Perhaps the geekiest post I have ever blogged, for this I give no apologies. After sitting through the Battle of Five Armies out of a dull sense of “I should” rather than any enjoyment it’s time to start thinking “What if It wasn’t a trilogy but one very long, or two films?”
Of course actually editing the Hobbit into two (or even one three-hour film?) and releasing it online would suddenly make me a very poor editor indeed. If New Line were happy to sue a twenty year old pub for being called The Hobbit I doubt they would look kindly upon me editing down their movies and putting it up on torrent sites.
But lets imagine that we live in a universe where big businesses are quite happy to let small individuals play around with their stuff for a non-profit bases. Where everyone knows that creativity does not live in a bubble and things can be adapted into something new. What then would we edit out?
It would be tricky to edit out lines of dialogue or even trim scenes down due to the displacement of the score. It could be done of course, you would just have to mute the original and put the score back over, probably by buying the rather whimsical soundtrack. The easiest option would be to cut out whole scenes together. For me the things that would go straight in the bin
1. Azog would be the first to go, not every scene of course, the ones that actually add nothing to the plot such as back story and Him Vs Thorin could stay but all the cliched “bad-guy dialogue” would go straight in the bin. If I had my way he would go completely, but i think that would be impossible as he (it?) is so interwoven into the darn film.
2. The Necromancer. Yes he is mentioned in the books and yes Gandalf goes off to fight him off pages but what did he actually add to the plot? Take him out and nothing has been lost.
3. Cut out the love story between sexy-elf and sexy-dwarf. Gender balancing a seventy year old book is perfectly fine and a bad-ass lady elf that did more than sulk and cry should be applauded but do we really need this cringe-worthy dialogue? In Battle of Five Armies you could have her sacrifice herself by going over the cliff edge with Bolg. Two characters and thirty minuets of screen time of Legolas gotten rid off. Simples.
4. Radagast. Could he completely be removed? Certainly he could from the second and third films but I would be interested to see if it was possible from the first – again like the necromancer, Legolas and Stephen Fry’s henchman what does he add to the film except running time?
There are minor edits as well, I believe when Bilbo faints in the first act of An Unexpected Journey the scene could instantly cut to the next morning rather than having Gandalf tell us about Golf. The barrel sequence in Desolation of Smaug could be cut by half with nothing lost and do we really need all that darn talk about the Prophecy? When you look at Battle of Five Armies I think 45 minuets could be salvaged (mostly all the shots with Thorin and Blibo where great) and everything else could be gone.
But these are just some of my gripes. What would you guys add to the list? You never know, maybe one day I’ll actually do the cut and you can read about my arrest on twitter…