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Saruman Completely Cut from 'Return of the King' 979

Posted by timothy
from the still-ticked-at-trilogy-ticket-snafu dept.
Dolemite_the_Wiz writes "Multiple News Sources report that Christopher Lee's Character Saruman will not appear in the LOTR: ROTK at all. From what I've been reading, the scenes total seven minutes and is a vital component of the whole storyline that the 'masses' should see in the theatrical cut of ROTK. Of course these scenes will be included in the DVD 'Special Edition' of ROTK. I've got tremendous faith in Peter Jackson's talents as a filmmaker. I've been a fan since his first movie but haven't read the LOTR trilogy books...yet. (I'm waiting for ROTK to hit the theaters) Given the fact that I haven't read the books but am a huge movie snob, how can you not have any sort of resolution of a character that has played a key component in the three movies? Articles on this story can be found at BBC, Christopher Lee Web, and theonering.net."
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Saruman Completely Cut from 'Return of the King'

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  • Snob???? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:04PM (#7458601)
    Given the fact that I haven't read the books but am a huge movie snob,

    Well, I am a reading snob who can't fathom how someone who doesn't like to read can qualify as a snob of any sort. The books have been out for 50 years, fucktard! How 'bout I whap you upside the head with a clue-by-four just like you deserve?
  • by freeweed (309734) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:07PM (#7458633)
    how can you not have any sort of resolution of a character that has played a key component in the three movies?

    I'd say he was only been a key compnent in two movies, now :)
  • Is it just me... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770)
    ..or does it almost sound as a setup so the fans "must have" the Special Edition? I got the SE of the first, was hidiously expensive, but well... I had to have it. Stayed away from the 2nd SE, we'll see about the third when I've seen the (cut) movie...

    Kjella
    • by Brandybuck (704397)
      Stayed away from the 2nd SE

      That's not too difficult to do, since it's not even out yet!
    • ..or does it almost sound as a setup so the fans "must have" the Special Edition?

      Yes, it's just you. The "fans" will buy every special edition anyway... that's why they are called fans. They are fanatical.

      I got the SE of the first, was hidiously expensive

      Hideously expensive? It was around $25 - $30 for a 4 DVD special edition that included, among many other things, THIRTY MINUTES of new footage.

      A typical blockbuster DVD costs $20, so for $5 to $10 more, you got an awesome SE, and it was "hideously e
    • Re:Is it just me... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Malc (1751)
      Hideously expensive? The SE last year cost me CAD$35 + taxes (USD$25 at the time). I've pre-ordered it this year, and it was about CAD$41 incl. taxes and shipping (USD$31 at current exchange rate).
    • ...until I have seen the movie (and the special edition DVD, I suppose). Turning a book into a movie is hard in most cases, and the LOTR is a challenge indeed. I think Jackson's interpretation of the book is quite good so far, both in the cinema version and the extended version, which (for once) did actually add something worth watching, without short-changing those who only went to see the regular version.

      You could say that they're holding out on us in the cinema version in order to sell us the specia
  • by Megor1 (621918) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:07PM (#7458640) Homepage
    Book 6 (Second half of ROTK) would be difficult for the movie, as it's after the climax. I will be very happy to see that part covered a bit more in the extended edition DVD.
    • by Alienation Capitalis (723733) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @09:40PM (#7460633)
      The problem with these movies is that while they do a good job of captuing all the action and adventure of the books, they have sacrificed the greater underlying epic themes. This is the end of the third age, the Elves have finally decided to abandon the world they share with the other races. The greatest of the Elvish powers are destroyed with the one ring, and with that they loose their havens of Lothlorien and rivendell.

      The greatness of the men of Numenor which was gained from association with the elves of the Blessed Relm (Noldor etc.) is fading, and Aragorn is just a distant echo of how great they were. Soon all in Middle Earth will loose its direct associations the Blessed Relm.

      This massive change is underlying all that is going on, giving a bitter-sweet taste of loss to the story. The scouring of the Shire is central to this. The Hobbits must learn to stand without the protection of the Valor and those who undertake their works. Every thing Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin go through leads to this point. They return from death and fire with the maturity to save themselves without help from those wiser and greater.

