A Tale of Two Movies: Deathly Hallows, Breaking Dawn, The Hobbit, and now Mockingjay

My grandfather once said, “What does your grandmother like more than one scoop of ice cream?

“Two scoops of ice cream.”

This seems to be the newfound philosophy of movie studios that hold the rights to mega-successful franchises based on books.  Why make one bajillion dollars when you can make two?  It’s a simple business formula.  Fans will lay down their cash for a movie ticket without blinking an eye, for they are faithful to the franchise.  They need to finish the story, even if they’ve already read it seventeen thousand times.  So, why not make it two instead of one?

Maybe that’s why George Lucas has made so many versions of the original Star Wars trilogy: Why leave it as the original movie, when you can make the “Special Edition,” the “Really Special Edition,” and the “3-D Spectacularly Special Edition,” on DVD, Blu-ray, and vinyl (for everyone tired of watching the added-in special effects)?

Now, while I may mock the decision to make books into two films, I do understand the dilemma of fitting the whole story into one film.  Both Deathly Hallows and The Hobbit can be justified.  First, they are both well-written stories, and, second, they have enough happening to fill two films.  Some may argue the first Deathly Hallows is a slow bit of wandering, but that’s how the book is as well.  You need what you learn of Dumbledore and Voldemort’s histories, as well as the Deathly Hallows to build up to the awesome, explosive climax at Hogwarts.  Also, it gives the filmmaker more time to blow up pieces of Hogwarts, spectacularly.  As for The Hobbit, Peter Jackson has already established such a gorgeous and textured visual element to Middle Earth, it’s well worth venturing there twice more.  Beyond that, they will be able to add in more of Bilbo’s epic journey across the Misty Mountains.

Perhaps Peter Jackson used Bilbo’s sword Sting to slice the Hobbit into two for the screen play. It would be as epic as the book.

As for Breaking Dawn, I have not read New Moon, Eclipse, nor Breaking Dawn, but I have read the Wikipedia synopsis of all.  Hoping that is accurate, and having read Twilight, I am still amazed that Stephanie Meyer can fit so little story into so long a book.  I know I may be insulting fans, and I apologize.  I’m not into the stories.  Perhaps a Twilight fan could persuade me that Breaking Dawn as two films is justified, and they are welcome to in the comments below.

Having read Mockingjay, I can somewhat see if being two films.  However, I think, in converting Mockinjay into a different medium, some of the times of Katniss healing from various injuring could be cut out or condensed.  I’m attempting to avoid spoilers here, so I can’t fully explain.  Let me note, I greatly enjoyed The Hunger Games, somewhat enjoyed Catching Fire, enjoyed the first half of Mockingjay, and was disappointed by the meandering towards the end leading to an odd, anticlimactic ending.  Once again, fans of Mockingjay are welcome to persuade me otherwise, and please do so in the comments below.

My point is, while The Hunger Games film is an excellent adaptation of a great book, and I’m sure Catching Fire will be satisfactory, I’m not sure Mockingjay has enough to fill two films.  I trust the screenwriter(s) are working towards that end.

A book that absolutely should be two films is Fox in Socks.

Fox In Socks: The Movie Poster

I’d suggest breaking it up as follows:

Fox In Socks 1 – Box On Knox –

Knox is stuck in a dead-end life, until the Fox in Socks comes and upends everything.  (Hence, Knox on Box)

Fox In Socks 2 – Tweetle Beetle Puddle Paddle Battle

As the relationship between Fox and Knox develops, Fox leads Knox into the dark underworld of Tweetle Beetle Battles.  Will Knox ever be able to return to his box?

What do you think of the plan to have Mockingjay be two films?

What other book should be two films?

What do you think of this trend in general?

Would you go to see Fox In Socks in two parts?  Sound off below.

RELATED LINKS

Here is the article I read from Entertainment Weekly, officially announcing Mockingjay will be two films:

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/07/10/mockingjay-split-release-dates/

For pop-culture snobs out there, here’s a fun blog post that got me thinking today:

http://truthandcake.com/2012/07/09/are-you-a-pop-culture-snob/

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10 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Movies: Deathly Hallows, Breaking Dawn, The Hobbit, and now Mockingjay

  1. ‎”I am still amazed that Stephanie Meyer can fit so little story into so long a book.” Too true, Laura, too true.
    And with 2 movies, it’s a win/win I think. More money for actors and more story for viewers.

