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Hollywood post Lord of the Rings

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  • Hollywood post Lord of the Rings

    Someone had mentioned that (after the success of LOTR) Hollywood may be in the market for more fantasy films.

    I've noticed something else. They don't seem to feel constrained by the hour and 40 minute time limit any more. Especially for this kind of audience, Peter Jackson seems to have blown things wide open. They seem to understand that we'll sit for more than 100 minutes to watch a faithful reproduction of the stories we hold dear. And will accept nothing less, BTW.

  • #2
    Is it not the case that Hollywood's post LOTR ardour for fantasy ahs already cooled considerably?

    Michael Moorock has already noted the embarassing failure of films like Chronicles Of Riddick and Van Helsing (admittedly neither very LOTR, but definitely "genre" and both Universal, if memory serves.

    And in the Swords and Sandals dept we have the debacles that were Troy, Alexander and King Arthur.

    Of those, the only ones I've seen are Van Helsing and King Arthur. Easily two of the worst I've ever sat through.

    Not that that matters most, in terms of getting an Elric movie made. What matters most is whether they made $$$.

    Does anyone know the score there?

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    • #3
      Troy $ 133,378,256 Gross
      The Chronicles of Riddick $ 57,761,012
      King Arthur $ 51,882,244
      Kingdom of Heaven $ 47,383,539
      Alexander $ 34,297,191
      Timeline $ 19,481,943
      Van Helsing $ 14,543,394

      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
      - Michael Moorcock

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GuyLawley
        Is it not the case that Hollywood's post LOTR ardour for fantasy ahs already cooled considerably?

        Michael Moorock has already noted the embarassing failure of films like Chronicles Of Riddick and Van Helsing (admittedly neither very LOTR, but definitely "genre" and both Universal, if memory serves.

        And in the Swords and Sandals dept we have the debacles that were Troy, Alexander and King Arthur.

        Of those, the only ones I've seen are Van Helsing and King Arthur. Easily two of the worst I've ever sat through.

        Not that that matters most, in terms of getting an Elric movie made. What matters most is whether they made $$$.

        Does anyone know the score there?
        Well, I can't speak for others but I loved Van Helsing. One of my favs.

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        • #5
          Troy was alright, Alexander was entertaining because of all the in jokes (and I mean, in jokes, you won't get them unless you've been living in Ireland your entire life for some and happen to know the right people in others). I quite liked King Athur though, if only because I got to shout "There's Seamus!" at the screen a few times.

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          • #6
            King Arthur was one of the worst films i've ever seen. I loved Excalibur and Nigel Terry IS Arthur.
            I've not seen Alexander yet, but my expectations aren't very high, but i liked Troy. I only liked one think about Van Helsing: Kate Beckinsale.

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            • #7
              To be honest, I think the studio got off lucky with Alexander - it was not only extremely badly acted (again - why do all the actors have obvious irish accents - even the actors who are NOT irish!?) but very tedious to sit through. So bad in fact, that the studio released a 'directors cut' version that is actually 'shorter' than the theatrical version - apparently to make the movie more exciting. Trying to salvage a turd if you ask me.

              Troy was tedious too - the only part I liked was the Hector / Achilles duel.
              Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

              Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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              • #8
                (again - why do all the actors have obvious irish accents - even the actors who are NOT irish!?)
                Toldja, you won't get it unless you've been living here at least as long as I have.

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                • #9
                  I haven't yet seen Alexander. Although I have rather low expectations I do intend to see it...eventually. Nor have I seen Kingdom of Heaven. I have slightly higher expectations ofthat than I do of Alexander, but I'm still not expecting anything earth-shattering.

                  King Arthur was quite possibly the worst "A" movie I've ever seen. I suppose it had its entertaining aspects (damned if I can remember what, if any). The biggest problem I had with it was that it couldn't decide if it wanted to present a historically based possibility of the source of the Arthur legend, or it is wanted to present a new spin on classic Arthur Mythology. It tried to do both, and failed in doing either.

