August 30, 2001

Regarding Changes and Plagiarism
Sophie L.

Officially, Cicily, what Peter Jackson is doing can't be called plagiarism, because New Line Cinema owns the film rights to the LOTR trilogy. However, one can see that there is little point to making the trilogy into movies, except to make money. What Peter Jackson says about how much he loves the story and how he wants to preserve its character; what the cast and crew say about remaining as faithful as possible to the story, is ridiculous. They are like politicians: they tell people what they want to hear and placate them with lies, so that hopefully one will go see the first movie at least once. I do think that all PJ wants is a fat paycheck and to see his name up in lights.

Since Hollywood is always short of originality in ideas, the powers that be take note of any successful books and buy the film rights. Since in most cases they are only wanting, as you say, to make a blockbuster, they basically take the names of the characters and key elements from the story,and transform it - or, as others have said, 'translate' it - into what they thing will sell, without maintaining the integrity or meaning of the story that readers already know and love.

Giving Peter Jackson the benefit of the doubt, one can't be certain that he wasn't 'forced' by producers into casting the character of Arwen into a more pro-feminist light. One thing that bothers me, though, is the confusing of physical prowess with some sort of strength of character. I fail to understand how Arwen can be portrayed to be a stronger *person* by fighting, when one can be a warrior and possess physical courage (as opposed to moral courage) and still be a weak person. I find the change of her character execrable.

As I have said before, I do feel it is a violation to take a book, or any other sort of thing, and make it into something calculated to earn the maximum amount of money.