      To leave the scouring of the shire out of the movies, while logical from a film making standpoint (expecially given how the films have to the story to this point) is a tragic ommission, and really amplifies the sacrafices that have been made to the story in order to make the movies. While I personally enjoyed the movies I could not help but cringe when Aragorn behaves like a thug towards Frodo when meeting him, when Arwen replaces Glorfindel at the river, when Gandalf hugs Frodo or when Faramir takes Frodo out of his caves as a prisoner.

      And what the hell were those elves doing at helm's Deep??

      The BBC radio play does a much better job of telling the story. Check it out some time.

    • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @02:19AM (#7461988) Homepage
      I can understand that if you leave out the scouring of the shire, then you also cut out Saruman's part entirely from Return of the King, and that there wasn't time to cover that part. What bothers me about this more is that you never really see that Saruman is defeated in the TT movie (although I haven't seen the extended release of TT yet, so maybe it was in there) After Isengard is flooded and Ent'ed to smithereens, there's still the part where the group parleys with Saruman (and the audience learns of his smoothtalking skills, and, more importantly plot wise, the palantir is dropped and Sauron sees "a hobbit" in it, and is thusly decieved about the ring's whereabouts. It's the cutting of THIS instance of Sauruman that I am most annoyed at. It shows that he is truly defeated, even if they do leave him stuck locked up in the tower and can't get to him - and it would have been a chance to hear Christopher Lee play the smooth-talking "reasonable" evil guy, which would have really rocked.

      At the end if TT, I just assumed that the reason we hadn't seen that part yet was the same reason we didn't see Shelob - it was pushed forward into the third movie. Now that I see it won't be, I'm a bit confused by Peter Jackson's decision (as confused as I was by his addition of Faramir taking a long time to change his mind and let Frodo go, dragging him all the way to Osgiloth in the process - That didn't add anything to the story and there's no reason to ADD material to the story when it's already impossible to fit everything in and stuff is being cut all over the place. Those were valuable minutes of footage to fit under the 3 hour cap - minutes that could have been spent on something plot related, like the cut Saruman scenes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:07PM (#7458641)
    That you haven't read Lord of the Rings, I demand you get off Slashdot now. Next you'll be saying "Star Trek? What's that?"
    • Next you'll be saying "Star Trek? What's that?"

      I recently took a programming class at NYU. The class was pretty evenly divided between older and younger students. By some strange roundabout of discussion the topic of Star Trek came up. Of the several people who were under 20 not a single one had ANY idea what the fuck we were talking about. They were all like "Star Trek? What's that?" I was literally astounded, simply blown away by that.
  • Sign the petition (Score:2, Informative)

    by baximus (552800)
    If you want Lee's character back, SIGN THE PETITION! [petitiononline.com]
  • No Sharky, eh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jazman_777 (44742)
    How does the end make sense without Sharky? Only in Hollywood-world.
  • The fact that he now appears to belive his own bullshit regarding The lord of the Rings means that he has lost the Tao and gained some hubris.

    Remeber that he made a movie about not beliving your own bullshit called "Heavenly Creatures" which makes it not the least bit ironic.
  • by EmCeeHawking (720424) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:09PM (#7458660)
    . . . SCO threatened to sue New Line Cinema over unlicensed depictions of their proprietary method of using evil to dominate the world.
  • that'd be like cutting Eomer or whatever that Rohan chick's name is! a "minor" character that is totally important. Saruman only is half way responsible for the war, and invades the shire! let me guess? they'll leave out how Frodo &c have to liberate the shire from "sharkey" and his goons like Bill Farney? God damned Hollywood sucks.
  • by isomeme (177414) <cdberry@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:09PM (#7458669) Homepage Journal
    I think this stinks, too, but I can see where it might make sense to drop Saruman for this movie if the only other choice was to drop something else. After all, once his army is defeated at Helm's Deep and his factories are trashed by the Ents, he's pretty much out of the picture as a major player in the war. Resolution (as Tolkien wrote it) would be nice, but I can't say this is an especially heinous cut.
    • Well, I would see a lot of merit in what you say, except that Peter Jackson, in the second film, injected a lot of really dumb, really boring bull that wasn't in the book at the expense of the better material. I'm not saying this on purist grounds that it needs to be word for word perfect adaptation of the book, for instance I thought they made completley the right move by ditching Tom Bombadil. But when good material that people would like is cut for a bunch of standard romance novel calibre scenes involvi
    • by raider_red (156642) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:18PM (#7458783) Journal
      When I first read the headline, my dislexia kicked in and I thought they said that Sauron had been cut from the third movie. My first thought was that he was being replaced by a little white rabbit with very sharp teeth.

