Following on the heels of his success with The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was eager to start a new project in the canon. Because he was having so much trouble getting the Tolkien estate to approve his The Hobbit project, and due to budgeting issues in filming The Silmarillion parts I - XII (not including, of course, the relatively cheap part VII*), he made the decision to go in a new direction. In a summer or two, the world will be witness to Jackson’s newest masterpiece.
In interviews, Jackson has stated that the project derives from his desire to establish himself as an auteur of Middle-earth canon instead of just a passive interpreter. Other reasons for the project include the excellent team of writers, directors, and assistant-assistant-Best Boys that are clamoring to sign up, the continued aid of the New Zealand government (motto: We Have the Lord of the Rings), banks upon banks of networked computers just ready to squat out another 15 hours of Gollum footage, and a sale at Macy’s ending next month on medieval tunics and plate-metal spaulders.
LOTR O/H: EYEWTKAMEBWATP (L:E for short) wraps up what Jackson sees as a number of “loose ends” in the story. He claims to have found inspiration for much of his material from watching and rewatching the non-Extended editions of his original films, by reading fan fiction (from all accounts, mostly Frodo/Mr. Spock slash fiction), and by sitting on a lawn chair atop the mightiest mountain in all of Switzerland, tapping a pen against his chin, and sighing loudly.
In fact, it will not be a single film: Jackson believes that he has such a richesse of material for the new project that it will have to be three more films, spanning an epic 10 hours (15 in the Extended edition). Theaters are expected to raise ticket prices to approximately 15 US dollars in order to deal with the strain on seating, projectors, and bathrooms.
What can we expect to see in the new films? Here’s a short list of ideas that Jackson has been playing around with.
- Bilbo’s new hobbies
What’s an old hobbit to do with his time after an adventure so rich as The Hobbit? This section of the films is expected to feature an unrivalled amount of computer-assisted footage of mithril-polishing, ring-fondling, Bilbo’s repeated attempts to start his novel (There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale), and puttering. A highly-anticipated, fourth wall-shattering scene will have Bilbo ranting at the viewer about how ungrateful hobbitlings have gotten.
- Aragorn’s early years
We all know that Aragorn was about two million years old at the advent of The Fellowship of the Ring, owing to his Numenorean ancestry. That’s a lot of ground to cover! Unfortunately, available resources seem to indicate that he spent much of the time avoiding Elvish lessons and hitting on Elrond’s hot daughter instead of doing anything kingly, so Jackson is planning to pad out the scenes with footage of Elf-maidens showering beneath the purest waterfalls in the land. Also, there’s a part where Aragorn totally flips out in a Burger King and starts whaling on this Orc.
- Gollum furtively masturbating
Need I say more?
- Celebrity appearances
Jackson claims that plenty of star power is waiting in the wings for L:E. Although he has categorically refused to name any names, popular blogger Jeter Paxon has stated that possible celeb appearances will include Mr. T, the cast of Friends, any number of bland preteen idols, and Bill Clinton as Círdan the Shipwright.
- The birth of Frodo
After sorting through heaps and heaps of fan fiction, Jackson claims that he and his team of computers will be able to produce the most accurate possible simulation of Frodo’s bris, as Tolkien himself would have wanted it.
Keeping in mind what sort of person signs up for Lord of the Rings sequel focus groups, this should surprise nobody.
Unfortunately, all is not rosy and amazing in Hobbit-land. Apparently several of the original actors have declined any part in the project, reportedly calling it “crass,” “a tasteless cash-in,” and "super-duper lame." Jackson's rebuttal, recently published in Teen People, stated that he thought that “[the actors] are off their rockers
it will be the most classy picture since the Star Wars Christmas Special.” Jackson is still in negotiations with Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, and Gollum, among others, but says that he's not too worried about losing them, as the magical power of computers will allow him to substitute pixels and imagineering for actual acting. He claims that New Line Cinema has given him has a magical token ring, giving him the power to reproduce any actor’s work digitally, as well as turn invisible.
The films are also expected to set records for merchandising. From the 3D glasses being sold at the door, to the roving theater attendants selling action figures in the aisles during the movies, to a TV-radio-Internet advertising spree that is expected to contravene the Geneva Conventions in its proactivity, we can expect to see a lot of hobbit-related merchandising in coming months. Insiders expect that Times Square, every available space in every subway system in the world, tattoo parlors, and according to one source, the surface of the Moon will all be pursued as avenues for L:E-related advertising.
Jackson is also reportedly working with several video game companies and book publishers to produce spin-off material related to the project at the rate of three new products a week. He has been quoted as saying,
”We’re just giving the fans what they want — more Lord of the Rings! I think that judging by the number of losers in basements who are still obsessed with the books and movies, we have a pretty big audience ready and waiting for these new products.”
Jackson is also expected to ditch Howard Shore, composer of the soundtrack for the original trilogy, at the metaphorical roadside, and replace what he described as “boring-ass classical music” with “the kickin’-est, most bitchen soundtrack you’ve ever heard.” In an attempt to generate fan support for the decision, he has made available some tentative track titles from the new score:
When can we expect to see these movies hit the theaters? Inside sources claim that 2008 will be the earliest that we can see another movie, because “there’s a whole friggin’ lot of work to do before anybody will shell out to see this.” However, this noder is literally on the edge of his seat with anticipation (he believes that it makes him look more dignified while he writes). See you at the theaters!
*“Númenor — the Boring Years”
Because people asked: No, this is not serious.