and your future exploits might just fall on their face.
If you’re Apple – the iphone works. People want music on the go and easier interfaces.
If you’re Wakestock – hold a festival in Blenheim. Southern English people like watersports and music.
I’m just not convinced the public really want or need the further adventures of Bilbo. Maybe they do though.

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