The last thing I said to Daniel, my 15 year-old brother, before I headed back to Provo after Thanksgiving was, “Look up midnight showing tickets for ‘The Hobbit!'”
“The Hobbit” was the first novel I really read when I was kid. I felt like I had graduated from childhood when I realized that my eyes weren’t glazing over as I read and I was actually following the plot. It has since held a special place in my heart.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those who won’t see a movie adaptation of a beloved book. I’m stoked for the movie- oh wait, movies because this 288 (give or take) page book is going to be portrayed by Peter Jackson divided into three different movies.
For us this means three different movie tickets, three different DVDs and three times the money than if this trend hadn’t been set yet and we were just getting one movie. It also means three times the Martin Freeman, but that is beside the point.
The trend of making multiple movies for a single book started back in March 2008 when it was announced that the seventh Harry Potter book was going to be divided into two movies. This was obviously an attempt to squeeze as much money as possible from what is currently the highest grossing film franchise to date.
About two years later, it was announced that the final book in the “Twilight” series was also going to be split into two films.
Because these two franchises were both extremely popular and had such huge success, I didn’t think that this was going to become a recurring thing.
So when the news broke this summer that Jackson’s production of “The Hobbit” was going to be divided into not two, but three movies I had to give an exasperated sigh of acceptance.
I think this is going to be the way it is from now on. The next time someone decides to make a popular book into a movie, my guess is that we can expect several films.
But underneath my annoyance is a seriously stoked fan girl. I’m getting at least six hours of The Hobbit, people! And provided Jackson does well, this could be the greatest thing ever for a fan of the “Lord of the Rings” prequel.
Does that mean Jackson will be 100 percent true to the book? Probably not. The decision to divide “The Deathly Hollows” did not, like a lot of us hoped, mean that the director would be more true to the book. Artistic liberty was taken with Hermione and Ron’s long-awaited kiss and that weird moment when Voldemort dissolved to death, just to name a few discrepancies.
Directors are going to change things from books in order to put their own mark on their film adaptations. This is how it has been since the dawn of time and it probably always will be.
The plus side is that with longer screen time to work with, directors won’t have to cut entire scenes and subplots to keep the movie a reasonable length.
The most important thing, however, is that we get more movie time with our favorite fictional characters.
After all, getting an eighth Harry Potter movie was a bonus for those of us who are obsessed with the books. We got the chance to put off the inevitable end of our childhood for one more year. I’m sure fans of Twilight felt the same way about “Breaking Dawn.”
It kind of makes you wish that they started doing this back when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was being directed. It’s probably best that they didn’t though. Can you imagine how old Daniel Radcliffe would be by the time they got around to filming “The Deathly Hollows”?
While this new trend in movie production can easily be seen as overkill, we may as well take the good with the bad.
Once I had a good eye roll after reading the announcement about “The Hobbit” films, I acknowledged to myself that I would probably still go see all of them in theaters, and most likely during their midnight showings.
And, heck, maybe this means someone can finally do “The Count of Monte Cristo” correctly. (I’m looking at you, Christopher Nolan.)
Oh, and brother dear: you still haven’t sent me information about tickets for “An Unexpected Journey.”You should probably get on that if you want me to drive you.