Byrogbngp, writer at
I love cinema! I have a special affinity for the science fiction, fantasy, and superhero genres.

This report is exciting for Tolkien fans, of which I ardently am; but because I am so swamped these days with 'real life' demands as they say, I don't recall having heard of this before.

Anyway it is this: Report: An Unfinished J.R.R. Tolkien Tale, The Story of Kullervo, Is on Its Way. If I am understanding this correctly, this is Tolkien's telling of the Finnish saga of the hero Kullervo. Tolkien actually used this folktale directly as source material for The Silmarillion. That is, Tolkien articulates it within the Middle Earth's Silmarillion mythos.

I find that exciting in itself! I certainly look forward to reading it. At least in its original form as a Finnish folktale this story is hella dark, though!

So this is great news. But as fond as I am of great literature, I am first and foremost a lover of cinema. As such it is very disheartening to me that we may have seen the last of Tolkien's work brought to the silver screen with The Hobbit trilogy. Unfortunately, after Peter Jackson's blockbuster action style treatment of the Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher has stated unequivocally that he will never sell the rights for any of his father's other works to be filmed.

I hope this is not indelicate or insensitive to point out, but Christopher Tolkien is however 90 years of age (may God bless him and keep him well). So at some point in the not too distant future the Tolkien estate will pass to his heirs. I've no doubt that Christopher Tolkien's heirs will, out of respect, continue to support their father's position on this issue. But as far as I can see the real issue is whether films can in fact be made in a way that properly honors the source material! And I don't think that is necessarily a lost cause. I believe there is still reason for optimism that some of Tolkien's other tales (e.g., The Silmarillion as a film trilogy, The Children of Hurin, The Tale of Beren and Lúthien, and now this Story of Kullervo, to name but a few) that Christopher has attempted to finish and could one day yet be made into films--provided of course that the contract can be worked out to truly protect the integrity of the source material.

I can envision something like a kickstarter movement to find a studio and filmmaker that might do this. Because literature and film are different mediums there will have to be changes made to the soruce material--that's a given. But those changes can be done so that the film really and truly honors the original tales, and avoids distorting them. I have faith that it can, anyway.

What are your hopes and thoughts about this? Do you think that right filmmaker and studio could be found to translate these wonderful tales into films without bastardizing and commercializing Tolkien's literary work?


Is it realistic to hope that a director and studio can be found that could still do justice to J.R.R. Tolkien's other works, in accordance with his estate's wishes?


Latest from our Creators