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C'mon Hollywood #231

11.24.2009

...more epic Fantasy films please!
by J.A. Hamilton

The Fantasy genre is an acquired taste to be sure, especially considering that most of this genreís endeavors have been hit and miss. THE LORD OF THE RINGS films were without a doubt Fantasy at its best, and exactly what the fans needed after depressing failures like DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and DRAGONHEART. ERAGON was a mixed bag for me; on the one hand I loved the premise as well as the slick visuals, but this was surely one of those examples where rolling the dice on unknown acting talent blew up in our faces. There were some decent actors in the film, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou and even Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich werenít that bad but Ed Speelers (Eragon) ruined it for everyone.

Where are my extended Blu-rays already!

Suffice to say we probably wonít see the remaining novels in that series hit theaters, which is fine by me. There are so many other fantastic novels out there to choose from, with source material and characters that would win over many an audience. Good as the LOTR films were, the books paled in comparison to authors like R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, David Eddings, Terry Goodkind and so many others. Drizzt DoíUrden would slay the box office if HOMELAND were to come knocking (I found Prince Nuada from HELLBOY 2 looked similar to the dark elf and actor Luke Gossí sword prowess would have looked ten times cooler if he were holding Twinkle and Icingdeath).

Clearly I'm not the only one who feels this way

I can understand why some of these authors may indeed be hesitant to let their babies loose on the big screen, as it doesnít take much to destroy an idea and capturing the magic these stories create in our imaginations is no small task to duplicate. That said, I go back to LOTR and site how amazing that worked out, showing us that it can be done right. As I mentioned before, George R. R. Martinís epic A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series is coming to HBO with A GAME OF THRONES, featuring an impressive cast which includes Sean Bean (Boromir from LOTR) and Lena Headey (Queen from 300) to name a couple. The success (or failure) of this undertaking could very well shape the future of theatrical novel-based Fantasy.

Bean will be a fantastic Stark

If novels arenít enough, there is also a rich amount of source material to be found on the video game front. Letís be clear though, Iím NOT suggesting more films based on video games. What Iím trying to point out is that many great RPG (role playing games) are most times successful due to a phenomenal storyline. Sure, these stories unfold over hours of game play, but the theory behind this is still sound. Games like the BALDURíS GATE series, FINAL FANTASY or even the newer DRAGON AGE ORIGINS are all examples of epic fantasy storytelling with a number of cool themes and riveting characters who would make for some insane blockbuster films.

This brilliant storyline would've made a phenomenal film series

Though there may be a drought when it comes to Fantasy, we arenít completely without. SOLOMON KANE looks to be a hell of a time, giving underrated actor James Purefoy a decent brake and Iím very much excited for the CONAN remake as I mentioned when I brought up scripts. I recently watched a film called WOLFHOUND which was pretty good as straight to DVD flicks go, and even SEASON OF THE WITCH looks all right despite Nicolas Cage being at the helm. Thereís still some good Fantasy flicks kicking around, but theyíre few and far between and thereís no excuse for it. Again, itís a love/hate genre, but for those of us who love it, Iím sure youíll stand with me in demanding more.
Extra Tidbit: Iím still on the fence as far as THE HOBBIT and WARCRAFT films are concerned. Both have the potential to be great, but sadly things donít always work out the way we hope.
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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7:46AM on 11/26/2009

Wait, wait, wait...

Did you honestly just use the phrase "Good as the LOTR films were, the books paled in comparison to..." in that article? Automatic fail?
Did you honestly just use the phrase "Good as the LOTR films were, the books paled in comparison to..." in that article? Automatic fail?
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+1
6:58PM on 11/25/2009
As one can clearly deduct from my nick, I do not want anything dark elf related on the big screen, no siree...

Honestly, the biggest thing easily for me with adapting anything with Drizzt in it would be to find an insanely talented dual-sword wielder and shoot and edit it correctly. It might even be that it could only be done with CGI, as no human can move like he would have to for the role. Biggest mistake for me would be to choose some good looking "I have never even seen a sword" dude,
As one can clearly deduct from my nick, I do not want anything dark elf related on the big screen, no siree...

Honestly, the biggest thing easily for me with adapting anything with Drizzt in it would be to find an insanely talented dual-sword wielder and shoot and edit it correctly. It might even be that it could only be done with CGI, as no human can move like he would have to for the role. Biggest mistake for me would be to choose some good looking "I have never even seen a sword" dude, and of course the director would just edit the crap out of every fight scene to cover up the low skill level. The books are all about the prowess of the characters, many books have better stories, but no one is more badass than an angry Drizzt, preferably with those burning lavender eyes.

