Peter Jackson, Please Movie The Silmarillion: A Fan’s Open Letter
Dear Mr. Jackson,
I just heard the news! Your recent announcement that you are making three Hobbit movies instead of two has me almost as excited as the fact that we get to see Radagast the Brown’s home. I know that some will worry that this is a mere marketing ploy to get more money from the fans. However, I am not worried. The Hobbit has so much wonderful delicious back story, which is not seen in the book but will make an excellent movie. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see Gandalf taking on the Necromancer in Dol Guldur and to see the very first inklings of Saruman’s treachery in his exaltation to power over the white council.
You and I have have our disagreements over how you handle your male lead characters. I do not think that angst or wavering are necessary to create story arc, even in movie characters. You clearly disagree. However, these are but internecine squabbles between two passionate fans of a master. Thank you! Thank you so much for bringing the stories which I adore to the screen!
Thank you most of all for your dedication to the craft of film and your openly expressed desire to inspire others to become great filmmakers like you. It is a rare gift for someone with your skills and talents to so willingly and openly invite us into the process. You have done so in all your travels in Middle Earth. For that you have my undying admiration.
Mr. Jackson, as a fan of Tolkien, I am sure that you are aware that on their shared tombstone Edith and Ronald bear the names of Luthien and Beren. Tolkien did not choose to be buried under the name of the Evenstar and her mortal prince, Aragorn. Rather, he chose the names of their ancestors, the greatest love story Tolkien ever created. This story has yet to find a storyteller who can bring it to life in any fresh way.
Mr. Jackson, you are that person! If you will not bring the tale of Beren and Luthien to the screen, no one will know why Aragorn sings their love song in the wastes near Weathertop and no one will know why Tolkien chose to be buried under the name Beren instead of Aragorn. Not only so, but along with Beren and Luthien shall fade the memory of the great Silmarils which drove the wondrous stories which fill two full ages in the great saga of Middle Earth. It is the pure light of a silmaril that fills the phial which Galadriel gives Frodo. It is the light of a silmaril which turns away the wrath of the last child of Ungoliant in the pass above Cirith Ungol. Yet how can we know why the light of that star, and that star alone, would serve as a light when all other lights fail unless you tell us? This is why today I write to ask you to take on the challenge of making feature movies from The Silmarillion.
Mr. Jackson, think of the stories you can tell. Just think! There is the story of the creation and the coming of the gods. There is the story of the great trees and the forging of the Silmarils. There is the story of the elves’ rebellion against the will of the gods and Feanor’s flight to reclaim the great jewels. What about Turin and the seven sons of Feanor? There are epic battles between elves and dwarves. We could see Durin look into the lake of Kheled-zaram and found the great city of Khazad-dum. Consider the overthrow of Morgoth. Think of whole armies of balrogs arrayed against a host of elves and gods as the great northern lands are plunged into the sea! This doesn’t even cover the second age with the rise of Sauron and the forging of the rings, the tragic but glorious fall of Numenor and the coming of the Kings of Numenor to Middle Earth.
Do not all of these tales cry out for an epic filmmaker like yourself to bring them to life? What technical feats and storytelling challenges to overcome! There is enough material there to last a lifetime, five or six films worth at least. The tale of Beren and Luthien alone is worthy of two movies — or perhaps you could split the latter half and make it three! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) What spectacle, what glory! Think of the freedom, Mr. Jackson. Most of these are mere sketches just waiting to be filled out by a filmmaker like yourself. No more pedantic critics — like me — telling you that you got Aragorn wrong or complaining about Frodo’s mistrust of Sam. Please, Mr. Jackson, strike while the iron is hot. Use the cash and profit you will generate this December to get a studio to agree to bring us The Silmarillion Movie.