  2. Money is the name of the game.

    I bet when the Ender’s Game movie comes out someday they’ll split that entire series into like 10 movies, either that or just make a show of it like with Game of Thrones.

    Heck if I wrote a book and they wanted to make a movie of it I’d probably do it too, not only for the story but for the money as well.
    That’s really the only positive approach I can see from it. It allows there to be more story (sometimes needlessly) and more money. Just squeeze it out as much as you can. To be honest, I’m not mad. I enjoyed both Deathly Hallows 1 & 2. DH 1 showed the characters possibly at their lowest point and just barely scraping by. DH 2 put all that angst in a box and just blew it up.

    On a different note, I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Hunger Games, Enders Game, Game of Thrones. I guess it’s all just a game.

    • Thanks Elliott.
      It could be argued Orson Scott Card already split Ender’s Game into two books: Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. Though, he didn’t do it for money. He did it because it was a creative, interesting way to add depth to the story

  3. I pretty much have the same opinion on splitting a book into two movies. Unfortunately, the allure of money muddles the true point of this new take on film – capturing a book’s story without massive condensing of character and plot. Deathly Hallows was the first to do this, and it was greatly needed. Anyone who read the Harry Potter series knew that while the movies were enjoyable and reflected the books fairly well, many plots and a lot of information became non-existent or very subtle nods in the movies.

    Just a few weeks ago I rewatched Part Two, and keep track of how long the Battle of Hogwarts lasted. It was a little over an hour of spell-casting, explosions, and pure awesomeness. There’s no way a single film for the last book could have given all the plot and led up to a good conclusion; the book has our trio entering Hogwarts and having the battle for the last two-hundred pages, or a little under one-third of the book’s pages. I’d be one upset fan if the final film was practically a mishmash of some big scenes and the Battle of Hogwarts was but ten minutes. The only part I didn’t like with Deathly Hallows is that the touching scene with Dudley wasn’t included. Otherwise, it was all I could ask for.

    It’s big, complicated books that are appropriate for two-film runs. Or mini-series(like The Hogfather). Or both. The Hobbit needs this, even at the basic level that Tolkien’s Middle Earth and all of its worldbuilding is so complicated. I don’t know how much you’ve read of his other works, but most of the stories published in the “Untold Tales” volumes could easily be given at least an hour-long production. With LotR, even the extended editions left out some good bits. Plus, I might also be biased because my dad raised me with child-sized versions of Tolkien’s stories, and I read The Hobbit in third grade. Good childhood memories.

    I don’t see why the Twilight series needed more than two movies(not going to bash here though). While I love the Hunger Games, Mockingjay has a very straight plot with more complications being at the character level. I loved everything about the first movie; the not-so-steady camera, lack of music more often than not, lack of Hollywood glitz aside from the Capitol, and the subtle foreshadowing all over really built its success. I hope that even with somehow making Mockingjay into two movies, it keeps the impressive stylistic work and the performance of the first movie.

    • I sense some passion about the topic on here, but I’m not that surprised, given your awesome dress for the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. While I don’t think Breaking Dawn needs to be two movies, it is in fact about money, however, I do see how the last book in that franchise is about two lives of Bella…one as human, the other as vampire. Looking at it that way, I can stretch my imagination into it “needing” to be two movies, but truly the movies and the books are two entirely different aspects of the Twilight franchise saga. I did enjoy these books, however I see how many would not enjoy them. I’m a hopeless romantic and believe that while many think of Bella as a weak female lead character, I feel that the ending of Breaking Dawn is as way to show that being female is a force to be reckoned with. I haven’t read Mocking Jay, I tore through the first two books in that trilogy, but stopped short after hearing others say it fell short. I guess I’m not ready to ruin my holding the story in my mind versus back to the words on paper. Be well! ~Kristy

    • Having read Mockingjay, it might be better to avoid disappointment. Although, you might enjoy it. I do have to confess, though, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic myself. I like a good, fun romance like in The Princess Bride. Twilight’s got some good qualities, but it lacks a sense of fun. That’s really what disappoints me about it.

      • I do want to add, however, that the fact that Twilight is more PG-esque – for the most part – is part of what drove me to decide on the overall theme of the blog. I am impressed that at least the first three books are something a mom, grandma, daughter, or their male counterparts, can read together without being embarrassed or uncomfortable.

  5. Pingback: The Third Hobbit | Good. Wholesome. Fun.

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