      • by Altima(BoB) (602987) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:28PM (#7458927)
        "That's no ordinary Dark Lord! It's a viscious eyeball Dark Lord with big pointy teeth..."

        And upon Gandalf's return, he shall introduce himself as "Tim."

        Gandalf: "You shall not pass! Until you answer me these questions three, what is your name?"
        Balrog: "I am a demon of the old gods, the balrog."
        Gandalf: "What is your quest?"
        Balrog: "I seek to crush your fellowship and burn them.
        Gandalf: "What is your favorite color?"
        Balrog: "Flame orange! No, blue - AAAEEEIIIII!!!!!!"

        There are lots of possibilities, I could go on but then I'd just drive it into the ground.
  • by Hi_2k (567317) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:09PM (#7458673) Journal
    Now this is a clever marketing ploy. Sure, you can go see the third episode of your (##th?) favorite trilogy, but its missing an important part... But you can buy the DVD with the parts re-added for only $19.99!

    This way, they capitalize off the plebs who hear that the lord of the rings is a good story and capitilize even more off the geeks who love the story already and want despratley to see a film version. Pity the Beatles version never panned out...
    • by eamonman (567383) <eamonman2@h[ ]ail.com ['otm' in gap]> on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:31PM (#7458971) Journal
      Oh well, I'm going to be a little pleb and buy the Super-Hyper-Extended-Platinum-Zero-Limited Edition LOTR 15 Disc Box Set when it comes out and pay whatever they want me to pay. Sure, you could buy all the other versions and little parts of the whole, but I think it's best if you just wait and get everything in one massive, matching box set that injures your mailman.
    • Uh, drop the conspiracy, K? Use Occam's Razor for chrissakes. It's unnecessary to con anybody into buying the DVD..."Geeks" are going to buy the movie on DVD no matter what. Since the release on the first movie, I've bought tickets to 5 showings (2 of FotR, 3 of TT) and bought three DVDs, soon to be 4. I haven't felt ripped off in the least...I bought this shit because *I* loved it and *I* got sucked into it and *I* enjoyed every minute of it.

      The last two Matrix films? Marketting ploy. Star Wars...no
  • Jackson (Score:5, Informative)

    by cowsgomoo666 (663881) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:10PM (#7458681)
    Jackson has said that Lee's parts were cut from the 3rd film because they should really be part of the 2nd, but he didn't want to start off with wrapping up the 2nd movie. They wanted to start off fresh. See: http://www.darkhorizons.com/news03/031110.htm
  • I've been a fan since his first movie but haven't read the LOTR trilogy books...yet.

    Slashdot must be excepting atricles from 8 year olds :-).

    I have to say 8, because my neighbor's 9 year old has been trudging through the books this summer. She's finishing the third (well, 5 & 6 :-) right now.
  • Sources (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jon Abbott (723) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:11PM (#7458688) Homepage
    Multiple News Sources report that Christopher Lee's Character Saurman will not appear in the LOTR: ROTK at all.
    Would one of these "multiple sources" be the latest movie leak on Kazaa? :^)
  • You media-consuming whores!

    I'm just waiting for the triple-plus-good DVD set with the holographic trading cards, graphic novel of the Similarion, a lock of Elijiah's hair and the Hobbit Digi-Pet keychain.

    So empty inside.

  • by Gyan (6853) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:11PM (#7458692)
    Here's Peter Jackson's take [theonering.net] on it
  • by devphil (51341) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:12PM (#7458697) Homepage


    The article links are already /.ed to hell and back, but this doesn't really strike me as a surprise. (book spolier) Normally, Saruman gets kicked out of Isengard, then travels northwest to make life miserable for the Shire, which the hobbits then have to scour on their own.

    Since the scouring was never going to be in the movie, there's not much point to kicking Saruman out... what's he going to do? Where's he going to go? They'd have to use more screen time to explain it. I'm vaguely interested in those seven minutes (of course I'll be viewing the DVD anyhow), but it doesn't completely rewrite the story; Saruman wasn't a major player in the final volume to start with.

    There is just one thing... I wonder how they're going to get the palantir out of Isengard? (spoiler) That plays a major role in drawing Sauron out too early. Maybe they just skip the palantir and IM him instead.

    • No. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Angram (517383) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:34PM (#7458993)
      "Saruman wasn't a major player in the final volume to start with."

