O.T.: Director of Punishingly Long "Hobbit" Films Readies Marathon Beatles Series

hsosdrum

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Before any of us goes off half-cocked about what this documentary may or may not be, let's all take a look at the sneak peek that Peter Jackson released last December as a Christmas present to the world:


Although I do NOT subscribe to any streaming services, I'm so looking forward to this documentary that I will subscribe to Disney + in time to be able to watch this in November.

The band's influence on the planet's musical and cultural landscape was (and continues to be) enormous — far more than that of any other musician(s) over the past hundred or so years. Simply put: If The Beatles had never existed much of the music that most of us play today would not exist.
 

dcrigger

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What are you measuring? I don’t see the Beatles among the top acts in streaming or album sales in 2020.
Misquote on my part - not best selling overall - rap, country, dance, r'n'b are different categories - I should have wrote "rock band" (as that what the reporting actually said)

Sources - Forbes, but a bunch of other sources as well. I think Neilsen is the original source of the data - but I'm not sure.
 

Vicey

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Oh, I think he very much wanted to make those movies - probably a little too much. He was hit with the same syndrome that nailed George Lucas - create a classic movie trilogy adored by millions, become an instant celebrity, receive unfathomable mountains of money to try it again, and throw all restraint to the winds. It's like handing a little kid your credit card. Oh, they'll have a blast, but you probably won't like the results.
Guillermo Del Toro was hired to direct the Hobbit project and did two years of pre-production. Jackson came in reluctantly after Del Toro left and had to start filming without adequate preparation. Watching a happy kid abuse your credit card can be fun (see The Blues Brothers); watching a kid max out your card when he isn't even enjoying it produces the horrible slog that was the first Hobbit movie. I hated it so much I never watched the other two.

I really think The Beatles project will be much better.
 

cruddola

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I never tried to read the Lord of the Rings books because I knew I’d never be able to finish them. Saw the movies in the theaters and that was difficult in itself. For some reason my ex and I bought the DVDs. Why?!? There is no way I would have enough patience to sit and watch 3+ hours (or at least it seemed like it) of battle scenes where some mythical creatures battled other mythical creatures for the 17th time.

I like most of the Beatles stuff but probably won’t watch the new documentary.
I was never able to sit through the whole football game when I was in the high school marching band. Let alone sit at a 3-hour movie session. Right after half-time on home games I was gone! But I never had a problem playing a six-hour (with two 15-minute break every two hours) gig!
 

tbird8450

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Guillermo Del Toro was hired to direct the Hobbit project and did two years of pre-production. Jackson came in reluctantly after Del Toro left and had to start filming without adequate preparation. Watching a happy kid abuse your credit card can be fun (see The Blues Brothers); watching a kid max out your card when he isn't even enjoying it produces the horrible slog that was the first Hobbit movie. I hated it so much I never watched the other two.

I really think The Beatles project will be much better.
Yes, Jackson was indeed thrust into things at a late point and had to piece together a path forward without adequate time to prepare. But that doesn't mean he didn't fully invest himself passionately into the project and make it his own. He claims (admits?) that making it into three films was his call, and not a studio cash grab. What we ended up with was a kid going nuts with his no-limit credit card and a relatively slim childrens' book absurdely stretched into 10 hours.

But I do agree that the Beatles film could be excellent. Afterall, he doesn't need to shoehorn in any female characters that annoy everyone like he did in TLotR and The Hobbit - Yoko's already there. :-D
 

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I was pretty Bored of The Rings by the time Mr. Jackson was finished ruining it.

Let us hope that he does not get too carried away with the CGI, otherwise we will end up a 175 foot tall Ringo as a dwarf made of molten gold or a three hour version of Hey Jude.
In high school, after reading TLOTR trilogy I read "Bored of the Rings" from Harvard Lampoon.
 

dcrigger

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He was responding to the comment by Squirrel Man about it being ruined by Hollywood taking creative license.
My apologies to Chris for the mis-understanding. Coming a great degree from my having seeing not seeing Jackson as an A list Hollywood director -I just don't see how him being from and even based in New Zealand changes the fact that he again, an A list Hollywood director. I think lots of "Hollywood" movies are made by folks other than directors that are based in Hollywood - I would venture that the lion's share of "Hollywood" movies aren't made in Southern CA at all.

