As I read the Hobbit to my son, as Smaug lies buried under the waters of the Long Lake and as Elves, Dwarves, Men and Orcs are drawn to the Lonely Mountain by greed, I stumble over promo photos of the Hobbit www.herr-der-ringe-film.de/v3/…
and am reduced to disbelief.
Of course, I should have known. The target audience are the "Lotr" fans, the ones who have never read the books (probably tried, but gave up after "Concerning Hobbits"), who can't even be bothered to spell out the title of what they call their favourite book (or movie), who whooped with glee when Legolas surfed down the stairs of Helm's Deep on a shield or when Viggo, Orly and that alcoholic of a Dwarf kung-fu'd their way towards Théoden, and whom Jackson expects to be clamouring for more of the same in The Hobbit. He couldn't have made it a children's movie, no, of course not.
Thus, those lovable, squabbling Dwarves, who have only bread knives (which they lose soon enough after their encounter with the Orcs) and bows and arrows (which they waste shooting after black deer in Mirkwood), are portrayed as literally armed to the teeth. What do they need a burglar for? What do they need Bard for? They can just walk into the Lonely Mountain and bash Smaug on the head with that armoury of theirs, and all his jewel-encrusted armour won't avail him anything.
They don't even look like dwarves. They look as my first RPG game master always imagined them- heavily armed and armoured, grim creatures. Those are D&D Dwarves. They have nothing to do with Thorin and Company.
And Kili? I can already see the slash fic that'll be written about him. Screwing Fili at the Troll cave, in Rivendell (probably as a threesome with Elrond), and of course all the lovely bondage they'll be having with Legolas in the Elven-King's halls - whenever he can spare a moment between washing and conditionering his hair! Expecting the first fanfics in... less than three hours! Hey, those things are quickly written. And the fanart's going to beat Haldir.
Consider this: In the Lord of the Rings, Jackson gave us Frodo, Gandalf, Galadriel, Gollum, and a good handful of other characters exactly as we'd all seen them from the illustrators that had given us Tolkien illustrations for more than half a century. And we loved him for it. And he was confident enough in this to still give them to us like that, and not say, "Everyone sees Gandalf with a blue hat, long grey cloak, long beard and staff! Hey, I'll give him dreads, a full-plate armour and a shaven chin, just to prove how imaginative I am!"
But now he's gone and done exactly that.
Sorry, PJ... but NO. Leave a good book alone, and stay WAY clear of all that disgusting fan service.
I'm sure he'll have moments of greatness in between there, even moments of grandeur as he managed to put into the Lord of The Rings. I'll probably enjoy parts of the movie. I do love the Lord of the Rings movies (a few well-planned toilet breaks at strategic points in The Two Towers help), and when I saw the promo pictures for the Lord of the Rings movies over ten years ago, I was absolutely crazy with enthusiasm. So this is not a routine exercise in book-to-movie bashing.
I wonder what they'll do with the movie title in German. The book is known here as "Der Kleine Hobbit" (The Little Hobbit), and that will definitely not fit for the movie...
PS: Everyone who said that it was necessary to make the movie darker and the Dwarves less Disney please explain Nori and Ori to me. Especially Nori's hair...do. www.herr-der-ringe-film.de/v3/…