December 14, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Failure

Laura Hudson, Wired

AP Photo

The Hobbit hits theaters today, the first of three movies that will translate the single volume by J.R.R. Tolkien into yet another film trilogy set in the world of Middle-earth. And if expanding one rather modest book into three epic movies sounded like a bad idea the first time you heard about it, that’s because it was.

This isn’t the first time that the story of The Hobbit has been distended beyond its original proportions in order to better coordinate with the narrative china pattern of Lord of the Rings. Tolkien himself once attempted to rewrite Bilbo’s story after the success of the Lord of the Rings novel series to darken its more playful tone, but ultimately gave up, realizing that the result “just...

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