It’s no secret the family of J.R.R. Tolkien think very little of Peter Jackson‘s films based on the Lord of the Rings series. What has been secret is how much and why son, Christopher Tolkien, despises Jackson’s adaptation. In his first ever press interview, Christopher doesn’t mince words when it comes to what he thinks of Jackson’s films. Here’s an excerpt,
“I could write a book on the idiotic requests I have received,” sighs Christopher Tolkien. He is trying to protect the literary work from the three-ring circus that has developed around it. In general, the Tolkien Estate refuses almost all requests. “Normally, the executors of the estate want to promote a work as much as they can,” notes Adam Tolkien, the son of Christopher and Baillie. “But we are just the opposite. We want to put the spotlight on that which is not Lord of the Rings.”
Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? “They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,” Christopher says regretfully. “And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film.”
This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. “Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,” Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. “The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.”
It seems the Tolkien estate, of which Christopher is the official executor, doesn’t like anything to do with the Lords of the Rings unless it’s simply the books themselves. Kind of makes me wonder how New Line Cinema and Jackson made those movies happen at all. Read the entirety of World Crunch’s interview as it has more from Christopher about his father’s work than how much he hates the movies.
Personally, I haven’t actually read the entire Lord of the Rings series – I know, many, many nerd demerits to me – but for those who have, what did you think of Jackson’s films? Did he eviscerate Tolkien’s books?