Well, I'm about 3/4 of the way done with THE HOBBIT, and I like the book very much so far. It is an easy read, no doubt because Tolkien intended it as a children's book, but I have some preliminary questions/thoughts on how the story will translated into a movie.
1. How will the book be split into two movies? My initial thought would be to end movie #1 after the escape from the goblins in the forest . Movie #2 would start with the stay in Beorn's home and the journey into Mirkwood. But I wonder if there is enough story there to fill two movies? I'm thinking GDT might need to add some new scenes or action sequences? Or maybe I'm just picturing the epic LOTR movies in my head, which were three hours long each.
2. This seems a light-hearted romp, compared to the dark overtones of the LOTR trilogy. Will audiences expect a dark fantasy adventure? I don't think that is the nature of this story. This seems more of a family picture - with lots of opportunities for comedy. It reminds me of "The Wizard of Oz" in a lot of ways. Will GDT take this route, or will he try to follow the tone established by Peter Jackson? Will we get to see a dwarf musical number - those little bastards love to sing!
3. Who will play Bilbo? Would we see the great Ian Holm return? If GDT wanted to be consistent with the LOTR movies, that would make sense. He has already said that he would welcome back cast members from the LOTR films to reprise their roles. And Bilbo in The Hobbit is not a young man. He's middle aged with a mead-belly (that's Middle Earth for "beer-belly"). And Gandalf says in the Fellowship film that he hasn't aged since last he saw him (the ring slows down the aging process). But somehow I doubt we will see Ian again. I have a feeling we will see a younger actor.
I have some more questions about plot but I will save those for another post when I finish the book. For now, this is some early thoughts on how the book would be translated to film.