Already Talk of J.R.R. Tolkien's Children of Hurin Becoming a Movie

April 17, 2007
Source: Reuters

Children of HurinWith this week gearing up to the big Spider-Man 3 press events in Los Angeles on Friday and Sam Raimi soon to be questioned endlessly on his interest in The Hobbit, some more interesting J.R.R. Tolkien news has appeared as of late. A new J.R.R. Tolkien book, as impossible as that seems, is going on sale today called Children of Hurin. It's constructed from Tolkien's manuscripts by his son and current estate holder Christopher (like The Silmarillion), and was put together "without any editorial invention". In a report from Reuters, Hollywood studios are already eager to buy the rights and it sounds they may get their chance soon enough.

From the article, David Brawn, director at Tolkien publisher Harper Collins, states:

"We all want this first and foremost to enjoy life as a book," said Brawn. "No one's saying never to a film (but) the film rights are reserved by the estate. We want to see what reaction it gets and then let it run its course."

I'm guessing with this type of publicity everywhere, it'll nurture enough interest to get the rights sold quick, but no one can say if it's worth it until they've read the book. This darker story is set long before Lord of the Rings in a part of Middle Earth that was drowned before Hobbits ever appeared, and tells the tragic tale of Turin and his sister Nienor who are cursed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord.

If there are any Tolkien fans out there, check it out and let us know what you think. Would this darker tale make for just as good of a movie as Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit?

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Would it make as good a movie as Lord of the Rings? Possibly. Will it? Probably not. At the world wide launch in London Adam Tolkien (Christopher Tolkien's son, & co-editor of the book has stated: "Tolkien's grandson Adam, who worked as assistant editor on the book, was also at the launch. It is very much the same world but it is a more serious tale Adam Tolkien He said he was "sad" at how some fans have forgotten about who his grandfather actually was. "Everyone talks about the brand , the franchise and the films. People obviously forget there's a man behind it, that he wrote it for his reasons and the books are wonderful," he added. "I'm certainly not unhappy about the success they've had, but it's a shame that it should become a brand. It's a work of art." " It could make a very good movie, however it wouldn't be the 'action-adventure' type movie LotR was. The tale is dark, bleak & one that ends in little hope. Moving yes, potential Hollywood action-fest, no - not without changing the story so much that it ends up so far from the book as to be unrecognisable. From Adam Tolkien's comments it seems the family want the book to re-establish in the general public's consciousness that JRR Tolkien was a writer, not a producer of first draft screenplays. If you're waiting for a movie of The Children of Hurin don't hold your breath ...

Dave Marley on Apr 17, 2007


it is the best tragedy i have ever read. the thought of it becoming a movie scares me because they already ruined tLotR. if christopher tolkien will not put any of his own creative spin on any of his father's work, no one else should either. to me the stories are set in stone. what amazes me the most is this is all the work of a single mind. homer had hundreds of years of oral tradition to work with and within. tolkien created it all. thousands of years of history of a whole new world. and he did it in a single lifetime. i have been wishing for this book for about 15 years. i hope gondolin is next.

travis on Apr 17, 2007


Tolkien's saga, the Children Of Hurin has the potential to be a very fine cinematic movie. The characters in the books are somewhat bigger than life and the story is deeply moving. In order to make a good movie based on the book, the director and writers should read some of Tolkien's work, that way they will gain a better understanding of what goes on in Hurin and his children's mind and hearts. I think that the characters are dynamic and full of heart. I would like to see a movie based upon the human side of the people and their personal tragedies and suffering that existed in that era. Hollywood, beeing Hllywood, would probably accent the brutal war and violence instead; thus turning a potentially great Oscar contender into a blood and guts violent extravaganza. For my part, I'd rather they did not make a movieof The Children Of Hurin. But if made, many people would watch it simply for the killing and destructiontha will likely be portraid. As a Tokien reader, The only director that can do justice to a story such as this would be Peter Jackson. He was resonably well attuned and appreciative of Tolkien's work in The Lord Of The Rings. This is likely the main reason why the Tolkien estate will not easely grant movie rights to he Hobbit. They are afraid that Hollywood would twist and basterdize the Hobbit into a popular trivial high grossing film, with little regard to story accuracy or depth. If a movie is made, it should be of reasonable length, so that all the charaters may come forth and be expressed. And, please, please, please; don't get someone like Tom Cruze or Brad Pit to play Turin. That very thought makes me want to run out and hide in my hobbit hole.