I would give anything to see Forgotten Realms done right and with a big budget.
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7:10PM on 11/25/2009
I can already see the first teaser in my mind. There would only need to be darkness, where purple eyes would flash open, and maybe a low growl of a big cat and its siluette in the dark. Coming soon...

Holy shit, I just got chills just thinking about it :)
I can already see the first teaser in my mind. There would only need to be darkness, where purple eyes would flash open, and maybe a low growl of a big cat and its siluette in the dark. Coming soon...

Holy shit, I just got chills just thinking about it :)
5:55AM on 11/25/2009

Wheel of time

I know it has 12/15 book's, but the movies would be great.
I know it has 12/15 book's, but the movies would be great.
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4:25AM on 11/25/2009
been waiting for raymond e feist's THE MAGICIAN on the big screen for ages.

when will this guy sell-out to hollywood?!!!?
been waiting for raymond e feist's THE MAGICIAN on the big screen for ages.

when will this guy sell-out to hollywood?!!!?
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+1
11:00PM on 11/24/2009

Luke Goss Rocks

I would like to see Luke Goss in more movies and I am not picky be it fantasy or just anything. Another great actor ignored by the suits!!!
I would like to see Luke Goss in more movies and I am not picky be it fantasy or just anything. Another great actor ignored by the suits!!!
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+3
8:59PM on 11/24/2009
I love the Drizzt books and want them to hit the theater as much as everyone else, but I'd also like to see Raistlin as the Dragonlance animated film that came out a couple years ago wasn't nearly as good as it should or could have been.
I love the Drizzt books and want them to hit the theater as much as everyone else, but I'd also like to see Raistlin as the Dragonlance animated film that came out a couple years ago wasn't nearly as good as it should or could have been.
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7:54PM on 11/24/2009
For real, there are too many great book to mention, but A Game of Thrones will definitely rock, I can't wait.
For real, there are too many great book to mention, but A Game of Thrones will definitely rock, I can't wait.
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7:49PM on 11/24/2009
yes to more tries if they can do it right. eragon was painful and horrable and i like to pretend it doesnt exist. (why? because if you read the book and knew what they had to work with, and what they decided to go with, you'd be pretty disgusted too.)
yes to more tries if they can do it right. eragon was painful and horrable and i like to pretend it doesnt exist. (why? because if you read the book and knew what they had to work with, and what they decided to go with, you'd be pretty disgusted too.)
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+2
3:51PM on 11/24/2009

I AGREE!

Fantasy films are kick ass...Game of Thrones should be a good series.
Her are some that I think should be made into movies...
Final Fantasy VII (although Square has been milked it dry already)
Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" (Universal currently has the film rights to WoT and if its done properly it will kick LotR's ass)
Fantasy films are kick ass...Game of Thrones should be a good series.
Her are some that I think should be made into movies...
Final Fantasy VII (although Square has been milked it dry already)
Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" (Universal currently has the film rights to WoT and if its done properly it will kick LotR's ass)
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3:48PM on 11/24/2009