      I have to disagree with you there. In my opinion, the Scouring of the Shire is the most important part of the entire trilogy. The rest is pretty much just a standard action/adventure story - it's the end that makes it special. The final desperation that leaves you gasping for air - the story was over, the ending happy, and all of a sudden the greatest trajedy of all (for the hobbits) is revealed.
      • Re:No. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wmshub (25291)
        "The rest is pretty much just a standard action/adventure story - it's the end that makes it special."

        You say then, then act surprised that the scouring is left out? Let's face it, what works in a book isn't always exactly what works in a movie. As Jackson commented, there are pacing issues that are different for each medium. The scouring of the shire is semi-comic, where the brave hobbits come back to the shire and make mincemeant of all those nastly little half-orcs and their big boss Sharky. In the boo
    • They already made a big deal of the palantir in FotR and TTT, so I think they can give the audience some credit and let them assume that our heroes already dispensed of Sauraman and looted his tower between the two films.

      Also, a lot of people have been complaining that Sam foresaw the scouring of the Shire in his mirror...well, I think it was strongly implied in the movie that the Mirror was showing him the future if they failed in their quest. IIRC, Galadriel says something like "the future is not yet se
  • Well, it won't be for time reasons. They've proven that already!

    It won't be for budget reasons - they've already made it!

    I can't believe it's for artistic/plot reasons, it is in the book...

    So, it's because then we'll all buy the SE DVD, and they'll make more money.

    Oh. That's a surprise.

    Sheesh.

    Simon.
  • by JayBlalock (635935) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:12PM (#7458700)
    This article at Ain't It Cool [aint-it-cool-news.com] is where Jackson talks about it, which I'll go on mirror here since AICN's servers have been so touchy lately: (an e-mail from PJ to Harry Knowles)

    Saruman thing you describe is a muddle of half-truths.

    We have decided to save the Saruman sequence for the DVD. It's a great little scene. 7 mins long. Chris is wonderful, as usual. Brad is in about 6 shots. It was a film maker decision - nothing to do with the studio.

    The problem is that the sequence was originally shot for The Two Towers, as it is in the book. Since The Two Towers couldn't sustain a 7 min "wrap" after Helm's Deep, we thought it would be a good idea to save it for the beginning of the Return of the King. The trouble is, when we viewed various ROTK cuts over the last few weeks, it feels like the first scenes are wrapping last year's movie, instead of starting the new one. We felt it got ROTK off to an uncertain beginning, since Saruman plays no role in the events of ROTK (we don't have the Scouring later, as the book does), yet we dwell in Isengard for quite a long time before our new story kicks off.

    We reluctantly made the decision to save this sequence for the DVD. The choice was made on the basis that most people will assume that Saruman was vanquished by the Helm's Deep events, and Ent attack. We can now crack straight into setting up the narrative tension of ROTK, which features Sauron as the villian.

    It was a very similar situation to last year when we decided to take a nice Boromir/Denethor flashback out of The Two Towers, and put it in the DVD. It was causing us pacing problems in the theatrical version, but with the Extended Cut just coming out now, fans can see this great little scene. Thank God for DVD, since it does mean that a version of the movie, which has different pacing requirements, can be released later. The Saruman sequence will definately be a highlight of the Extended ROTK DVD.

    We have a lot of great DVD material this time around. As we crafted the movie, we reduced it from an over 4 hour running time, down to 3.12 (without credits - about 8 mins long). This was done by us. There were no studio cutting notes. We now have a movie with a pace that fells ok for it's theatrical release. One more week to go. We are nearly there. Will we still be standing? It's going to be a close run thing.

    Cheers,

    Peter J

    As he describes it, it definately sounds like just One of Those Things that happens when you're adapting books to film.

  • can anyone say:

    The Lord of the Rings: Revolutions.

    ?
  • It was like how they cut Tom Bombadil out of the first one, or the Weirding Modules out of Dune. This is crucial stuff, people!
    • by mfago (514801)
      or the Weirding Modules out of Dune

      God DAMN it: there are NO "wierding modules" in any written version of Dune. They are just a David Lynch appeasement for the moronic masses.

