The news that production for one or more movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion would be a wonderful thing for fans of the world’s greatest fantasy author, but it’s unclear if this is ever going to happen. While rumors early last year suggested that a deal had been made with the Tolkien estate, nothing has been heard of the matter since then. So will we ever get this?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
By the standards of readers, moviegoers and critics alike, the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films – directed by Peter Jackson – is the most successful adoption of a fantasy novel in film history. The last film of the trilogy, subtitled The Return of the King, earned several Academy Awards.
The Shire set from Lord of the Rings still exists in New Zealand pic.twitter.com/WJzA1hduqW
— Most Wow Facts (@MostWowFacts) March 20, 2017
While it’s certainly true that the films weren’t a page by page adaption of the original novels upon which they were based – this would have been virtually impossible given the length of these novels – Jackson did a good job of adapting the characters, situations and the spirit of these novels to the big screen. So many people were certainly looking forward to what he might do next in Middle Earth.
The Hobbit Movies
Unfortunately, what came next were the three Hobbitmovies, a massive step down from the magic that was the Lord of the Rings. These movies lacked the character development, richness, and beauty of Jackson’s previous films about Middle Earth. For those who were wondering about the difference between the first three films and these latter three, there are various reasons why these subsequent films were less successful.
For one thing, Jackson had far less time to prepare them. Originally, he was not going to be the director of the Hobbit movies. Instead, he was going to serve as a producer for these new films. But when the original director stepped down, Jackson had to take over.
However, Jackson must have been a fairly hands-off producer on the project, given that he soon discovered that there was no real script. As Jackson pointed out, for the Hobbit movies the actors and the director were often making up lines on the spot.
The Silmarillion Movies
The poor reception of the hobbit movies didn’t keep them from making a huge amount of money. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that the studio might be interested in revisiting the property by adapting some of Tolkien’s other work. The trick, of course, was convincing the Tolkien estate that the next films won’t be critical disasters – regardless of how much money they make.
The Silmarillion is essentially Tolkien’s version of the Bible of Middle Earth. It contains origin stories, “religious” stories, and creation myths regarding how the gods of Middle Earth created the world and all things in it.
— Old Badger-brock (@OldBadgerBrock) March 16, 2017
As reported by Movie Pilot, in early 2016 it seemed as though a deal might have been worked out to allow for the production of a number of movies and other works based on The Silmarillion. Supposedly, a deal had been worked out between Warner Bros., MGM, New Line Cinema, Showtime, and the Tolkien estate that would have allowed for the creation of a massive multimedia franchise involving films and television programs based on The Silmarillion.
However, since that time nothing has been said about the project, indicating that the deal might have fallen through. On the other hand, with something this massive it’s conceivable that preproduction is going on and that it might be a year or more before filming would actually begin. So there is at least some hope this might just happen.
[Featured Image by Jason Dorday – Pool/Getty Images]