The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

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The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by feanor 1999 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:52 pm

Ayup All...

I know what I've said about Fan-Fiction in the past, but this Fan made Trail gets my blood Hot ! Its a long-time Youtube Fave of mine. Now action on this scale and pace I could work with. Thoughts ?



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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Tinuviel on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:39 pm

I keep having a feeling that the Silmarillon would be done best in a completely virtual environment, particularly because it is so grand and mythical it can't really be done on earth today. That being said, I think CG has to come a lot farther before anything close to what is described can be created seamlessly.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:43 pm

Nicely put together but to do it justice you would need a script by someone who really understands the work, not just on a dramatic level but on a language level too.

And the script would be bloody hard- theres no way to do the whole book as film, although you could do it as a series of interconnected tv I think.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by azriel on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:52 pm

I personally dont want a full length, block buster, feature film of The sil, Id love a TV series tho ! But, its GOT to be done with passion & dedication, as well as deep understanding. Any directer can do 'action', press a button & we have the CGI kick in,but, a powerful book needs a powerful insight.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by malickfan on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:40 pm

Personally I hope The Silmarillion remains untouched for as long as possible, we sure don't need an adaptation, and after the Hollywoodised PJ films I dread to think how they would butcher the book to make it into a 'populist' film, some things are best left to the imagination.

If it were to happen, I'd want a totally off the wall choice to direct it-the book is damn near impossible to adapt faithfully (and certainly wouldn't be as popular as the other books) so why not get someone like Terrence Malick or Hayao Myzaki to make it and do something a bit different, I'd HATE for Jackson's vision of Middle Earth to become totally dominant?

I would also prefer if the filmakers in question didn't harp on about being faithful to Tolkien's spirit, the bloke is dead, and all the indications we have to me suggest he wouldn't be entirely pleased with how things have turned out.

That said, The Lay of Leithian could make a bloody awesome (and bizzare) stage opera, whilst 'The Children of Hurin combined with The Wanderings of Hurin would make a awesome mini series, but I honestly wouldn't be annoyed if TABA was the last adaptation of Tolkien.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:46 pm

If it were to happen, I'd want a totally off the wall choice to direct it- Malick

I might get to finally see a Lynch/Tolkien crossover!  cheers 

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by malickfan on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:50 pm

Nod 

Or Werner Herzog's Farmer Giles of Ham, or Quentin Tarantino's Downfall of Numenor...

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:55 pm

Peter Greenaway would be an interesting choice too given his visual influences.







Brilliant film (but brutal and uncomfortable), one of my favourites.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Tinuviel on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:22 pm



This is my favorite, just because I can easily recognize parts from the book and understand what the trailer is getting at.

What could be done is make the Big Three into films or a miniseries, each story being a season. Those would be Beren and Luthien, Children of Hurin, and The Fall of Gondolin. They're all interrelated and are the most developed stories in the Sil. But I agree with whoever said that it should not be adapted for a long time. It's only been out since 1980 right? So maybe let it sit for a couple more decades before someone tries to tackle it.

Beren and Luthien as a Opera or a Musical would be the perfect fit, considering how much singing is involved.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Radaghast on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:23 pm

An adaptation would need considerable script treatment (except perhaps for The Children of Hurin) and I don't trust anyone in Hollywood to do it right.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Music of the Ainur on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:47 am

I completely agree that for any chance of pulling the Sil. off it would have to be split up into different works.
I think that the Huor story especially if material from other books was used could certainly be a stand alone film or mini series.
Turin could be certainly turned into something on its own as well using the Sil and Lost tales stuff and it would almost have to include Earendil and the defeat of Morgoth as well.

The concept of a mini series sounds interesting. But one thing is for certain I surely don't want Jackson and the coven getting their hands on it... But it would be really cool if some one who actually loved the stories and the writing could be found to do it justice. It isn't impossible that could happen though highly unlikely perhaps.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:26 pm

Hollywood could not do it, in fact its probably the last place on earth that could do the Sil, or that should try.  Mad 

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Radaghast on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:35 pm

The Children of Hurin is the only story from TS that is ready to be turned into a movie, but it's not a story audiences would want to see.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by RA on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:01 pm

Radaghast wrote:An adaptation would need considerable script treatment (except perhaps for The Children of Hurin) and I don't trust anyone in Hollywood to do it right.

