Your team of crack geek-reporters at Skiffy and Fanty has learned that filmmaker Peter Jackson will be returning to Middle-Earth one more time. Correction: 14 more times.
“As a filmmaker, you’re always challenging yourself,” Jackson said. “Our first challenge was bringing three huge novels to the screen in three films with The Lord of the Rings. Then we took one slim novel and made it into another three films with The Hobbit. Now, we’re really going to push ourselves by taking a series of incomplete stories from Tolkien’s desk drawers and see just how many films we can do.”
Each of the five main sections of The Silmarillion will get its own series of films, starting with the Ainulindalë, the creation myth of Middle-Earth. “The god Eru Ilúvatar created the Ainur to sing the world into creation, so we’re going to be looking at a musical for the first new trilogy,” Jackson said. “Melkor interrupted the music three times with his discord, so there you go, three movies.”
Not every piece of The Silmarillion will get a complete trilogy, but some stories will get special treatment. “The Tale of Beren and Lúthien,” in particular, will receive a full trilogy of its own, though it was but a scant 30-40 pages within the larger text. Jackson said he plans to “fill in the gaps” of the tale with several hobbits, flash-forward sections with Gandalf and Frodo, and no fewer than nine large set-piece battles, all of which will end with the arrival of giant eagles.
As per contractual obligation, the role of Legolas will be played by Orlando Bloom in each of the 14 Silmarillion films, Jackson confirmed, though they will be set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. “It was a bad poker hand,” Jackson explained. “I was out of chips but had a full house, so I bet Orlando a role in all my future movies. He had four of a kind. So we’ll be writing Legolas in there. Thankfully, he’s an elf, so it’s not entirely implausible, so long as we can use CGI to hide the aging process. Fourteen years is a long time.”
In related news, the gross domestic product of New Zealand is expected to rise 500% over the next decade, economists said.
Michael J. Martinez is the author of the Daedalus trilogy; the final book, The Venusian Gambit, is out May 5. When not putting sailing ships in space or committing other acts of historical fantasy, he travels and homebrews and is generally quite appreciative of his family. He blogs at http://www.michaeljmartinez.net and tweets at @mikemartinez72.