§ In perhaps the greatest act of trollery ever by an Oscar-winning director, Peter Jackson made a little Facebook video that simultaneously winds up both Doctor Who fans and Tolkien experts. The Who teasing refers to persistent rumors that Jackson will direct an episode, and guest appearances by Peter Capaldi and a Dalek certainly indicate that this directing job may be in the offing. The Tolkien fan baiting is a bit more subtle: a copy of The Silmarillion lying bookmarked on the table. This is the “prequel” to the Lord of the Rings, which describes an entire mythology of wonder, strife, noble struggle and doomed love, along with elves, dwarves, Valar, Maiar, Teleri, dragons, the the House of Haleth. While we were just scolding Jackson the other day for making an underplotted and under planned Hobbit trilogy, it would be impossible to squeeze everything that happens in The Silmarillion into SEVEN movies.
Of course, any adaptation of the book is wishful thinking as the rights have never been sold, and the squabbles over money from the six films have been rather distasteful—the Tolkien estate had to sue Warner Bros to get their share of the films’s profits, and WB countersued over licensing rights, which was to be fair, very very petty. Tolkien sold movie rights to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings 50 years ago in a classic “bad deal” that never lapsed, but none of the elements mentioned only in The Silmarillion could be mentions in any of the movies. JRRT’s main heir and collaborator, his son Christopher, detests the movies and it’s pretty unlikely the estate would ever consider for one second selling the rights. On the other hand, it’s also remarkable that C Tolkien is still alive, at age 91. Tolkien’s last child, a daughter is also still alive, but it isn’t known how much the Tolkien grandkids hate the movies so…well maybe someday? From another studio.
§ Speaking of the WB…
The Civil War trailer (61 million views) BODIED the Batman v Superman trailer (30 million views). Ouch.
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) November 30, 2015
El Mayimbe is just rubbing it in.
§ Claire Napier has a nice tribute to Shigeru Mizuki, who died over the weekend.
§ SKTCHD talks to comics pros about Their Favorite Comics of 2015, and many excellent choices are made.
§ At The Independent, Neel Mukherjee picks seven graphic novels to liven up the holiday season, although they aren’t holiday themed. They’re also graphic novels published in the UK by Jonathan Cape and little known here…showing just how deep the bench is.
§ Sounds like that SDCC vs SLCC legals battle of the term “Comic con/Comic-con” may be winding down.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.