Saturday, December 22, 2012

Philippa Boyens On Choices Made for The Hobbit Script

Philippa Boyens, the lovely co-writer of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. spoke with Collider about some of the various choices that were made in taking the children's book The Hobbit and converting it for the big screen. Below are few of her comments or can read the entire interview here.
...I think one of the most incredible moments to happen in the Tolkien canon happens in that little story when Bilbo doesn’t kill Gollum. And as Gandalf goes on to point out, the pity of Bilbo ruled the fate of many. It is an extraordinary moment and I think it’s extraordinarily played by Martin Freeman. I think the notion that the seeds of impending doom exist within the film. But you are putting your finger on something that is really important, and it’s something that as writers we knew going in, which is how to tackle this story, which was written as a childrens story. Now that it’s set against the greatest trilogy, which came first. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t done the Lord of the Rings first this would be a very different film.

We had a sense that we wanted to hand the character of Bilbo—and for so many people and in so many people’s minds he is Sir Ian Holm—we wanted to hand that to the new Bilbo, to this younger version of himself. But also, we had to grapple with the backstory of the Dwarves and of why they’re doing this, why they’re doing what they’re doing. In the book it is told in a couple of places, one of which is as backstory in Bag End when Thorin explains some of what happened. And we did try that, we did actually try writing a version of where it was told there. Bag End is long enough; it didn’t need to get any longer with a flashback.

While you know and understand that in an ideal world you would never have a story with thirteen dwarves if you were writing a regular, standard-formula film, in the same way we understood that in a normal story you wouldn’t have that many beginnings. But you have to because it’s The Hobbit and you can’t get rid of the “Good Morning” scene, you can’t get rid of the dwarves all tumbling into Bag End the way they do, you also have to introduce them to the audience, and I also don’t think you would want to get rid of the moment where you have Bilbo waking up in the morning, which I think Martin Freeman did brilliantly, by the way – that moment where he makes that choice to run out his door. So all of those moment are not what you would classically put in a film of this nature, but somehow you just eventually go back to a film finds its own level. That’s what we tried to do. And in the end you can only trust the own choices and your own judgment.

Ah, props that I managed to take home? Actually they gave me, I have to say. At the end of the film when there’s a beautiful piece that Galadriel has on her dress. It’s an extraordinary stone and there’s another version of it which will lead me into a story that I can’t tell you about but it’s made from a stone called labradorite which is a stone that I’ve never come across before. But anyone who’s never encountered labradorite before should go and look it up, because it’s extraordinary. It’s very dark and deep. Yes, I got a little piece of the stone.

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