get to the good stuff

there are alot of very good books out there. someone said the Tad Williams books, that would by very cool, those books are at the top of any well read fantasy fan. The Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser Stories by Fritz Leiber could be the best "buddy" story of all time. but i sit back an wait for George R.R. Martin's HBO showing....the hobbit has to kick as, how could it not?
there are alot of very good books out there. someone said the Tad Williams books, that would by very cool, those books are at the top of any well read fantasy fan. The Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser Stories by Fritz Leiber could be the best "buddy" story of all time. but i sit back an wait for George R.R. Martin's HBO showing....the hobbit has to kick as, how could it not?
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3:27PM on 11/24/2009
Looking forward to the Warcraft movie. Blizzard is doing all it can to make a great movie based on the game universe.
Looking forward to the Warcraft movie. Blizzard is doing all it can to make a great movie based on the game universe.
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3:02PM on 11/24/2009
LOVE this címon Hollywood. Being an avid reader the more fantasy the better. Dragon Lance wouldnít work in my opinion just based on the fact the story line can be a little childish, love the books but it must because I read them when I was younger, and weíve got Harry Potter for that type, I said bring on the Adult orientated fantasyÖ The sword of truth series would be great movies, Iíve watched the show and its alright, although it has very little to do with the books (which Iíve heard they
LOVE this címon Hollywood. Being an avid reader the more fantasy the better. Dragon Lance wouldnít work in my opinion just based on the fact the story line can be a little childish, love the books but it must because I read them when I was younger, and weíve got Harry Potter for that type, I said bring on the Adult orientated fantasyÖ The sword of truth series would be great movies, Iíve watched the show and its alright, although it has very little to do with the books (which Iíve heard they did on purpose). Anything George RR Martin movie wise would be epic, but would have to be R rated, thus Iím sure its one of the reasons the show will air on HBO instead of anywhere else. The wheel of time series would be great but based on the books would have to be a VERY long running series, since it seems thereís like 50 books..lol. Just do one thing for me HollywoodÖ please, please to god, donít even think of putting any of the Waynes brothers in anything fantasy related.. Dungeons and Dragons was the biggest knob-gobbliní turd Iíve ever had the misfortune of watching.
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+1
2:52PM on 11/24/2009
I've been thinking about this topic for a while, and without a doubt the Drizzt series would be an endless pit of epicness. However, what's probably the hardest part is you have to began at his birth in Menzobarrenzan where the entire cast would be dark elf (w/others as slaves of course) making it quite hard for an average audience to connect to. Now don't get me wrong, I have no doubt in my mind that having the first go from birth (showcasing all of Drizzt's struggles with his race) to perhaps
I've been thinking about this topic for a while, and without a doubt the Drizzt series would be an endless pit of epicness. However, what's probably the hardest part is you have to began at his birth in Menzobarrenzan where the entire cast would be dark elf (w/others as slaves of course) making it quite hard for an average audience to connect to. Now don't get me wrong, I have no doubt in my mind that having the first go from birth (showcasing all of Drizzt's struggles with his race) to perhaps when he ventures out would be not only insanely epic, but very moving to see on screen as well; but I just don't know if any studio would give it a chance until say.. maybe after Raimi's Warcraft movie (if it's a success).

Also, ccapel ^^ I completely agree on the Wheel of Time series, however I've read that they've been trying to get it to the little and big screen for over 10 years. The most recent rumor I believe was that one of the movie channels picked it up; though that was more than a year ago so more than likely fell apart again. But I would argue that the world Jordan created rivals that of Tolkein in detail and depth; so it would be quite easy to bring to screen (though as you stated the length is a must, unless it was condensed an unbearable amount).
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4:42PM on 11/24/2009
they dont really have to start in Menzobarrenzan the first book released in the series was the crystal shard and there are so many places they could start and then go back and do his beggings later
they dont really have to start in Menzobarrenzan the first book released in the series was the crystal shard and there are so many places they could start and then go back and do his beggings later
5:27PM on 11/24/2009
Very true. I just happened to start reading it from his birth onward cause a just recently started the series a year ago. The Crystal Shard trilogy adventures are some of the best I've ever read, so that definitely could be a good place to start. Considering that movies seem to only do origin stories after the "franchise" is successful (ie the hobbit, x-men, alien), your probably right.
Very true. I just happened to start reading it from his birth onward cause a just recently started the series a year ago. The Crystal Shard trilogy adventures are some of the best I've ever read, so that definitely could be a good place to start. Considering that movies seem to only do origin stories after the "franchise" is successful (ie the hobbit, x-men, alien), your probably right.
7:19PM on 11/25/2009
I think it would be great to do the first three books, (Crystal Shard, etc.) first. That way you establish Drizzt as a likeable character, and the audience is familiar with him and loves him.

Then you go back to Menzobarrenzen and show everyone his origins. It's so much more powerful to find out where he came from when you already know and love him.

And I completely agree that he'd have to be all CG. Which is why we should wait ten years or so and then bring it to the screen. His fighting
I think it would be great to do the first three books, (Crystal Shard, etc.) first. That way you establish Drizzt as a likeable character, and the audience is familiar with him and loves him.

Then you go back to Menzobarrenzen and show everyone his origins. It's so much more powerful to find out where he came from when you already know and love him.

And I completely agree that he'd have to be all CG. Which is why we should wait ten years or so and then bring it to the screen. His fighting abilities are inhuman. No amount of training/crappy wire work will make it feel believable.

As for the Wheel of Time, the charm of that series is it's detail. From the world to the characters, you really feel like Jordan devoted his life to this place. The only way to do it justice would be to make it a quality, all computer-generated HBO series. And again, the tech to do that on a TV budget is still 10+ years off. But it'll be worth the wait for sure.
+3
1:53PM on 11/24/2009
It all depends on who does it. The Drizzt books are great, and would look amazing on screen. But put it in the hands of an incompetent director and you'll get Eragon all over again. (which was terrible because of the story. not the main actor.)

