Breaking: ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ Reboots Coming in 2012, 2013

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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43 Responses

  1. Ryan B says:

    This is bloody excellent.Report

  2. DensityDuck says:

    I’m reminded of the “LOTR Novelisations” joke that popped up about when FotR hit theaters.Report

  3. RTod says:

    In a related story, omnipresent Creator of All Things and long time publishing icon God has announced his plan to reboot The Old Testament.

    “I know a lot of people grew up on the stories in this Book and love it dearly,” God said through publicists on Wednesday, “but our audience should rest assured that we am working hard to make sure that the core message and spirit of the original Old Testament shine through just as hard in our reboot.”

    Publicists went on to talk about God’s plan for a slimmer, hipper version of the Bible that will appeal more to the coveted tween market. Theological bloggers are already speculating that lineages and laws will be greatly pared down, and the website gawker has reported sources saying that the new book will have 3D interactive commandments, and will focus more on the rom-com aspects of the David & Bathsheba storyline.

    The reboot is scheduled to be available in early 2015.Report

  4. Mike Schilling says:

    The Harry Potter guys must be kicking themselves. If they hadn’t foolishly finished the series, They could have redone all seven books as movie trilogies.Report

  5. FridayNext says:

    But will there be any dark skinned Hobbits?Report

  6. Rufus F. says:

    It’s all funny stuff but I keep thinking when did cinema die as an art form? Was it in the 90s? I didn’t even know it was sick, and then one day I looked and it was like a shark that’s stopped moving forward.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Rufus F. says:

      I see dozens of great movies every year. Including some that are summer blockbusters.Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Seriously? You see dozens of great movies every year? I don’t mean just like highly entertaining, well-made movies that are fun to watch. Yes, they still make plenty of those and I still watch them. I mean stuff like Vertigo or Persona- legitimate works of art that will stand the test of time; how many of those do you really think get released every year? Dozens? I mean, maybe one or two a year I could see. I think the Cohen brothers have made a few truly great films that will stand the test of time. But dozens every year, including summer blockbusters? I don’t see it.Report

    • RTod in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Ironically, I think it might have happened when the released Jaws 3.Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to RTod says:

        See, I think it started with Jaws. Look at the movies released in the 70s by year on IMDB. There are years there where you have five or more legitimate masterpieces released. Now, look at the movies for the 1980s. I can think of three truly great films in that entire decade. I don’t mean movies that I love. There are plenty of those in the 80s. I mean movies that I would hold up and say “This belongs in a canon of great works of cinematic art”. But I remember Pauline Kael saying that the kiddie matinee was taking over the movies back in those years and you really can see that happening if you look at the list of 80s movies. Almost all of them are disposable.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Totally disagree, Rufus. I think plenty of film still qualifies as art. Even some television. Perhaps more than ever.Report

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        Yeah. Hell, throw in television and we’re in a Golden Age of fiction on a screen.

        But, I guess this is a semantics thing. Do I see dozens of all-time classics every year? No. But, every year, the top ten percent of films stack up well against the top ten percent of film from 1975, 1984, or 1959. I don’t watch foreign film, but just the availability of more foreign films compared to the 70’s thanks to DVD’s, Netflix, and the Internet is a positive.

        Entertainment in the form of over-the-top blockbusters has always existed and have always been popular. There is no past times when everybody went to serious ‘film.’ Before comic book movies, it was action movies. Before action movies, it was diaster movies. Before disaster movies, it was musicals. Before musicals, it was war pictures and so on.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

          Movies used to be a director’s medium and has become an executive producer’s medium. TV is a writer’s medium — the Davids (Simon, Chase, Milch), Vince Gilligan, Matthew Weiner, etc.Report

        • Rufus F. in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

          But television isn’t movies. I would totally agree that this is a golden age for television, especially cable television. In fact, a lot of people are saying that television now is what movies used to be in the 70s. But that doesn’t mean we can say cinema is doing great because television is doing great.

          I mean, okay, I’m not saying the movies today are terrible and there are a handful that even pass the pie and coffee test (two hours later, you’re still discussing them over pie and coffee), but it’s simply not comparable. Let’s take the year I was born (1974). In that year, we have:
          1. Godfather 2,
          2. Chinatown,
          3. The Conversation
          4. The Night Porter
          5. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
          6. A Woman Under the Influence
          7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
          8. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
          Oh, and: The Parallax View, The Taking of Pelham 123, Gone in 60 Seconds, the Odessa File, Blazing Saddles, Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and The Sugarland Express. I mean, that’s a strong year. Now, please, someone here tell me the 15 movies released this year that put those films to shame. Or, at least, the two or three 2011 movies that can go toe to toe with movies like The Godfather, or Taxi Driver, or the Deer Hunter.

          Actually Paul Schrader made the same point recently. He basically asked why it is that you had almost two decades in which you had a movie as good as The Social Network released every few weeks and now we’re lucky if we get one or two a year. So, far, I’ve seen most of the films that have come out this year and one (The Tree of Life) has passed the coffee and pie test for me. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll be like having There Will be Blood and No Country for Old Men released in the same year (which made me so friggin happy), but I don’t know how likely that is. Most likely we’ll have twenty sequels, remakes, and comic book movies, and three dreary ugly-looking indie movies released around awards time.

