I’ve been skimming through The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books in anticipation of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (It helps when you have the set in a nice handy box.)
I’m as excited as anyone about the Hobbit movies. I can’t believe they’re almost here. However, and I guess that this is a testament to my own glass-half-empty personality, all I can think about is that once the movies have come and gone, that this may very well be it for Tolkien in cinema – at least for another generation or two.
Unless Jackson (or someone) tackles The Silmarillion.
This would be a difficult project. The Silmarillion is the creation myth of the Middle-earth universe: The coming of what more or less passes as the gods, the ascension of the Elves and the rise and fall of Numenor, the creation of the rings. It’s an utterly mythopoeic work – almost a myth cycle than a set of fantasy cycles. This would be more than just one movie here, but with three LOTR films and three new Hobbit films coming down the pipes, would three Silmarillion films really be that unreasonable? What about five or six?
Who knows if Peter Jackson would want to be sign on for that project – he might be Tolkiened out at that point – but surely there would be other great directors who would wish to tackle it. Guillermo del Toro was associated with The Hobbit at one point. I’m a huge del Toro fan, but even I didn’t think that he was a good fit for that. However, the Mexican visionary director would be perfect for The Silmarillion, in my opinion. The mythical tone would jibe well with del Toro’s highly visual style. It would be nice to see him come in for his turn on the Tolkien universe.
The Silmarillion might be considered unfilmable, but people said the same thing about LOTR. I think it could be a great series of movies, but the bigger question would be whether Tolkien fans would show up to watch it. Would you?