      Sorry: hit a sore point. Those abominations, and the fuckin rain at the end of Lynch's version ruined an otherwise fantastic movie.
  • on the BBC (radio 4, Midweek, 5 Nov 2003, I think) in which he told the interviewer he had an absolutely crucial scene in the final episode - he seemed to believe it was going to be in the film, I'm sure !
  • by OzPhIsH (560038)
    One director to ruin it all, one director to.....
    Ack I can't think of a good finish. I just wanted to get this joke out of the way early. In typical Slashdot fashion, I anticipate 10 more like it in 5..4..3.....
  • by psiphiorg (566033) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:15PM (#7458744) Homepage Journal

    To this viewer, the resolution was implied in The Two Towers: The Ents came smashing in, destroying everything around him, and during that battle, he met a squishy end. I didn't need to see it to understand what was going on; it was very fitting that he was destroyed by the Ents, when he had destroyed so much of the forest.

    Therefore, I was quite surprised when I first heard that Saruman was going to be in the third movie--that meant somehow he had escaped the poetic fate that seemed so obvious. And now that he's gone again, I don't see a problem with the removal of those scenes.

    davidh

  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:16PM (#7458751) Homepage
    To everyone currently bitching on /. :

    Everyone on /. was up in arms because Arwen replaced Glorfindel, prior to the release of the first movie (Myself included).

    Many had fits with a "last alliance of men and elves" at Helm's Deep.

    However, the movies have not dissapointed many, other than the die-hard fans.

    I will admit that I did not like FOTR after my first watch. Sections of TTT, such as the Warg attack bugged me, however, for those who have not read the books 16x like myself, I found my friends loved the movies.

    This is important because Jackson has captured the essence of the books, and the essence of what LOTR is about. Granted, he could have followed the books perfectly - but then only die-hard fans would enjoy it.

    Think about it - do you believe more or fewer people are reading the books now that the first 2 films are out?
    • by banzai75 (310300) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @07:00PM (#7459274)
      Think about it - do you believe more or fewer people are reading the books now that the first 2 films are out?

      I stopped reading after the elves never showed up at Helm's Deep. Who is the Tolkien guy and how dare he mess with a Peter Jackson classic film?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I have read LOTR in its entirety at least once every year for a quarter of a century now. I am not disappointed in anything Jackson has done. If there were an award for most faithful film adaptation of classic literature, he would definitely be in line for it. He's an exhaustively careful filmmaker. I can see his logic in getting rid of the Saruman scenes, as well, since they are really just a prelude into the Scouring, which is no longer there. Dramatically Tolkein was somewhat of an amateur, since hi
  • by Denver_80203 (570689) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:17PM (#7458766)
    bummer
  • by Soong (7225)
    Having just finished reading Return of the King, this is plausible. I think I can see how the can make a perfectly fine story of the ending without Saruman. The assumption could be that he was left to rot in his tower. There are still plenty of Heroes to smite plenty of Villains.

    In a way, taking Saruman out of the ending gives for a happier ending. He's a piece of the old evil. Making it seem as if that was thoroughly crushed at an earlier point makes the final victory more of a mopping up action than a co
  • Nonsense... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by herrvinny (698679) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:19PM (#7458794)
    Nonsense, you need Saruman. In my opinion, Saruman's importance is emphasized far more in the movie than in the book, but still, to keep the "masses" in line, you need to remind them of Saruman.

    At least now is the good part: Saruman's already been defeated, you can give some closure by showing Gandalf attempting to give Saruman his freedom, etc. And if you cut Saruman, how are they going to do the final scenes where the Shire is completely decimated (you can see a sneak peek of those when Frodo looks into the water with Galadriel; you can see Frodo, Sam, Merry, and the other hobbit chained up together and forced into a small cottage. Where else would that scene occur than the Shire? And they show Frodo's house, the hill, completely burned away). You need Saruman for those scenes as well. What are they going to do, have some Orcs handle it all by themselves? I don't care what race of Orcs they dream up - no Orc is cunning enough to take over the Shire. Are they going to completely erase the Shire portion? That would be madness indeed.

    I guess they're going to "feminize" the movie... After all, Return of the King does feature two marriages (Faramir - Eowyn, Arwen - Aragorn), three if you count Sam and that female hobbit - forgot her name, but you can look it up. All the females are going to love the movie if a quarter of it is just feasting and marriage, etc.

    Completely OT, I know, but in my opinion, Eowyn is much prettier than Arwen. Arwen really _flaunts_ it, if you know what I mean, but Eowyn has that "hidden power" stored up inside her - there's much more depth and power to her than Arwen, IMHO
    • by Stormie (708) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:36PM (#7459016) Homepage

      Are they going to completely erase the Shire portion? That would be madness indeed.

