With all the Robin Hobb dragon talk from two days ago, it got me thinking.
Fantasy in Hollywood has often needed dragons to get off the ground. There have been many fantasy movies released over the years, dating back to the silent film days, that have featured the creatures. But when Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings hit movie theaters in 2001, it revolutionized how people viewed fantasy. In a different way. It didn’t need dragons. It needed excitement. The heroics. The struggle between good and evil. The great dialogue. The special effects and their realism. And even some Ringwraith dragons, although they weren’t the primary driving aspect of the film.
What that film did though is this: It made studio executives salivate. Money could be made off fantasy. Suddenly, hundreds of fantasy properties were optioned, making many fantasy authors extremely happy and hopeful.
Sadly, those hopes were mostly crushed. Only one or two fantasy movies have been made in the last decade that have quality about them. Most were so poorly done, I wanted to ask for my money back after watching them.
This year, that ends. The release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
Just watching that trailer gives me the giddy shivers. And why not? It will be fantasy done right. We have George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO that is being done right too. But that’s it.
Since Thrones aired on HBO and with the impending The Hobbit, it seems studio executives are once again warming up to fantasy. In the last few months, we have seen options for works by Cherie Priest, Tad Williams, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Brooks. There are probably others I don’t even know about. Is this happenstance? Or on purpose?
My question is this: Will The Hobbit Movies Affect Hollywood Fantasy Buying?
And as a side question for the comments section below, will The Hobbit and Game of Thrones make studio executives realize these properties need to be approached with respect if they are going to appeal? Discuss!