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Philippa Boyens in ‘The Angst of Adaptation’

New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times talks about ‘The Angst of Adaptation’ – translating a book to film – and interviews Philippa Boyens about writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films.

Boyens, who was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit, wrote the screenplay for The Lord of the Rings as well as acting as a co-producer for The Hobbit films. She also collaborated with Sir Peter Jackson on King Kong and The Lovely Bones.

In the interview, Boyens talks about the daunting task of converting a book to film and how, for the screenwriter, something is lost:

When you adapt it you kind of lose it forever, because you have a different knowledge of it now […] Your adaptation is just your version of a piece of literature, a piece of work that you love as much as anyone else. You cannot take on the responsibility of making a definitive version of The Lord of the Rings, because you would fail.

She also spoke of the creation of Tauriel, a controversial addition to the second and third Hobbit films:

The female energy is great, and she’s become one of the most popular characters in the film so I feel like we made the right choice there. It allowed younger women a way into the story, and it also leavened it because you can feel the blokiness of 13 dwarfs after a while.

You can read the full article online.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 2,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.