Hollywood shouldn't be allowed within a 100 miles of the script or the production.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Radaghast on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:47 pm

We should file for a restraining order.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by malickfan on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:02 pm

So I stumbled across this post on IMDB and was wondering how Legit it sounds-Copyright and Estate Laws are really not something I'm knowledgeable about:

These discussions keep coming round because most people are not familiar with estate law and misunderstand Christopher Tolkien's role and powers. That's doubly understandable because he has two separate roles.

(1) CRRT is Tolkien's literary executor. As such, he was granted by JRRT total control over JRRT's unpublished manuscripts. He could burn them, edit them, rewrite them, publish them as is, or whatever he deemed best. JRRT had complete confidence in Christopher's judgement on these matters. Thank goodness he did NOT decide to burn the lot! What he will ultimately do with the remaining unpublished material is unknown, but he has probably made arrangements for them, possibly to donate them to a university collection, a la Marquette.

(2) CRRT is the executor/trustee of the Tolkien Estate and Trust. This is a clearly defined legal role: he is entrusted with carrying out JRRT's instructions in founding the Tolkien Estate (which is, confusingly, not the same thing as Tolkien's personal estate. You and I and most people when they depart this earth leave behind a personal estate of varying value, which is dispensed in accordance with a will if there is one. The Tolkien Estate and Trust however is a different kind of organization, a family estate trust, which is completely separate. However, the person who set it up (the settlor) stipulates what the estate trust will do and its operational parameters. The executor/trustee must follow these directives. He or she cannot override them. These organizations are audited and monitored for compliance..

CRRT's two roles are very different. In the first, he has considerable, virtually total, discretionary power. In the second, he has very little.

Now, PPP made the point that Tolkien sold the film rights to LOTR and The Hobbit to United Artists "because he needed the money." This is true, but misleading. WHY did he "need the money?" He was doing very well, thank you, since after his retirement from Oxford he was getting substantial income from royalties, and for the first time could provide his wife with pleasures that meant a lot to her (he moved to Bournemouth, where she enjoyed living in a resort setting and mixed with a less intellectual set. Edith never really felt comfortable in Oxford).

So why did he need a large sum of money? Not for himself, but to set up the Tolkien Estate and Trust. You need money to do this. He established trusts for each of his children and grandchildren (and made provisions, we can be sure, for ones not yet born), provided for a charitable arm of the Trust, and in a document usually called a trust deed he specified the purpose, activities and restrictions on the operation of the TE, to take effect on his demise. It's purpose, as the TE endlessly repeats, is to "promote and protect JRRT's literary legacy." We can be sure that came direct from JRRT himself, and it is likely -- because it is one of the purposes of establishing an estate trust for intellectual property -- that it also restricted sale of copyrights or other rights to any of his literary works.

This is a major reason why authors set up an estate trust before their death: to control their intellectual property. It's kind of ironic that in order to set up a mechanism to prevent sale of film or radio rights to his works, Tolkien had to sell the rights to some of his existing works -- but it's not really a contradiction. JRRT did view both TH and LOTR as "commercial" ventures (not in a negative sense), and said to friends that popular success had been surprisingly gratifying, as it had enabled him to give his wife a better life and for both of them to enjoy small pleasures that they would earlier have been unable to afford. But his other works, including and especially The Silmarillion, were another story. He authorized Christopher to burn it, but not to sell movie rights to it!

The trust deed that set up the TE is not a public document, so his exact instructions cannot be verified. However, it is a virtual certainty that he included prohibition on further sale of film rights, copyrights or authorization of commercial products. The TE board of directors cannot overturn its founder, and even when CRRT passes on to Valinor the next director/executor/trustee will have to follow JRRT's instructions as well. He or she does not have a choice.

Those who are hoping for some change of policy after CRRT's death are hoping in vain. Even if a band of film buffs succeed to the board of the TE, they will not be authorized to overrule their founder.

Beyond that, since under UK law Christopher is a joint author of the Sil, he can make it a condition in his own estate that the rights not be sold.

So expecting a change of policy is a vain enterprise. Legally, it can't happen. We will just have to wait for the material to go into the public domain, which it will -- someday.