As for Jackson, I've been a fan since his first big budget Hollywood time - The Frighteners. Loved Lord of The Rings - mind boggling accomplishment in film making. I felt it suffered horribly from the editing demanded for the theatrical release. After watching the full length DVD versions, I would never recommend that no one ever watch the theatrical versions again.

Personally found the Hobbit movies pretty close to unwatchable.

But anyway - yes I would certainly look forward to watching what he comes up with regarding the Beatles.
 

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So only a British director would be qualified to make a Beatles doc??? Please tell me you're kidding? Or is VB's cynicism just that contagious?
I was replying to the comment made that it was a Hollywood project and therefore guaranteed to be overblown.
 

Whitten

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My apologies to Chris for the mis-understanding. Coming a great degree from my having seeing not seeing Jackson as an A list Hollywood director -I just don't see how him being from and even based in New Zealand changes the fact that he again, an A list Hollywood director.
It wasn't meant to be a super serious comment that I made. BUT, I have absolutely no doubt McCartney and Jackson got together on this privately.
How a super skilled director of non-American heritage could examine hours of previously unseen Beatles footage and come up with a Hollywood fantasy I'm not quite sure. Who knows how it's going to turn out, but I'm open minded rather than Hollywood cynical.
 

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Personally found the Hobbit movies pretty close to unwatchable.
Rather famously Peter Jackson trawled through hours and hours of World War 1 footage and made a documentary film called 'They Shall Not Grow Old' (2018). I'm not sure how it turned out, I didn't see it. Di he turn WW1 into Hollywood glamour? I doubt it.
 

dcrigger

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It wasn't meant to be a super serious comment that I made. BUT, I have absolutely no doubt McCartney and Jackson got together on this privately.
How a super skilled director of non-American heritage could examine hours of previously unseen Beatles footage and come up with a Hollywood fantasy I'm not quite sure. Who knows how it's going to turn out, but I'm open minded rather than Hollywood cynical.
I'm with you 100% on all of that.

And am not even remotely cynical of Hollywood - many of the greatest films of all time (IMO) have been produced by Hollywood. And many not so good - but junk is made everywhere. Hollywood has no corner on that market.

But needless to say - there have very few Hollywood musical bio pics that have hit the mark of being at all satisfying for anyone that knows anything about music. But for me, a few have... Amadeus and Rocketman come to mind.

And actually IMO, I don't see how a director of any heritage could/would create a "Hollywood fantasy" film out of unseen real life footage seems patently absurd. It's just not how "bio-pics" are made.

Again - I'm very much looking forward to seeing it.
 

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The best part of the LotR trilogy is that Jackson cut out all the fanciful, meandering, wonder-of-nature crap. He let the incredible views of New Zealand fill that need and instead focused on the story. The Hobbit trilogy was definitely a step down in quality and imagination, but it’s still a ton of fun. My wife and I watch the extended editions of each trilogy at least once a year.

I can’t wait for Get Back.
 

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I guess I didn’t realize there were 2 separate groups of movies. So there were the Lord of the Rings movies and then a separate set of Hobbit movies? If so, shows you how “plugged in” I am!
 

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Last word....
Having been on the inside to a small degree, there are pros and cons.
On the negative side - they say that every Beatles story has at least five versions, one for every member of the band and another from anyone else that was there as a witness, whether that's George Martin, Geoff Emerick, Mal Evans etc. McCartney has such power that it is hard to navigate a truly unbiased path through any Beatles narrative. I'm sure Paul and Peter Jackson were quite well advanced on this project before any outside financing (Disney?) was brought in.
On the plus side, from my personal experience, a lot of mythology has built up over the Fab Four, often negative, which I never felt was justified in the three plus years I witnessed many of the people at close quarters - I got to work with Paul, Linda, Emerick and Sir George during that time.
For example, it's commonly accepted that the late album period of The Beatles was dominated by bad tempers, constant bickering and dark moods. However, I think Jackson has already said, going through the raw footage, he was surprised at how good humoured the band were and how each studio day was filled with laughter and constructive working.
 

