Just as an update to this entry I posted last week, The Guardian reports that the new TV series based in Tolkien’s Middle Earth has been confirmed and will be set before the events of Lord of the Rings, but after the Hobbit. That is, it’s not going to be a retelling of either story. They say it will be based on Tolkien’s work, but as far as I know, he didn’t write much about that period – not enough to flesh out a multi-season television series, that’s for sure – so it looks to me like the writers will be making their own stories up.
I still feel quite strongly against that idea. Tolkien’s work is Tolkien’s work: it should not be meddled with or added to. I’ve loved those stories ever since dad started reading them to me and my brothers when I was about eight or nine. They are now set to be tampered with by some American hack who I doubt would know what they are doing. No doubt they would write some sort of romance into it; they would also force their American, nationalistic interpretation onto it, with power and combat always shown to be the right way. They would have looked at Jackson’s adaptations, seen all the epic battles, and thought that that was what Middle Earth is all about. Forgive my gross pessimism, but I can’t see this turning out to be anything but a total mess and a betrayal of Tolkien’s work.