Meanwhile, if anyone were keen to do it, further Middle-Earth films could be made from the stories in the appendices to LOTR. I doubt there's a market, though.

(I posted this on TORn as well, not sure if it will go down too well...)

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Eldorion on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:53 pm

Blue knows way more about law than I do, but from what little I am aware of and a few minutes of poking around online that sounds fairly accurate to me.  The big question is whether or not Tolkien did in fact put restrictions on the sale of film rights into the rules for the trust.  I don't suppose we'll ever know.  The point about CT possibly putting such instructions in place for the posthumously published works he edited is a very interesting one.

As for public domain, well, copyright laws allow increasingly large extensions, so there's a very real chance it won't be available within any of our lifetimes.  Look at The Silmarillion in the context of US copyright law, since the US is where most of the big movie studios are based.  My understanding is that since The Silmarillion was published before Jan. 1, 1978, it is entitled to the life of the author plus 95 years of copyright protection.  Assuming the Estate claims Christopher as a co-author, that means that even if we were to drop dead tomorrow, The Silmarillion would not enter public domain until 2109.  And that's assuming the length of copyright is not extended further in the future.

Edit: this blog confirms that Christopher is considered an author of The Silmarillion, but they say the copyright will expire "only" 70 years after his death. I acknowledge that I'm not sure I entirely understand the 70 vs. 95 year issue.
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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by David H on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:59 pm

Eldorion wrote: Look at The Silmarillion in the context of US copyright law, since the US is where most of the big movie studios are based.  My understanding is that since The Silmarillion was published before Jan. 1, 1978, it is entitled to the life of the author plus 95 years of copyright protection.  Assuming the Estate claims Christopher as a co-author, that means that even if we were to drop dead tomorrow, The Silmarillion would not enter public domain until 2109.  

The Bollywood version could be out much sooner though! Twisted Evil 

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by feanor 1999 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:40 am

Hmmm...

So sometimes, the Law is seemingly NOT an ass. This gives me hope that a Jackson-style Silmarillion will not appear in my Lifetime to really upset me the way TH and in places LOTR have done. It's a shame though to be GLAD that the Undying Realm shouldn't appear on Celluloid. As I do want to see Mandos, Elbereth, Ulmo, Tulkas, Manwe, Varda, Morgoth, Sauron in Human form et Al do their thing across the screen, just in a more accurate, sympathetic way than we have been treated too by Mr Jackson and co.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:34 pm

Interesting article, Malick. For all of me not knowing all that much about English estate law, it all sounds plausible to me. I'm not sure I follow their logic all the way though.

They first say

"The trust deed that set up the TE is not a public document, so his exact instructions cannot be verified."

but then still conclude

"However, it is a virtual certainty that he included prohibition on further sale of film rights, copyrights or authorization of commercial products."

While that well might be, it still feels very much like a stretch to me. He had already sold of the movie rights to his economicly viable works and the Silmarillion for all intents and purposes didn't exist. There might semingly have been no reason to include such a provision for Tolkien. So it's a specualtion, perhaps with some founding, but certainly no certainity. At least that's how it looks to me.


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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:46 pm

Eldorion wrote:Edit: this blog confirms that Christopher is considered an author of The Silmarillion, but they say the copyright will expire "only" 70 years after his death.  I acknowledge that I'm not sure I entirely understand the 70 vs. 95 year issue.

That was an interesting read too. I do find it interesting that they consider him to have authorial copyright. Which means his contribution to the work must have fullfilled what would be needed to be a co-author. As such his contribution must have been of some significance.

This makes the Silmarillion a combined work between him and his father and rule then is that the copyright extends the alloted time after the longest surviving authors death. The alternative, if Tolkien was the only author, would have been to see it as a posthumously released work, which would follow the alloted number of years after the authors death. As such 70 years after JRR Tolkiens death. (At least after Norwegian rules.)

To explain the 95/70 year issue. There is a general rule in copyright law that says you shall treat all works, national and foreign, the same. An exception from this rule is the number of years a work is protected after the authors death. Here you only have to admit the number of years the originating country protects, if less than your own rules do. The minimum protection after the Bern convention is 50 years. If two countries bith have a stricter protection, the country that protects the work the least amount of years rules will be used. So with US 95 UK 70, the 70 year protection will be the one admitted also in the US.

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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Elthir on Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:21 pm

Christopher Tolkien with Guy Kay only actually invented a few things, notably an invented version of some likewise notable aspects of The Fall of Doriath.

Think you know how Thingol really died? Maybe you don't!

But the amount of editing was notable too [for example, even where Christopher Tolkien had a 'source' that he could have chosen as a sole source in theory, if he had another covering the same section he would sometimes combine the two for a given passage in the constructed version] and the decisions that went into the general 'shaping' of the book were many [framework? What kind if so? What to include? What to disinclude (exclude has been overused)]?

The 1977 Silmarillion is very much JRR Tolkien in one sense, but 'very much' not in another sense. I assumed [!] it was really the work of Christopher Tolkien [and Kay] with respect to copyright...

... while knowing next to nothing about copyright, however  Rolling Eyes
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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:18 pm

Yes, you can of course get copyright as an editor as well. But the blog said author..

In any regard this quote is quite telling.

I was in my father’s office at Oxford. He came in and started looking for something with great anxiety. Then I realized in horror that it was The Silmarillion, and I was terrified at the thought that he would discover what I had done – Christopher Tolkien discussing a dream


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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Eldorion on Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:33 pm

On the authorship question, I think that The History of Middle-earth divulges enough significant editorial decisions and occasional passages written entirely by Christopher or Kay that it's safe to say Christopher earns his coauthor credit. He had to pick and choose from a multitude of different variations on the stories that comprise The Silmarillion. He was partially guided by some basic decisions made near the beginning of the project: the framing device and many early oddities from "The Book of Lost Tales" would be discounted, but the speculative re-casting of the whole mythology proposed in "Myths Transformed" would also be ignored. However, this resulted in difficulty in cases such as the Fall of Gondolin, where the only complete version of the story had been written in the BoLT period, and Tolkien's attempted rewrite to make it fit with the later mythology (which was probably written about 35 years after the original version) didn't even get to Tuor's initial meeting with Turgon. So when compiling The Silmarillion for publication, Christopher could use the later text for the initial part of the story, but the rest of it had to be re-written, abbreviating and amending the only full text so that it would be consistent with the rest of the book. In rare occasions, the inconsistencies between finished versions of individual stories and the overall framework were too great, and Christopher (after much agonizing) came up with his own material to fill in the gaps. The aforementioned death of Thingol is the most notable example of this. Interestingly, after further years of study while creating The History of Middle-earth, Christopher offered very frank remarks on his own editorial decisions and noted that he would have done some things differently at that point.

Also, in case anyone (read: Elthir) is wondering, I don't mean this as a slight or criticism of Christopher in any way. This might not be necessary to state, but I've inadvertently stumbled into some fairly heated pro/anti-Christopher battles in the past. I have the highest respect for Christopher's work with the legendarium.

Bluebottle wrote:To explain the 95/70 year issue. There is a general rule in copyright law that says you shall treat all works, national and foreign, the same. An exception from this rule is the number of years a work is protected after the authors death. Here you only have to admit the number of years the originating country protects, if less than your own rules do. The minimum protection after the Bern convention is 50 years. If two countries bith have a stricter protection, the country that protects the work the least amount of years rules will be used. So with US 95 UK 70, the 70 year protection will be the one admitted also in the US.

That does make sense, thanks Blue. Smile So it will be at least 2084 when The Silmarillion is in the public domain. Razz
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Re: The Silmarillion Made Flesh...

Post by Elthir on Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:36 pm

Yes, I think Christopher Tolkien's original desire was to create a two volume type Silmarillion, more like a condensed History of Middle-earth. It is said [but by whom I forget right now] that Guy Kay talked him into doing 'a tale' rather, what I would call an 'internal' version, which in very general terms is obviously what Tolkien himself intended.

Now we have both, but I think part of the inspiration for the HME-like version was to try to explain the state of the 'actual' Silmarillion, as well as could be done anyway [CJRT's personal History of The Silmarillion is reportedly more detailed than HME].

Before that it was impossible to really know, outside of some general guidelines anyway, just what the 1977 Silmarillion presented: how much did Tolkien really complete it, or parts of it, and when was all this stuff, and related stuff, written, and so on.
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Elthir
Sharrasi's prentice

Posts : 1169
Join date : 2011-06-10

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