And fantasy flicks need to be 2.5 to 3+ hours long to even have a chance at being taken seriously. That's where Eragon failed. A half hour into it some kid was saving the world. A world the viewer knew almost nothing about. How can anyone
It all depends on who does it. The Drizzt books are great, and would look amazing on screen. But put it in the hands of an incompetent director and you'll get Eragon all over again. (which was terrible because of the story. not the main actor.)

And fantasy flicks need to be 2.5 to 3+ hours long to even have a chance at being taken seriously. That's where Eragon failed. A half hour into it some kid was saving the world. A world the viewer knew almost nothing about. How can anyone expect the audience to even care? Fantasy is all about made-up worlds. Made-up societies. You have to take the time to establish the world so the audience can buy into it.

The ultimate fantasy epic would be the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. But it would have to be an HBO series, preferrably all CG. You'd have to have at least eight seasons, probably more. But that would be the most sweeping, epic fantasy story ever told on film, easily.
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2:50PM on 11/24/2009
Well said man, you hit the nail on the head! viewers need to establish a connection with the story and fantasy world to care. 3 hours or longer. period.
Well said man, you hit the nail on the head! viewers need to establish a connection with the story and fantasy world to care. 3 hours or longer. period.
+0
1:50PM on 11/24/2009
Oops. Double post.
Oops. Double post.
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1:36PM on 11/24/2009
I too, would love to see more epic fantasy that is R rated with the focus on it's characters and fantastic action sequences. The problem with this is that there is a very razor thin line between epic and corny in the fantasy universe. You can get a group of relatively unknown yet seasoned actors together and pull off the greatest movie ever or a straight to DVD turd. Without a director who has passion for the source material it'll end up being something we make fun of in the So bad it's good
I too, would love to see more epic fantasy that is R rated with the focus on it's characters and fantastic action sequences. The problem with this is that there is a very razor thin line between epic and corny in the fantasy universe. You can get a group of relatively unknown yet seasoned actors together and pull off the greatest movie ever or a straight to DVD turd. Without a director who has passion for the source material it'll end up being something we make fun of in the So bad it's good section.
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12:37PM on 11/24/2009
I think that's a great idea, the fantasy we've been exposed to lately is a touch childish and lack an adult based edge. I'm up for more of that kind of fantasy.
I think that's a great idea, the fantasy we've been exposed to lately is a touch childish and lack an adult based edge. I'm up for more of that kind of fantasy.
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11:41AM on 11/24/2009
I'd like to see Hollywood go back to making smaller fantasy movies, like they were doing back in the 80's, and like they did with Stardust. Not all fantasy movies need to be these big 2 and a half to 3 hour epic 3 part franchise movies.
I'd like to see Hollywood go back to making smaller fantasy movies, like they were doing back in the 80's, and like they did with Stardust. Not all fantasy movies need to be these big 2 and a half to 3 hour epic 3 part franchise movies.
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8:56PM on 11/24/2009
A good fantasy film needs three hours to tell the story. Not sure if I'd say they need a trilogy, but the three hour timeline is crucial.
A good fantasy film needs three hours to tell the story. Not sure if I'd say they need a trilogy, but the three hour timeline is crucial.
11:08AM on 11/24/2009
I think we have enough franchise fantasy films; Harry Potter still has two more entries. When others try to be epic, and make a entire franchise out of it, they fail. The Golden Compass is the best example that comes to mind.
I think we have enough franchise fantasy films; Harry Potter still has two more entries. When others try to be epic, and make a entire franchise out of it, they fail. The Golden Compass is the best example that comes to mind.
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12:36PM on 11/24/2009
Harry Potter is nearly over and the critics hated Golden Compass (I liked it) so there's no guarantee we'll get more of those either.
Harry Potter is nearly over and the critics hated Golden Compass (I liked it) so there's no guarantee we'll get more of those either.
7:56PM on 11/24/2009
I would hardly call Harry Potter and the Golden Compass epic, or fantasy. Same genre but totally different audience.
I would hardly call Harry Potter and the Golden Compass epic, or fantasy. Same genre but totally different audience.
+1
10:44AM on 11/24/2009
I would love to see tad Willams' "Memory, Sorrow & Thorn" & Robin Hobb's "Farseer" Trilogy as films--if we could get the financial backing & quality actors/crew that made LOTR so great.
I would love to see tad Willams' "Memory, Sorrow & Thorn" & Robin Hobb's "Farseer" Trilogy as films--if we could get the financial backing & quality actors/crew that made LOTR so great.
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10:28AM on 11/24/2009
More ??? I thought we were getting too many since LOTR. Plenty of books being adapted and failed attempt at building new franchises is the proof we dont need more.
More ??? I thought we were getting too many since LOTR. Plenty of books being adapted and failed attempt at building new franchises is the proof we dont need more.
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1:53PM on 11/24/2009
That makes no sense. So because some directors suck at adapting an engaging, thrilling fantasy epic, we should all just stop trying?