      Yes, they are going to completely erase the scouring of the Shire, as they have said in every goddamn interview for the last three goddamn years. Christ, Slashdot today is like the Young Ones. "Oh, have we got a video!?"

  • ... but Saruman is hardly in the books at all. Of course he is the driving force behind all the antagonists in the story, but he never strides out and speaks, except in the backstory of how the ring was lost. So not having him seen in the movie seems to be very minor. It even may be a Good Thing, keeping the character more as a "Force in the World", and less of a "Guy who just needs his ass whipped by our plucky band of Heroes".
  • In an email to Knowles, Peter Jackson specified that this was his call. He didn't want to start the third film by cleaning up after the second. He also reasoned that most filmgoers already assumed he died after the ent invasion.

    I understand and respect his choice, and I no doubt will still love watching Return of the King in the theater. However, I can't help think that perhaps he should have seen this comming and resolved Saruman's involvment at the end of the Two Towers. Oh well.

    Link to the Knowles Ema [aintitcoolnews.com]
    • Re:Peter's Choice (Score:3, Insightful)

      by El_Smack (267329)

      The thing I really liked in the books is how subtly most of the characters were treated, and how some things were Black and White. The Ring really was evil and you COULD NOT use it, or even hold on to it with out being corrupted by it. Gandalf wouldn't even touch it for fear of what it would do to him. No moral relativism there. And one of the crowningly brilliant monents of the book was when Saruman and Wormtounge were seen wandering the roads, defeated and powerless, bickering at one another. Hating
  • Saruman gets perhaps less than seven minutes of "screentime" in the book itself. Saruman is dealt with in a nearly self-contained story after the resolution of the war with Sauron. Nearly, because you can't understand the motives of some characters or the rather un-hobbity behavior of some particular hobbits without Lord of the Rings.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the entire story were cut out for time, and the flow of the movie. It was hinted at in Fellowship, but also dismissed, possibly as a test of des

  • by ayjay29 (144994) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:33PM (#7458981)

    I'm not too worried about Saruman being cut, it's the addition of this character [bbspot.com] that scares me.

  • by addie (470476) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:34PM (#7459005)
    I'm not sure what the big deal really is.

    Like most long-time LOTR fans, I'd love to see the resolution of Saruman. But the fact is, like most long-time LOTR fans, I'm going to buy the DVD special edition when it comes out. In my eyes, the extended versions of FOTR and TTT are the real cuts of the films, not the theatrical cuts. But for most who haven't read the books, the theatrical cuts will be just great!

    So this is only an issue to complain about in principal, not in practice. Those of us who actually CARE about the scene will get to see it as it was intended anyway.

    So relax. The movie will be good. What we should really be talking about is what Christopher Lee said on TV about the premier of ROTK, and whether he would attend given that he is cut out of the film: "No. What would be the point?" link [darkhorizons.com]. THAT is kind of sad, if you ask me.
  • by HardCase (14757) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:54PM (#7459221)
    Boycott the movie! That's right, show your displeasure by NOT GOING!


    That way I'll get the best seat...and I won't have to wait in line!


    -h-

  • DVD conspiracy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HonkyLips (654494) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @07:07PM (#7459352)
    I know this is Slashdot but the conspiracy theories about selling more DVDs are bullshit. Peter Jackson has nothing to gain from crippling his movie so that MAYBE more DVDs are sold. I doubt he sees any additional income based on DVD sales. As a professional editor I find his explanation of the way the Saruman scenes impact the narrative and structure of the 3rd film to make complete sense. As he says - Sauron is now the villain, not Saruman. Films of books are often worse than the books because they are different mediums with different requirments. In order for ROTK to be a great film - and probably the best 3rd in a series ever (no ewoks) - it's only reasonable that the Director makes sacrifices in terms of the original books to ensure the film is as good as it can be. Peter Jackson is not crippling his film in order to sell DVDs. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose. He is simply demonstrating his understanding of the feature film medium by adapting the original narrative for the screen. HonkyLips.
  • Unbearable Sadness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheBeginner (30987) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @07:13PM (#7459417)
    First, I'll apologize. I haven't read the rest of the comments, so this may well be redundant. Second, this is late in the commenting process for this and so I doubt anyone will read it. I'm writing for myself. I need to purge my sorrow.

