Peter Jackson Explains the Difference Between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
12.30.11 by Ryan
Those familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien's novels know there is a difference in tone between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but with director and co-writer Peter Jackson in charge of the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit (with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set to open next December, followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again in 2013) and adding in characters from his Lord of the Rings movies regardless of whether they were in Tolkien's original text, it would seem that Jackson was looking to make The Hobbit more like The Lord of the Rings. However, in the recent issue of Total Film (via io9), Jackson revealed that The Hobbit will be very different from The Lord of the Rings.
The Hobbit is very much a children's book and The Lord of the Rings is something else; it's not really aimed at children at all. I realized the characters of the dwarves are the difference. Their energy and disdain of anything politically correct brings a new kind of spirit to it. And that's why I thought, OK, this could be fun!
Jackson explained that he was less concerned with tone than with making the thirteen dwarf characters distinct from one another.
That was something I worried about. I imagined 13 guys with long hair and beards and I thought, "How are we ever going to know which dwarf is which?" It's an ensemble from hell really. I thought nine members of the Fellowship was a problem; but here, with Bilbo and Gandalf, we've got 15. It's working out fine though. The dwarves give it a kind of childish, comedic quality that gives us a very different tone from The Lord of the Rings.
The way that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will be similar will be the locations, already established in the Lord of the Rings movies. "I want it to seem like we've gone back on location into Middle-earth," Jackson explained. "That these two movies feel like they belong at the beginning of the other three. We're the same filmmakers going into the same world."
Jackson's wife and co-writer Fran Walsh explained that the second part of The Hobbit will start to explore some of the darker themes found in The Lord of the Rings.
We always saw The Hobbit more in the golden light of a fairytale. It's more playful. But by the time you get to the end, Tolkien is writing himself into that place where he can begin that epic journey of writing LOTR, which took, as he put it, his life's blood. All those heavier, darker themes which are so prevalent in the later trilogy start to come into play.
The first trailer for the movie was just released, offering the first look at how Jackson and Walsh have adapted The Hobbit, which was also adapted by Guillermo del Toro and Philippa Boyens. The Hobbit sees the return of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) as he gathers a company of dwarves and Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to head out on an epic quest that will eventually lead him to a dragon's lair. Returning cast members include Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Andy Serkis (in motion-capture and later animated) as Gollum; and Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman.