Gandalf says, “This Cannot Be Filmed!”

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J.R.R. Tolkien once said his works could not be made into a film.  Of course the technology at the time was not sufficient for the grandeur of his imagination.  The movie trilogy is said by some to have stripped the deeper meanings of his stories to appeal to the 15-25 year old masses.  Even in the upcoming second Hobbit movie, there is a female elf added to the plot, to appeal to the female masses. Here is something else people didn’t know about Tolkien from a letter he wrote:

Tolkien included neither any explicit religion nor cult in his work. Rather the themes, moral philosophy, and cosmology of the Lord of the Rings reflect his Catholic worldview. In one of his letters Tolkien states, “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”

This brings me to my epic high fantasy mythology.  My story could never be made into a film for the following reasons:

  1. It is too epic.  Consider part of the source for my final battle, the Bible.  That’s right, you are now automatically turned off, right?  We live in a era were any reference to religion is an automatic turn off.  Yet, the Bible has at its end the most epic battles ever written.  I incorporated this imagery into the siege of Masara, where one hundred and fifty thousand men, women and children of seven races unite to combat the gathering of all evil, some four hundred million.  Their task; to hold ground for forty days and nights, to make a stand for all that is worthy of life.  I will not tell you how it ends, other than it is a crescendo of emotions and visual imagination over load, as the mythical creator and his forces of good make their appearance. Such a film would be expensive.
  2. It involves deep hatred.  In order for us to recognize evil, we must recognize the most vile and hateful acts of humanity.  This includes torture, and the death of women and children. My stories are not graphic, just implied. We live in an era where sheltering ourselves from evil is to act as though it has or never will exist. Yet when evil does rear its head we question everyone, but ourselves, for allowing evil to enter our world.
  3. Beloved characters die.  To write a deeply emotional story, one must sacrifice even the most beloved characters.  Allowing ourselves to experience deep loss is shunned upon in modern society.  I recall reading how people had to have counseling after watching Avatar.  If Avatar so deeply affected your emotions of what is good and evil, then my story might also affect you.  Many viewers stopped watching the Game of Thrones because of the red wedding scene.  It was too horrific and many felt what was the point if the characters of good do not live and justice isn’t served.
  4. It is spiritual.  Whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or other; the story confronts our most often asked questions.  Who are we, what is our purpose, and does God (a creator or supreme being) truly exist?  Why are we allowed to suffer pain?  Is faith strong enough to survive life and are we altruistic enough to give our life to save others?  What is the purpose of an afterlife? Those who have been raised studying the Abrahamic religions will find areas of the story to connect with.  But for a Christian, they will discover it is not a christian story.  Christ or a Christ figure is no where to be found.  It involves the concept of complete and total free will, so that the mortal characters have no excuses for rising to the occasion, but my Christian friends do love the story and it does not offend them.
  5. There’s no sex.  Sorry, there are plenty of other stories you can read for that. There are references to the effects of sexual misconduct on society as a whole, but there is not a single reference to the one’s society constantly battles over in our present time.
  6. There’s no cursing. Again, I’m sorry. I wrote these stories to confront deeper issues than the use of boorish words thrown around so easily these days.  I kept them clean so that they can be told to children.

I constructed this mythology with numerous references to beloved stories who have influenced my thoughts.  You will find similarities to stories you already know.  The story encases spirituality and our most primal needs for love, acceptance, family and life.  It is story that attempts to point out the frailty of life on this planet and what we will lose if we do not stand together.

If you love the tales of Tolkien, ask yourself how deeply affected were you when you watched the Ride of the Rohirrim in the Return of the King?  Here’s a reminder of the scene:

I promise you this much.  I constructed this mythology to have the same emotional impact – times three!  But, I am not done with the battle or your emotions, as the ending will surprise you.

Take a chance if you are curious and stay committed to the very end.  Judge me then.  Don’t prejudge a book by its cover or the content of book one’s first nine chapters.  If it is not one of the better stories (conceptually) structured in the last several decades, then don’t take a chance on any of the upcoming chronicles series.

If you are one that is looking for new material for a major motion picture, read the story and tell me if it would not be an awesome one to film and cast.  I’ve now presented six reasons, six challenges, to why you won’t do it.  You can remain safe with comic book reboots and politically correct story lines, or you can take a chance, like those who did with Tolkien’s stories and deliver something a little deeper, yet thoroughly enjoyable for all members of the family, young and old, and for all the races of humanity. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer.

One of my biggest fan’s is a 16 year old female. Her review can be found here on Goodreads.  Now 16 year old readers are not literary giants, they do not spot many grammatical errors, they just read to enjoy a story, but she gave me the ultimate compliment of my life:

“I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, but I have to say that this was 100 times better than the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion combined!”

Now you be the judge.  Is it a story worthy of the big screen?

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6 comments on “Gandalf says, “This Cannot Be Filmed!”

  1. I see our created worlds have quite a few points in common.:)

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