BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

For the first time ever, Christopher Tolkien, the son of , has spoken out about 's movie adaptations of his father's literary masterpieces. And he ain't happy.

In an interview given to Le Monde last summer, the 88-year-old son of the beloved novelist blasted Jackson and his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Tolkien, who drew the maps for the Lord of the Rings books, has spent most of his life protecting the legacy of his father's works and the movies are, apparently, a bridge too far.

According to World Crunch's article on the subject, Christopher is trying to protect the literary work from the three-ring circus that has developed around it. Invited to meet Jackson and the production team, the Tolkien family preferred not to, saying:

They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25... And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film... Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time. The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.

That sounds pretty serious.

It's hard to say who has won this silent battle between popularity and respect for the text. Nor who, finally, has the Ring. I didn't think An Unexpected Journey strayed too far from the novel, considering Jackson's decision to stretch a modest 300-page read into 3 feature length movies. But then again, Peter Jackson-directed Hobbit-themed promotional airline safety videos? That's taking marketing more than one step too far.

Is there any merit to Christopher Tolkien's concerns? Let us know below.



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