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It wasn't meant to be a super serious comment that I made. BUT, I have absolutely no doubt McCartney and Jackson got together on this privately.
How a super skilled director of non-American heritage could examine hours of previously unseen Beatles footage and come up with a Hollywood fantasy I'm not quite sure. Who knows how it's going to turn out, but I'm open minded rather than Hollywood cynical.
Iger’s underlings at Disney are gonna give Jackson notes. Jackson will make changes. Then more notes. And again and again…
 

XVIII Airborne

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I'm interested in very little that comes out of Hollywood because most of it is too "Hollywooded" up.

I didn't and won't see that movie about Queen that was out some years back. Saw bits and pieces of it - zero interest in Hollywood's version of stuff like this.

Since high school I've been a huge JRRTolkien fan. D&D geek, loved that genre. Read all his books many times over. When the movies came out me and my like-minded buddy and our wives went to see them on opening night. I was horrified at how badly those movies portrayed the actual story.

No thanks, Hollywood can keep it.
What I don’t understand about films like The Dirt and Bohemian Rhap. is that the actual band members serve as producers or consultants and they STILL get major things wrong. They were THERE and still times/circumstances are not accurate.
 

Vistalite Black

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What I don’t understand about films like The Dirt and Bohemian Rhap. is that the actual band members serve as producers or consultants and they STILL get major things wrong. They were THERE and still times/circumstances are not accurate.
It’s called “dramatization.” Ever read an actual history book? Boring!
 

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As someone that’s seen Let It Be, which was an exceedingly dark and sad film I can’t wait for this. Apparently there’s a very different story to be told here.
 

michaelg

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I'll get some flak from the fanboys for saying this but IMHO the lord of the rings books are highly overrated and consequently so are the movies. yawn yawn I hope the hobbits will die soon :)

Looking forward to the Beatles film and lets hope Peter Jackson has learned how to edit.
 
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Jay-Dee

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Last word....
Having been on the inside to a small degree, there are pros and cons.
On the negative side - they say that every Beatles story has at least five versions, one for every member of the band and another from anyone else that was there as a witness, whether that's George Martin, Geoff Emerick, Mal Evans etc. McCartney has such power that it is hard to navigate a truly unbiased path through any Beatles narrative. I'm sure Paul and Peter Jackson were quite well advanced on this project before any outside financing (Disney?) was brought in.
On the plus side, from my personal experience, a lot of mythology has built up over the Fab Four, often negative, which I never felt was justified in the three plus years I witnessed many of the people at close quarters - I got to work with Paul, Linda, Emerick and Sir George during that time.
For example, it's commonly accepted that the late album period of The Beatles was dominated by bad tempers, constant bickering and dark moods. However, I think Jackson has already said, going through the raw footage, he was surprised at how good humoured the band were and how each studio day was filled with laughter and constructive working.
It's an unfortunate part of human nature that many of them, and particularly in the media (to sell newspapers/advertising I guess) like to misrepresent things in order to push a narrative, stir crap or create a perceived drama for no good reason. That happens to average Joes so for people as famous as The Beatles and/or former members and associates I have no doubt it would be magnified significantly.

Sure there probably would have been creative differences and some niggle here and there, but I would treat any reports of bad tempers, constant bickering etc with a degree of suspicion unless I saw it for myself or heard it from someone genuinely reliable. Knowing that you've been there in some capacity and seem like a straight shooter from your posts on here and interviews, I'm pretty comfortable that your take on things quoted above and Peter Jackson's would be far closer to the truth than many stories out there.
 


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