Monday, September 27, 2010

Time to call it a day, Mr. Jackson?

According to, and their various sources.. the already troubled adaption of the Hobbit has hit yet another problem. This time, due to some Minuscule new Zealand actors union.

I have very little time for Unions when it comes to anything to do with the film industry.. they aren't essential to the welfare of the Nation or planet the way that air traffic controllers or coal miners or teachers or firefighters are. And since we are still feeling the effects of the 2008 SWG strike.. in other words I hold them responsible for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.. and a sin of that sort takes a long time to atone for.

Now, Ian Mckellen, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett are all making noise that they may decline to be in "The Hobbit" unless Warner Brothers/MGM and Peter Jackson agree to the demands of this Union. So no Gandalf, no Elrond, and no White Council scene.

I'm going to admit, I'm looking at this only from my perspective. I want the adaptions made, I wanted them made back in 2004, and feel that a lot of the problems the production has been beset by are Peter Jackson's Fault alone. He didn't strike while the iron was hot, he dawdled and made King Kong and the Lovely bones.. two movies which vastly underperformed when compared to the Rings adaptions. I understand that, The Lord of the Rings was an immense undertaking, it was a huge project which consumed nearly a decade of his life. But I still feel that a large chunk of the production problems rest on his shoulders.

But the financial squabbles have plagued the Tolkien adaption since Return of the King swept the Oscars. And they cannot be laid at the feet of Peter Jackson alone. No one cared when they didn't think it was going to make any money.. And yes, a lot of the actors who were in the Rings adaption were treated very shabbily from all indications. The financial problems have come from all directions, from the Tolkien Estate, from Tolkien Enterprises, from New Line, from Peter Jackson, from Warner Brothers. Not even taking into account MGM's own financial problems, which are essentially the Hobbit's financial problems because of the ridiculous Intellectual property laws at work.

But at this point, I feel that if it's going to turn into such a fiasco that they may have to move the production to eastern Europe (following in the footsteps of Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and then do without the few actors who would bring continuity to the new production from the previous films.. it simply isn't worth doing.

It's a huge screw up, and as always, the only people who truly lose out here are the fans, that and the non union people in New Zealand who would stand to make a tremendous amount of money off of the production, not to mention the upsurge in tourism.

I for one, as a fan, am tired of this constant march of good news, bad news. Every time we think something might be maybe going to happen, an actor yaps their gob or column of figures dosen't add up right and we are back to waiting.

So when is it time to throw in the towel?


Brian Murphy said...

The towel should be thrown, now. The Hobbbit is too important to fuck up. Do it right or don't do it at all.

The Hobbit has so much potential... it's building on the success of The Lord of the Rings franchise, it's a story that should be far easier to adapt, it's arguably the font from which all fantasy flows... it's simply too important to fuck up.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Thats certainly my feeling on it, if they can't get it going soon then it needs to be put off until long after these problems are sorted out.

It seems that it's getting batted around like a football in a decidedly unfriendly game. Meanwhile sets continue to deteriorate, actors continue to age, and more people crawl out of the woodwork to try and get a piece of the pie.

I think that... unfortunately Thorin Oakensheild's final words are the most fitting.

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. "

Taranaich said...

It's getting to almost The Man Who Killed Don Quixote proportions of ridiculousness, isn't it?

I agree: do it right, or don't do it at all.

Lagomorph Rex said...

I'd forgotten about that film. now that is one exceedingly screwed up story... I seem to remember seeing something about Gilliam simply dispensing with making the actual movie.. and making a movie about his attempts to make the movie instead..

I think that could be hilarious.. and at least he has a sense of humour about it.

Anonymous said...

None of the actors that the union in question cites have made ANY public statements about the controversy, so I'm taking statements by anyone who claims to be speaking on their behalf with a grain of salt. Hugo Weaving has already been misrepresented in the press (it was widely reported he signed on to The Hobbit in May 2009; so far as I know he still hasn't officially signed a contract. He did joke about being cast without his knowledge earlier this year.) No one should assume anything until the actors speak up for themselves on this specific issue. (A history of being pro-union doesn't matter; Peter Jackson has in the past been pro-union.)

That being said, if the actors do side with the union, forcing the production to be moved or recast, I'd probably stay away from the finished film. I still hope everyone concerned can be adults and come to some sort of understanding, but I don't need a Hobbit movie at any cost. If Jackson et al can't do it right, they should move on to other projects.

Lagomorph Rex said...

oh, well thats interesting about the actors. I'll admit to reading headlines and assuming the worst on that one.

Still, I guess its just.. well I mean Mckellen does other activism stuff so I could easily see him doing it here too. Blanchett and Weaving though it seemed out of character for..