Captain Craig wrote:
This smells of blatant attempt at cash grab. I sense lots of created from scratch material to pad these pages of screenplay. Will the Tolkien loyalists be up for this much "creative liberty"?
They expect the audience to blindly show up. Is treating your audience as silly blind sheep that smart?
Well it won't be totally from scratch as Jackson has said since way back when that they'd be staying with Gandalf when he's off on his own in Dol Gulder (sp?) or meeting with the White Council. These events come straight from Tolkien and I think the LOTR trilogy screenwriting team have more than proven they're capable of adapting, expanding and even condensing Tolkien's material in a respectful and faithfully manner.
...Still, while I'm more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, I had a hard enough time seeing how a two part telling of 'The Hobbit' could be structured, never mind a three parter.
I mean where would the break points be? What could serve as good climaxes for parts one and two? I suppose the escape from the Goblin King could be a good place end part one. It'd put 'Riddles in the Dark' fairly late in the first film, which can't be a bad thing. That still leaves you with the problem of what to do with the middle part (always the problem with a trilogy.) I suppose escaping from the elves would be a logical place (they do a lot of escaping in this book, no?) but that would also mean they spend almost the whole film in Mirkwood.
Of course Part of it all depends on where the balance of the "new" material will be placed. Will it be evenly dispersed or will most of it be jammed into parts 2 & 3? Perhaps what they have in mind for part two is to keep the action with Gandalf with the climax being the routing of the Necromancer while Bilbo and the Dwarves are relegated to the b-story (like Merry & Pippin and Frodo, Sam & Gollum in tTT.)
Indeed, they're no strangers to moving things around to craft a film. In Two Towers they used Helm's Deep as an extended climax where in the book it was a very brief chapter (with a much less desperate tone I might add) and it came from about half way through the book. Then of course in RotK they spend about an hour filling in the material from the tale end of tTT book, completely hack out the scorching of the shire (completely understandable IMO) and reduce Tom Bombadil's chapter to a single line and give it to tree beard...then cut it out of the theatrical cut.
...bottom line: while on the surface it seems like a fairly mercenary move, I think Jackson and co have earned the benefit of the doubt.