November 28, 2014

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Retrospective


Less than 3 weeks from now the last of the 3 Hobbit films will be released, bringing to end an era of Tolkien-based films... and opening the door for other filmmakers to make their own Tolkien-esque films.

Warner Brothers knows this is the end of an era and thus have released the video below, a retrospective on all 6 films - and incidentally a promo for the last of the 6 films.

The good news however is that these films have made fans hungry for more.

But there are no more Tolkien books worth making. So out of necessity, we should turn to other books that are worthy of note. Here is a list of fantasy books that should be made into films:

The Icewind Dale Trilogy
The Crystal Shard (1988)
Streams of Silver (1989)
The Halfling's Gem (1990)

The Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (1984)
Dragons of Winter Night (1985)
Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985)

The Earthsea Cycle
A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)
The Tombs of Atuan (1971)
The Farthest Shore (1972)
Tehanu (1990)
The Other Wind (2001)

The Wheel of Time
(Although to be fair, this would make a better TV series - similar to Game of Thrones. The Wheel of Time has 14+ books and it would make more sense if it was a TV series.)

The Dark Sun: Prism Pentad
The Verdant Passage (1991)
The Crimson Legion (1992)
The Amber Enchantress (1992)
The Obsidian Oracle (1993)
The Cerulean Storm (1993)

Now if you recognize the books from Icewind Dale, Dragonlance and Dark Sun as being books associated with Dungeons and Dragons and are thinking "Wait, don't D&D movies suck?!" then you are missing the point. Don't base the movies off the game. Base the movies off the books (which are awesome) and ignore the existence of the game entirely. The problem with movies based off video games or RPGs is that they are too closely based off the games when they should be based off the best-selling books. The books are ridiculously popular.

The problem with the D&D film series is that they based the films off the game, and developed pretty lame plots that had not been tested as a book series first. They ignored the first rule of movie making: Only make a movie that is based on a successful book series. If it doesn't have the books to back it up as being already successful, then it is not worth making.

Google the name Drizzt Do'Urden (one of the main characters from The Icewind Dale Trilogy) and Google spits out 370,000 results (that is just slightly less than "Conan the Barbarian", which has 398,000 results). That shows Drizzt Do'Urden has brand name appeal when it comes to marketing the films and has a measurement of pre-existing success. Conan already has 3 films out there, and yet Drizzt isn't that far behind in popularity and has zero films.

Lastly, there are also some sequels that should be made sometime. Namely:

Buttercup's Baby - the long awaited sequel to The Princess Bride - sadly, one of the actors is dead so this will probably never happen.

Conan the Conqueror - with Arnold Schwarzenegger as King Conan, based off the book "The Hour of the Dragon".

The Subtle Knife + The Amber Spyglass - The two remaining books after film The Golden Compass (the book is called The Northern Lights), a film that brought in $372 million at the box office and yet oddly enough the series was cancelled. Why? Because in the 3rd book "god" dies of old age. Apparently the idea of 'god dying due to old age' was too controversial for Christians and they boycotted the film. However the film still managed to bring in $372 million at the box office, meaning it was hugely profitable. So why not make the 2nd and 3rd films if it is profitable??? Finish the trilogy.

Avatar 2, 3 and 4 - They are coming. That much is certain. They are slated for release in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Filming begins just a few days from now in December 2014.

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