Saturday, October 20, 2012

Peter Jackson Should Direct Beowulf

My professor keeps making one-liner references to The Hobbit during lectures; the cool people in the class respond with a mix of titters. Then I try and bring my mind back to the subject at hand, not necessarily on to Tolkien.

So with all this Hobbit-ness in the air right now, it seems the time to bring up an idea I had I don't even know when. It may have been last month or last year; just don't ask. Despite what complaints purists (and not just the most pure purists, either) can make about Peter Jackson's handling thus far of Tolkien, it's hard to imagine anyone doing a better job than he has done. It's a big job, and the fact that he is able to do, on the whole, a pretty decent job is something.

There is another text, one with which Tolkien the scholar and reader was very familiar, which seems also to be difficult to bring to film: Beowulf. It must be difficult because there are piles of versions of it and most of them are either bad or bizarre or both; even if they are reasonable adaptations once you start analyzing things, they're still hard to accept. But: WWPJD? Aren't you curious? If Peter Jackson got his hands on Beowulf, I think we could be sure that the result would at least be of interest. He strives for authenticity and balanced storytelling; this would be perfect for Beowulf.

He would have locations, sets, costumes, armor (naturally I would want WETA to come along for the fun), effects, and language all down. And he would get familiar enough with the story to have reasoning behind every script and directorial decision, never forgetting a chosen interpretation of theme. Plus, you know people would watch it. The connection to Tolkien and to Tolkien plot elements would be enough to bring people in; the movie would (I think) be enough to make them glad they did.


  1. I honestly hope PJ directs a film of Beowulf. There are so many complaints about his visual take on LOTR and TH, however I found them enticing and most of all, an escape. I'm not easily effected by films or programmes, though both series' made me emotional beyond belief, anxious and on-edge and eager to continue watching, which has actually never happened before. I agree with everything you've said, and God, I seriously hope Mr Jackson gets his hands on Beowulf!

    1. I'm starting to want this film to happen even more now that Tolkien's translation of Beowulf just came out. I think maybe I'll picture New Zealand scenery and Peter Jackson's film style while I'm reading.