Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, December 13, 2012

New ‘Hobbit’ Movie: More Hollywood Than Tolkien?

Professor Michael Drout. (WBUR/Jesse Costa)

Professor Michael Drout. (WBUR/Jesse Costa)

“The Hobbit” is the fore-runner to Tolkien’s three “Lord of the Rings” books which Jackson turned into the Oscar winning film trilogy. The long-awaited film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” hits theaters this weekend.

It’s the first of three films that director and co-screenwriter Peter Jackson adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s much-loved book “The Hobbit.”

But why make a trilogy out of “The Hobbit?” Wheaton professor and Tolkien scholar Michael Drout tells Robin Young that Jackson not only is bringing the book to screen, but also using source arterial from “The Lord of the Rings.”

“It’s ‘The Hobbit’ plus,” says Drout, “not just back story, but parallel stories and the sort of geopolitical events that were going on.”

But, Drout tells Robin Young, the movie isn’t as good as it could have been, because Jackson and his co-screenwriters stopped trusting Tolkien’s text and the audience.

“And they think ‘no, what this really needs is not a dwarf and a goblin fighting but a 144,000 dwarves and goblins. That’ll make it better.’ And sometimes they lose the tension out of a scene because it’s so elaborated,” says Drout.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Experts share a range of perspectives on how to combat the Islamic State militant group, and the role the U.S. should play.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 23 3 Comments

James Taylor Is ‘Gobsmacked’ By Medal Of Freedom Honor

The five-time Grammy winner looks back on his career, ahead of receiving the country's highest civilian honor.

November 23 25 Comments

How To Travel While Black During Jim Crow

A postal worker created a guide for black travelers that was published almost every year from 1936 to 1966.

November 20 7 Comments

The Obama Administration’s Strategy In The Fight Against ISIS

The president's special envoy to Global Coalition to Counter ISIL discusses the administration's strategy against the militant group.

November 20 24 Comments

The Language Of Counterterrorism: Is Obama Striking The Right Tone?

President Obama has been careful about how he frames terrorist attacks and the fight against extremism. Some say too careful.