Double Standards

Is there any doubt that if George Lucas were to announce he was producing a film based on one book but splitting it into two movies that he’d be mercilessly condemned for gouging audiences because he’s a greedy bastard? Is there any doubt that if he then decided to split the two movies into three that people would accuse him of crimes against humanity?

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25 Responses to Double Standards

  1. At this point, if Lucas decides to go eat Cheerios he’s accused of crimes against humanity. :-O

  2. Dawn says:

    Alas, no doubt whatsoever, and it’s beyond infuriating….why, *why* do more people not openly call out the rank and eggregious, plainly insulting double-standard, at that?! (I do, whenever such topics come up in convo with my friends – sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t, but I always have to say something – really can’t bear to just let it go, let such galling hypocrisy go unanswered, is what!) Well, most definitely *you* do here, and for that we are of course all of us sincerely grateful….further gives us that needed voice – and what a voice – and then some!

    • Cryogenic says:

      Lucas, as I’ve maintained for a while now, has basically become the scapegoat for all that is wrong in modern cinema, subjectively speaking. What people may dimly perceive in something they like, they instead blame Lucas for. Only mild condemnation is offered — at best — for the transgressions of other populists like J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, and Peter Jackson. If more acrimony is now building over PJ than what might previously have been expected, it may just be a true measure of how venal the situation might really be: not only two films, which was already stretching things, split into three, but now capitulation on the 48 fps issue, which of course met with gross journalistic disapproval a few months ago, and appears to be a joint decision between PJ and Warner Bros., further securing the films against profit loss; in fact, more or less guaranteeing the biggest profits of all (not only three films now in the pipeline, but because the full 3D experience which PJ has waxed happy about may only be had at select locations, some punters will invariably go back to check out a 48fps showing if they enjoy the regular screening enough). All a bit laughable, really. What people also overlook is that Lucas actually spent an entire decade of his life making the prequels (all in all, the prequels actually took longer to make than the LOTR trilogy), and he could have simply farmed the lion’s share out to someone else, just slapping his name on as producer and then being done with it. But he went above and beyond, arguably making the most personal blockbuster films in cinematic history. And what has he received for all that effort and dedication; for the sheer audacity of the undertaking? The most base of insults, time and time again. It’s hard to even fathom the blinkered thinking and double standards this far down the road.

  3. Keith Palmer says:

    I have to admit the news left me wondering a bit too (if maybe not quite in as specific terms as you), but also have to admit a prim part of me started thinking “two wrongs don’t make a right”… and then, I remembered “Peter Jackson’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

    • A New Hope says:

      That’s too funny! I also remember a comedian quipping after one of the LOTR movies won for “best editing” by saying, “A three hour movie should get NO Oscar for editing!”

      I have nothing against Jackson or the Hobbit films. I certainly enjoy them (though straight fantasy isn’t my cup of tea. I need spaceships, damn it!) But I was annoyed when they split Kill Bill into two films, more annoyed when they split Harry Potter 7 into two films and now this — all to thunderous applause by the same crowd that would crucify Lucas for the same decision.

      • Bob Clark says:

        At least with “Kill Bill” they weren’t adding material to pad the length and justify an extra movie. They just decided (probably wisely) that more people would rather see a pair of 2 hour long films than one 4 hour long one.

        • A New Hope says:

          He didn’t add material, but the flip side was that he wasn’t forced to cut material — which is the agonizing process all filmmakers inevitable face. Tarantino could’ve cut the movie down to 3 hours or 2:45 and it still could’ve been great (maybe even better, who knows?), but splitting the movie into two was a win/win. He didn’t have to edit himself and people would pay twice to see the whole movie. The bottom line is that had GL done that, there would’ve been howls of “he’s greedy.”

        • Kitster's Shoe says:

          . . . and with Harry Potter, they decided that a well-paced and emotional two-part finale (that still couldn’t contain all of the major threads of the book) was more appropriate than either a 2-hour rush job that merely jumped from key plot point to key plot point at a frenzied and unemotional pace or a 4-hour ass-paralyzer. I think they chose wisely. :P

  4. Nicholas (Darth Bizarro) says:

    To be fair, there are a lot of people talking smack about Peter Jackson for splitting the Hobbit. I too am personally a bit miffed as to how he’s going to take a book that’s shorter than any of the three Rings books and make 3 movies out of it. But I haven’t seen them yet so I’ll reserve judgement till after. I don’t really think it’s a double standard. There are always going to be people that rage about stuff like this because they apparently have nothing better to do.

    • A New Hope says:

      I haven’t seen the same smack as you, but I believe you. I’ve only seen people defending Jackson by quoting him saying it’s an artistic decision and not about money. That may be true, but then again what else is he going to say?

  5. lazypadawan says:

    Yes, of course!

