Moriarty over at aint-it-cool-news.com has seen the
whole script apparently, and he loved it.
Ive only seen three little bits that are probably used for
audition purposes, and Im glad, because what Ive seen makes me as happy
as anything Ive seen about this movie, and I would hate to have the surprise
spoilt for me when I finally see it.
Because the script bits are audition excerpts, I would guess that
they are moments in the movie that sum up a bit of what each actor must be capable of
in order to portray that character. Thus they also reveal a bit about how the director
sees that character, what he considers important.
Legolas and the paths of the dead
Whoever plays Legolas has a difficult job, because he has to
go from being a profound and unearthly creature in one moment to being a friend to
Gimli the dwarf in the next, with all the gentle teasing there is between them. The
script bit I saw did that.
It condensed the ideas of some incidents during the trek through
the Paths of the Dead that Legolas, being immortal, does not fear the dead.
Hes actually quite assertive and its as much his words as Aragorns
courage that impel the company to continue through the passage under the mountain.
He quotes the words of Malbeth the Seer about the oath binding the Dead at the stone
of Erech. (In the book, Aragorn speaks those words, on P 56 Vol. III of my edition,
which is a 30 year old A&U so probably useless to you. It doesnt matter
who speaks the words of the Seer, really, and Im impressed by the way things
seem to be telescoped in a useful fashion, so that if something doesnt happen
at the same place as in the book, it still serves the plot at some point.) The actor
playing Legolas will have to be able to sound dramatic, profound, un-prosaic.
The Dead follow the Grey Company. Legolas can see them and he
describes them to the others in Tolkiens own words, or close enough. The script
that Ive seen moves easily and naturally in and out of Tolkiens words without
any bumping in the style of the language.
A moment later Legolas gently teases Gimli for his fear of the dead,
and the actor will have to change quickly to a much lighter tone. Quite a challenge, I
should think. I notice people have more trouble imagining an actor to play Legolas than
any other character.
Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard
Ooh, theres a spoiler! Looks like Treebeards in. Sorry
if you didnt want to know yet.
The action is telescoped from their escape from the Uruk-hai to the
moment when Treebeard finds them. Hoom, hum, I think when well see the movie
well appreciate just how big and scary Treebeard is from their point of view at
Theres a bit that happens just before he finds them that isnt
in the book, but which perfectly illustrates something Tolkien says of the hobbits, of their
"As they walked they compared notes, talking lightly in hobbit-fashion
of the things that had happened since their capture. No listener would have guessed from their
words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril "
The script bit has a little comic incident, and I laughed out loud reading
it and seeing it in my minds eye. Merry and Pippin seem to have been given the sort
humour people have when they dont take themselves too seriously. Its a rather
deadpan understated clowning, not the mugging-for-the-camera, look-arent-I-
funny kind of humour.
Looks like theyre going to be quite cute, but not in a revolting