The Hobbit Films Are Fan Fiction and Nothing More


Christopher Orr's review of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug eviscerates Peter Jackson and deems the liberties taken with the original material "egregious." So much for purity.

The gauntlet against "fan fiction" has been thrown down, and linking Jackson to this amateur practice is akin to trying to derail a franchise that isn't going to be stopped by a critic (which would be impossible at this point). If anything, the backlash against Orr will be a blip on the radar if it blows up at all.

If these Hobbit films are really not that great, the critics will have to try to be heard over the massive marketing hype that will guarantee an audience for a franchise that has billion dollar implications. They will be silenced by indifference or worse. There's too much money at stake. And that money is why Jackson rewrote the material in order to pad it out into a three film megaproject. The only part of this series of films that Jackson cares about is the battle scene at the end. The entirety of one film could probably be that battle in order to satisfy Jackson's fetish.

As soon as he introduced a beloved old character and an entirely new one designed to make the film more marketable to young women, he entered the shady world of fan fiction. His ideas are no better or worse than yours or mine and even though we haven't made any other billion dollar film franchises work, it doesn't change the fact that Jackson looked at a classic book and decided to rewrite it. For money.

I don't think that this material warranted a trilogy; good God, they probably wanted to split the last film in two just to make that much more cash. It works as a book precisely because it is one story told in one reading. It is an adventure tale for a young audience. It was never intended to make Harvey Weinstein a billion dollars.