Some movies are amazing. Some movies aren’t. And then there are the movies that feel like they could have been something really special if they had only taken a little bit more time with the script. They are one notes session away from having great movie on their hands, but instead they settled for being a disappointment.
THE HOBBIT Trilogy is a perfect example of this. Let’s check out the notes session that should have been.
-Why is this a trilogy? This should be one film. You made arguably the greatest motion picture trilogy of all time. This should be an understated, fanciful victory lap. This should have been one last three-hour film.
-No prologue. We don’t need any of this information. Open up on the front door of Bag End just like you ended RETURN OF THE KING.
-Get out of Bag End after twenty minutes. This stuff is pretty good. Especially the singing.
-This pale orc stuff is terrible. He looks awful and is just eating up screen time you could be spending on getting to know the dwarves and your lead hobbit.
-First hour: Bag end, trolls, Rivendel, Radagast, and Goblin town.
-Second hour: Gollum, Mirkwood, Barrels, and then Lake town.
-Third hour: Smaug and the Battle of the Five armies.
-You can then have 15-20 extra minutes to wrap things up.
-The Sauron stuff is fun, but we just don’t need it! You made three movies about this guy! Do you really have more to say? Doesn’t bringing him up and seeing him so much right now undercut the surprise in 80 years when he’s back in power?
-Martin Freeman is wonderful as Bilbo. Use him more. It’s called THE HOBBIT right? Why does it feel like it should be called THE THORIN.
-Evangeline Lilly is great. Keep her around. But don’t make her in love with that pretty dwarf. She can be a badass without a love story.
-Why is that dwarf so pretty? Make him less pretty. We cared about Gimli even though he wasn’t pretty.
-Oh my gosh there are so many dwarves. I’m going to suggest something pretty crazy right now… Don’t have so many. You can have the main Thorin dwarf, the old sage dwarf, the brother dwarves, the strong dwarf, and the big fat dwarf. You can also have one more dwarf in there if you promise to develop him as an interesting character. But no more than seven dwarves!
-In reading this script, Pete, it seems like you’re going to lean pretty heavily on CGI. I really liked the amount of practical effects you did in the original trilogy. Maybe do more practical stuff so this movie doesn’t feel outdated in 10 years.
-No Orlando Bloom. Everything else on this list is a note. This is a rule.
-The Battle of the Five armies shouldn’t be a show stopper. I read the book to my kids. I know that Bilbo watches it from afar. Do that in the movie. You could save so much money and make it a thoughtful, understated moment. The real show stopper is Bard taking down Smaug.
-I think if you really take these notes to heart, this movie could be incredible. You are such an incredible talent and I think that if you set more limitations for yourself you could turn in an epic return to Middle Earth!