          The deciding factor, it seems to me in looking at those years on IMDB, is that they really used to release a lot of movies that were just aimed at adults and that’s changed. They definitely make intelligent, provocative and challenging works of drama for adults on cable channels like HBO, but in cinema the money just isn’t there like it used to be.Report

          • Ryan B in reply to Rufus F. says:

            At the risk of being totally boring, I’d say it’s just cyclical. Eventually this will end and we’ll get another great era of cinema and everyone will wonder why music sucks. Or something.Report

            • Rufus F. in reply to Ryan B says:

              Ryan, I think it’s economic. What got me thinking about this was talking to a relative of ours who works as a cinematographer on some pretty big name movies and listening to his frustration with the industry. He says it’s nearly impossible now to do a challenging movie for adults unless you can make it for peanuts. All the money is going to the franchises, one of which has hired him for four films in a row- none of which he seems very proud of doing.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Ryan B says:

              There is a vicious cycle in that more teenagers go to the movies so more movies are made for teenagers so more teenagers go to the movies and so on…

              But stuff that you used to have to go to the movies for is now possible on television when, used to, it wasn’t.

              If you wanted to shoot your antagonist in the head at the end of a long story arc and show all of the associated splat, you pretty much *HAD* to do a movie. There was nowhere else to go to show your artistic vision.

              If you wanted to show spousal abuse (think Raging Bull), you couldn’t do that *ANYWHERE* but film in 1980.

              Now? It’s possible to tell pretty much any story you want, with as much violence as you want, with as many hooters as you want, and the budget for producing 13 hours worth of this is *LOWER* than the price of producing 105 minutes’ worth of stuff that only teenagers are interested in seeing.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Rufus F. says:

            Late 2007 was an amazing explosion of noir: No Country, There Will be Blood, Michael Clayton, Gone Baby Gone, 3:10 To Yuma, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. That was the last time I went out to see movies regularly,Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        More television than ever qualifies. Less movies than the 70s. Probably more than the 80s.Report

        • Rufus F. in reply to Rufus F. says:

          Okay, but you asked about 1975, and in that year we had:
          1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
          2. Dog Day Afternoon
          3. Barry Lyndon
          4. Tommy
          5. Picnic at Hanging Rock
          6. The Passenger
          7. Nashville

          And also: White Line Fever, Cooley High, Jaws, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Shampoo, Stepford Wives, and A Boy and His Dog.

          But, for the record, I do think movies are probably better than they have been in the last two decades, simply because there a directors who are coming into their own now who were just starting out then.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Rufus F. says:

          I think the “silver age” of TV is passed. TV had a boom in the 1990’s with shows like ER, The X Files, Homicide, and a bunch of others I can’t think of off the top of my head. Then the strong cable shows of the last 10 years came along. But today? There aren’t many of those great shows left.Report

          • E.D. Kain in reply to Pinky says:

            I don’t know…there’s wonderful shows on HBO. There’s Parks and Recreation, The Office. Lost just ended. Modern Family is hilarious. I’ve heard really good things about a number of other shows I don’t watch. I’m sure more good new shows will emerge soon enough.Report

          • North in reply to Pinky says:

            HBO has been on fire lately.Report

          • RTod in reply to Pinky says:

            I think you have to take into account the quality of the best shows. I think of the shows I have watched over the past few years: Lost, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Friday Night Lights, Arrested Development, Dexter, The Wire, Venture Bros., Walking Dead… Almost any of these is head and shoulders above anything from other eras in terms of writing, directing and originality.

            Even shows I consider second or third tier from recent years, like Deadwood, Galactaca or 6 Feet under were better than a lot of quality shows of other eras.

            (I might be tempted to say for my own taste X-Files still beats them all, had they ended that series years earlier than they did.)Report

            • Jaybird in reply to RTod says:

              Dude. I could do a series of essays on The Black Oil storyline.Report

              • RTod in reply to Jaybird says:

                I knew deep down that the series had jumped it’s shark long before I could admit as much, such was my love for XF. I even remember the moment it finally hit me the show was dead:

                It was an episode where they go into a computer game to battle a Lara Croft porn star with guns, and it hit me as I was watching the drivel posing as dialogue that the only reason they had written the episode was to get a hot actress in skimpy sexy clothes on the set. That’s when I knew it had been over for a while.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to RTod says:

                Thank goodness for Millennium.Report

              • RTod in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yeah. One great series left to whither over time, another killed just as it was getting uber-awesome.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

            Yeah, but a lot of the shows you’re mentioning aren’t on the air anymore. I know that Game of Thrones and Mad Men are getting good buzz, but I didn’t think they were comparable to the best shows of 5 years ago: Lost, The Wire, the early seasons of The Office, The Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica, et cetera.Report

  7. Katherine says:


    It seems like just making more Spider-Man movies and not worrying about tight continuity (most people who went to see the movie wouldn’t notice) would make more sense than re-doing the origin story.Report

  8. Ryan says:

    Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Marvel wanted to re-start the Spider-Man movies to bring them into their burgeoning movie continuity, something they seem to have decided to create after the first Spider-Man movie came out.

    It does seem a bit recent for that kind of thing, but it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard either.Report