What we need is more directors like Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro, who understand the fantasy genre.
That makes no sense. So because some directors suck at adapting an engaging, thrilling fantasy epic, we should all just stop trying?

What we need is more directors like Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro, who understand the fantasy genre.
2:56PM on 11/24/2009
I didnt say we should stop trying, I said there are too many, and that they all suck anyways.

The box-office failures is also an argument to stop making them. They are expensive and nobody wants to see them. Golden Compass didnt bomb cause it was no good, it bombed cause nobody cared enough to see it in theatre.
I didnt say we should stop trying, I said there are too many, and that they all suck anyways.

The box-office failures is also an argument to stop making them. They are expensive and nobody wants to see them. Golden Compass didnt bomb cause it was no good, it bombed cause nobody cared enough to see it in theatre.
9:49AM on 11/24/2009
I'm perfectly satisfied with the amount of fantasy epics we get. Too many would be a bad thing...Also, The Hobbit is going to be just as good (if not better) than LOTR. Del toro has a much bigger imagination and artistic vision than Peter Jackson, no disrespect intended of course to Jackson. Del toro just has a better grasp on fantasy.
I'm perfectly satisfied with the amount of fantasy epics we get. Too many would be a bad thing...Also, The Hobbit is going to be just as good (if not better) than LOTR. Del toro has a much bigger imagination and artistic vision than Peter Jackson, no disrespect intended of course to Jackson. Del toro just has a better grasp on fantasy.
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7:57PM on 11/24/2009
Time will tell, but I hope you're right about the hobbit.
Time will tell, but I hope you're right about the hobbit.
+2
9:30AM on 11/24/2009

Pale in sales, critics and comaprisons

Lets not get carried away, none of these mentioned above are in any way as good as LOTR were as books, not even close, none have the depth or the real world though out as much or as well. If they were that good there sales would eflect Tolkeins numbers, Imean he wrote them how long ago and only now are people coming kinda close, after he showed them the way. Other thing almost everyone grew up reading LOTR or knew of it, most normal people have never heard of any of these series and would
Lets not get carried away, none of these mentioned above are in any way as good as LOTR were as books, not even close, none have the depth or the real world though out as much or as well. If they were that good there sales would eflect Tolkeins numbers, Imean he wrote them how long ago and only now are people coming kinda close, after he showed them the way. Other thing almost everyone grew up reading LOTR or knew of it, most normal people have never heard of any of these series and would therefore never have the cross over appeal LOTR did.
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8:58PM on 11/24/2009
I don't know, I've read quite a few fantasy novels, series', whatever, and they've ALL had lots of depth and real world qualities. The list of great goes far beyond LOTR.
I don't know, I've read quite a few fantasy novels, series', whatever, and they've ALL had lots of depth and real world qualities. The list of great goes far beyond LOTR.
+1
8:44AM on 11/24/2009

The night angel

You want a good fantasy story worth making a movie about? How about 'The Night Angel' trilogy? Just as huge and awesome as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And The night angel is also a trilogy of books. It has a huge fantasy world setting without the silly elves and trolls but amazing violence and a story that is both sad, amazing and epic. It has characters that in me oppinion rival some characters in Lord of the rings. ( Durzo vs Gandalf, Kylar vs Aragorn etc) but completely different at the
You want a good fantasy story worth making a movie about? How about 'The Night Angel' trilogy? Just as huge and awesome as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And The night angel is also a trilogy of books. It has a huge fantasy world setting without the silly elves and trolls but amazing violence and a story that is both sad, amazing and epic. It has characters that in me oppinion rival some characters in Lord of the rings. ( Durzo vs Gandalf, Kylar vs Aragorn etc) but completely different at the same time. Last rumor i heared about this was that Cam Gigandet was planning on taking the main role of Azoth/Kyler Stern which would be an excellent casting choice for a main lead, or well at least visually.
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