    I don't follow LOTR news and so while it may have been common knowledge to most that the scourging of the shire was not part of the movie, I had no idea. I think it is an egregious error on the part of Peter Jackson to leave that key section of the book out. I realize that the movies are long and choices have to be made, but I think that it is the journey home and the scourging that helps the books transcend the greatest other fantasy novels. Needless to say, it is my favorite part of the books.

    I don't know how PJ will end the movies, and I am happy with the job he has done so far, but I just don't see how he can communicate the profound change that has come over the characters without the pivotal ending of the book. For those of you who have read the books, the denoumouet (forgive the spelling) is not short - it is a long and drawn out. I guess that is kind of irrelevant, I just think it shows that even Tolkien saw it is a key part of the series.

    Seeing how the hobbits, especially Frodo but also contrasting Merry and Pippin (Samwise seems fairly static), have changed...

    I can't put it into words. I can only say again that I am heart-broken. I'll see the movie, and I hope that PJ does not end it on a triumphant note. I doubt he will, but I don't think that any other ending could possibly communicate the bittersweet, broadening experience that the quest has been for all the hobbits - and in different ways for each. I'll just have to trust my idol and "wait and hope".
  • by ThisIsFred (705426) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @07:34PM (#7459634) Journal
    Multiple news sources just confirmed that Aragorn has been completely cut from `Return of the King'. Now, I have complete faith in Peter Jackson as filmmaker, and the 60 minutes of deleted footage will return in next year's RotK special edition DVD release. But, this does bring the theatrical release running time down to a more manageable 241 minutes. Rumour has it that the film contains 78 minutes of scenes not in the book involving Liv Tyler, some of which detail a surprising romantic relationship between the she-elf and Sauron. (Oops! Sorry about the spoiler!)
  • by jdifool (678774) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @10:10PM (#7460828) Homepage Journal
    Hi,

    the fact that Saruman has been cut is not a huge problem in itself, indeed. It worries me for the palantir which, I hope, will not fall from the golden sky.

    But actually this questions the whole process involved in making the trilogy. I am a die-hard fan, and I liked the Felllowship and the Two Towers.

    I found that Jackson added too much scenes, that, if they were designed to make the story more understandable and/or the characters cooler, proved to be useless. Let's consider it : first you have the Rohirrim knights slaughtering the Orcs that took away Merry and Pippin. If my memory is ok, I think that Tolkien gives it 4 lines. Jackson, on the other hand gives it at least 5 minutes. Second, we have the destruction of a Rohirrim village ; actually the tale of the little boy who has to leave his mother and then become a warrior to avenge her etc. is, say, sad (/?) but stupid. It takes 5 minutes (Go ! Go! my son Go!). Aragorn wounded after the battle against the vile goat-dog-dragon, saved by his horse, fainting in the setting sun. The death of the fat elven guy at the end, who has no importance but that of being the character that dies at the end. I'm sure I omitted some others, but let's say that it took something like 15-20 minutes. It is *plenty* of time to put other things instead.

    Nevertheless I liked the Two Towers. But less than the first one, for there was some very strong misunderstandings between the book and the movie.

    - Who *ever* said that Saruman was the vilain ? (I base my comment on the fact that Jackson said that in the ROTK, Sauron was now the vilain) Again if my memory is ok, it is always said, mainly by Gandalf, that Saruman is a pet in the Dark Lord's hands. That Saruman's armies are strenghten by His spirit. Well, in my opinion, it was a complete mistake to present Saruman as the first enemy ; Sauron then seems to be a challengeable partner. We shouldn't forget that he is one of the God's servants.

    -Who *ever* said that Gimli was a fucking asshole ? Who *ever* wrote that dwarves needed to be thrown ? This completely kills the Gimli character, and frankly, this is a shame. It relies on the very intuitive human cliche of the fantasy world, in which humans are warriors, elves are archers and clever, and dwarves are axemen and quite stupid beared creatures. I think Tolkien showed that he had much more sharpness in its way of considering the *main* character, and that it could have been underlined in the movie.

    For the Lord of the Rings (book) does not cater to intellectuals, and there was absolutely NO need to put some attractive but all the more boring sequences (I've seen the trailer of ROTK, and I was frightened by the scene between crying Eowyn and Aragorn : "No Eowyn, you're never going to see a king's dick").

    Cutting was Ok, but adding and shifting the overall sense of the story : no good.

    Regards,
    Jdif

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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