13 January 2013
Comments Made by Christopher Tolkien Resurface
Last summer, Christopher Tolkien broke his silence and gave his first ever press interview, wherein he expressed his disdain for Peter Jackson's adaptations of his father's work. Now that "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has hit theatres, his comments have resurfaced. (You can read the English translation of the interview here.*)
"I grew up in the world he created. For me, the cities of The Silmarillion are more real than Babylon."
Long absent from the public spotlight (keeping himself out of the media for over 40 years), Christopher Tolkien explained in the interview that there is an enormous gap – "almost an abyss" – between his father's work and Jackson's films. The Tolkien family disliked the films so much that they even turned down an offer to meet the director.
"They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25."
"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," he laments. "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."
While Peter Jackson only has the rights to the material contained in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, fans and even screenwriter Philippa Boyens have expressed a desire to see more of Tolkien's work – in particular, The Silmarillion – adapted for the big screen. Christopher Tolkien, however, remains unwavering in his refusal to give up the rights to any more of his father's work.
Would you like to see more of Tolkien's work adapted for the big screen (or a TV miniseries), or do you think the Tolkien Estate should continue to protect JRR Tolkien's legacy? Share your thoughts in the comments below or send me a Tweet @TolkienBritta!
* You can view the Le Monde interview in its original French here.