Frank Aiello on Apr 18, 2007


i would rather it not be made a movie if it involves anyone related to the LotR movies. i don't want an "adaptation" or a "based on the book by" because it won't be the story that i read. its already there in the book. don't change it because no one will ever improve it. i would not watch it if peter jackson was the director. i'm more than happy with the book.

travis on Apr 18, 2007


you better make it into a movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love the other movies so if this one is good then ill be happy

beth on Apr 25, 2007


i can't wait to read the book! i certainly hope they'll make a movie out of it. but i hope there will be more of the characters inner struggles and moving moments, and less of all the orcs and blood and guts. I hope they make a movie based on the actual story of the book, no add-ons or take-aways.. lotr was nice, but if you look pass all the amazing special effects, i kind of miss the real struggles the characters obviously gotta have. thumps up and hopes for the possibility of a movie based on this new "very old" J.R.R Tolkien book. good bless you laddy Tolkien!

morten on May 21, 2007


It took me less than 2 weeks to go through this book. It is a great reed and has potential of making a good movie. There are a few problems though. 1) It will not be near as good as LotR. 2) It is a tragedy, which is not easy to make into a good movie. 3) It is set thousands of years before LotR and there will be no recognizable characters: it would be like a hole new story that has pretty much nothing to do with the past movies and fans will have a hard time relating them. However, if you take into account that it is still an excellent story with great characters (since I read the Silmarillion, Turin has been one of my favorite Tolkien characters, if not my favorite period). The fact that it shows the elves at the height of their power in the great kingdoms of Doriath and Nargothrond. We also have a dragon, balrogs and one of the largest and deadliest battles in the history of Middle Earth, not to mention the original Dark Lord himself. It is hard to imagine this book not making a great movie. I for one would not miss it for the world.

SB on Jun 18, 2007


I loved the book. I am not concerned about it becoming a film - in fact I am even excited about it. Yes, it would be different, cinema is a very different genre; but I think it should be done. Not sure about Adam Tolkien's words about it not being an action movie - I thought there was loads of action in it, and very strong characters which would translate to the big screen really well. Yes, I love Tolkien's work, but what I cannot abide is this harping on about the films being somehow not true to the books. Get over it. The films were good - this film would also be good. They stand alone in their own right - judge them without preconceptions about what they "should" be like and you cannot fail to be impressed. So, Children of Hurin - huge canvas, epic adventures, great characters, beautiful and moving plot. Why should it not make a good film?

Simpster on Aug 23, 2007


Don't hold your breath- that is, not unless you can go without oxygen until 2043. Christopher Tolkien will never sell the film rights, and it appears that Adam is of the same opinion.

William Cloud Hicklin on Sep 3, 2007


It is risky to translate this book to the big screen, and anyone who may make it should handle the source material with respect and caution because it's so very easy to stray from the soul of the book. However i believe that it has the potential to be a masterpiece, if handled with a subtle mind (as good a job Jackson did with LOTR, he wasn't always as subtle as was necessary) especialy as this book is more adult in tone and heart. It being a 'tragedy' should be no reason for it to be bypassed as an awesome cinematic oppourtunity; Romeo & Juliet is the quintessential tragedy but it works beautifuly regardless. With the right cast, the right goal, crafted in the right style so as to capture the profoundly emotive mood of the book, (right score and art direction) a film could more than uphold the soul of this brilliant story, as long as it isn't rushed as the film buisiness is so liable to behave nowadays.

James on Apr 14, 2008


I'm not concerned too much about the Children of Hurin becoming a movie, as long as we all remember that it isn't meant to replace the book and enjoy it for its own sake and not whine about it too much 🙂 It's a great story, and it along with the Silmarillian are my favorites. I think it will work wonderfully for a movie. Actually, the day I read it I was considering how great a movie it could make 😀 Not to say that there isn't a risk making it... it could be terrible. But I think it would be difficult to ruin a story like that.

Jordan on May 11, 2009


The stories of Hurin and his descendants are my favorite in the Silmarillion and other various work that have been published. This would make an amazing movie as long as it wasn't changed at all. It's so good I don't know why they would want to change it. As far as tragedy goes its up there with the works of Shakespeare. I like it better than Hamlet and Macbeth.

Adam on Sep 6, 2009

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