What Does J.R.R. Tolkien’s Son Think of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Movies?
Christopher Tolkien considers the Jackson movie adaptations from his father’s books to be nothing short of disastrous failures. I simply can not agree with him and have been consistently delighted, frankly, by the nuanced presentations in Jackson’s movies, but it surely does make for some thought provoking reading to review Christopher Tolkien’s opinions, which you can read for yourself in their entirety here. The longer article is the first time Chris Tolkien has given a public interview, in forty years! Very interesting comments from him about his father’s vast treasure of unpublished work. Here’s is what Christopher Tolkien has to say about Jackson’s work:
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 is hard to say who has won this silent battle between popularity and respect for the text. Nor who, finally, has the Ring. One thing is certain: from father to son, a great part of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien has now emerged from its boxes, thanks to the infinite perseverance of his son.