                  I agree with Frank_Raskob for most part about Van Helsing...Kate Beckinsale was by far the best thing about it. However, I did find the Steam-Punk aspects of it representative of some degree of potential. Again, anything good about it was lost on me due to the siple plot and sheer predictability of the whole mess.

                  Tory left me with no opinion what-so-ever. I've seen it several times now, and I still have absolutely no opinion of it. It certainly didn't stimulate my emotions, and it left my brain feeling like I just took nap. I can best describe my impression (or lask thereof) as sheer mediocrity.

                  Chronicles of Riddik I found to be entertaining--if for no other reason than being able yell, "He made his Saving Throw!" at the end--but it fell far short of the potential character first presented in Pitch Black.

                  Timeline was good in my opinion. I must admit, though, that the most entertaining aspect of it was in trying to explain it to several of my friends after they saw and couldn't understand it. I guess reading Mike's work develops certain ways of thinking and looking at things that make works such as this easier to grasp.
                  "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                  --Thomas a Kempis

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                  • #10
                    None of those films are really what you would call fantasy in the LOTR
                    tradition. Riddick and Van Helsing are really action movies in fantasy/
                    horror clothing respectively. King Arthur might have an argument, but
                    it's from an ancient legend not a 20th century novel. The first true test
                    would appear to be the Narnia film.

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                    • #11
                      Troy was quite definatly one of the worst films I've seen in the last few years.

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                      • #12
                        I probably picked this snippet up from our very own movie section. There are also plans to film ERB's Princess of Mars with the guy who directed Sky Captain (a good choice of director for an ERB extravaganza imho):

                        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401729/

                        I think there's a big megabucks market for the translation of our fantasy faves to the big screen that Hollywood doesn't quite know how to tap into fully yet. I think the secret of success is not so much throwing big money or technology at a project but getting the right team of people behind it, chiefly perhaps a talented director with a genuine enthusiasm for the source material. Weve seen Conan and LotR on the big screen now, so the precedents have already been set on the big screen for the same reversals that Mike brought to the genre when the Elric stories were first written.

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                        • #13
                          I enjoyed Troy. Thought it was a reasonably faithful attempt at packing the story into a 2 1/2 hr framework. To be fair to the source material they'd really need a 12 part miniseries or somesuch to do proper justice to the full epic. Maybe what they should have done for the movie was focus in on the main drama towards the end of the war a la Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. They did play it more as a historical than a mythological though. No gods, and Achilles invulnerability was rationalised as sheer luck and agility. Once again, they'd have had more time to leave the mythology in if they'd have focused rather than tried to tell the whole epic in 2 1/2 hrs.

                          Riddick - good testosterone fuelled action adventure with a sci-fi twist and some nice cgi. I'm not familiar with the literature on which it's based or the previous movie so I can't really comment on that.

                          King Arthur - I enjoyed this too but from the outset I never thought of it as a King Arthur movie. I thought of it as a fanciful Romano-Celtic historical. It was based on the reasoning that Arthur was originally the leader of a band of Sarmatian cavalry stationed near Hadrians wall - a perfectly reasonable premise for a piece of speculative historical drama, but a very bad idea for a King Arthur movie. For me Arthur is folkore, legend and myth and trying to reduce him to his historical reality somehow seems to miss the point of what he subsequently came to represent. So as I watched it, I 're-framed' it as a speculative romano-celtic story, and at that level I could still enjoy it. Loved Keira Knightly as a wild and woaded Pictish warrior woman. If they ever need a female lead for Guinneth in a movie version of Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood, Keira gets my vote.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Grey Mouser
                            Loved Keira Knightly as a wild and woaded Pictish warrior woman. If they ever need a female lead for Guinneth in a movie version of Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood, Keira gets my vote.
                            Great observation, Mouser! I would never have thought of that, but she would be absolutely perfect in that role. Now if we can get someone to make that movie...

                            I like the new avatar, too :)

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                            • #15
                              It would make a great movie wouldn't it. It could probably be done on quite a modest budget too, although Ms Knightly's acting fees are probably quite considerable by now. :)

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