    I think the trend of taking a single book and splitting it into multiple part film adaptations is more often than not milking a profitable cash cow. Okay, so “The Hobbit” is a pretty dense tome. I can understand not trying to tackle the entire Bible into one movie. But “Breaking Dawn?” The last of the Hunger Games books? I don’t even think the last Harry Potter flick needed to be a two-parter.

    The funny part is a couple of well-known expanded universe fans griped that nobody can tell Peter Jackson “no,” just like nobody could tell Lucas “no” while making the prequels. Bwah! I could have been a real you-know-what and Tweeted back that I felt nobody’s been able to tell Timothy Zahn “no” since about 1998 but I restrained myself. Really, these fans should have known better than to fall for that shopworn hateboy-inspired trope.

    In any case, of course nobody’s going to tell Jackson “no.” His LOTR flicks made a crapload of money. That’s why nobody tells Christopher Nolan or James Cameron or Steven Spielberg “no” either.

    • A New Hope says:

      Exactly. And those filmmakers have all earned that right — just like I’ve written about Lucas in House of Yes. What I’m waiting for is for people to start blaming Lucas for Jackson’s decision — they same way somehow Lucas got blamed for Spielberg’s decision to replace the guns in ‘E.T.’ I guess that day will come if any of the three Hobbit films fall short of expectations.

      • Adam D. Bram says:

        Yeah. I LOVE LOTR to death, and I’ll gladly watch all three extended editions in one sitting. But this does strike me as a bit much. Judgement reserved, but…

        I have heard tons of gripings. There’s even a CAD making fun of it:

        And if anyone praises this and bashes Lucas in the same breath, they’ll hear it from me. Until then, I maintain that both directors have earned my faith (for now).

  6. Sifo-Dyas says:

    People from this site really should start organizing more, or at least TRY to start organizing a little more the same way the hateboys all do.

    reddit has some serious hateboy problems, people from here should start going to their /r/starwars page and i know you guys could drop the facts and reality on the hateboys there.

    • A New Hope says:

      There’s no need for organization. The simple response to hateboys problems is to say, “It’s courteous to allow other people to like the things you don’t in peace.” That’s what this all boils down to. No one is trying to change their minds about hating things as much as they do. It’s about standing up and saying that no one needs their permission to enjoy the things we like. Or say things like, “Sorry about your unhappiness. There are other films and franchises you may enjoy better. I enjoy this one and these movies. Please respect my choices. This is not a competition. No one “wins” by annoying strangers about their personal tastes. There are things about Star Wars you DO enjoy, focus on that.” Etc.

      • Lucasfan1 says:

        I’d like to point out that Sifo-Dyas does more hating on /r/Starwars then any other human being alive. Not against the prequels, but against his fellow fans. He’s whats wrong with star wars fans these days. How you treat your fellow fans is equally as important as how you act as a fan. I’d post examples, but what would be the point? He’s doing you no favors by constantly linking to here from his reddit account. People in /r/starwars are begging to associate him with vitriol and rhetoric as opposed to a source of fandom.

        • A New Hope says:

          I don’t ask anyone to link to this site, so what people say while doing so is out of my hands. People can defend their own behavior. I’ll defend mine.

          I will say this: its the same fans clutching their pearls and whining about ‘fans attacking fans’ who have never had ANY respect for their fellow fans actually LIKING the PT or SEs. None. And that’s likely what Sifo-Dyas is responding to. When every positive statement is met with nothing but attacks and snarky comebacks, after years it gets old. So to all those hateboys so concerned about fans being mean to them, look in the mirror. Stop being a douchbag and no one will think you are one.

          PT fans are entitled to like the PT. Period. Fans who don’t need to respect THAT.

          • Lucasfan1 says:

            “PT fans are entitled to like the PT. Period. Fans who don’t need to respect THAT.”

            That door swings both ways. Fans who aren’t fond of the PT should have their preference respected too and shouldn’t have terms like hater and hateboy shoved in their faces, which is the point I was trying to make above. You’re obviously not aware of his conduct, so I’m sure you’d be pretty sickened at his attitude were you aware. I’m not talking about people who go around saying ‘Lucas raped my childhood’ or anything, just casual fans who prefer the OT.

          • A New Hope says:

            The casual fans who enjoy the OT are not the problem. I think we all know that. Most fans who simply prefer the OT are not online bitching obsessively about the PT because most normal people prefer to talk about the things they DO like, not rag constantly about the things they don’t. Most fans who prefer the OT simply don’t bother talking about the PT because it’s not their cup of tea. I’m totally fine with that. Why would I or anyone else care what another person thinks if they’re not bothering to engage in a discussion of it? Those are not the fans we’re talking about. The term “hateboy” doesn’t apply to every fan who dislikes the PT or the SEs.

            I coined the term “hateboy” because of people’s actions, not their preferences.

            Again, I don’t know what individuals may do during specific discussions, but I do know that there is a vast reservoir of frustration and anger that has built up among saga fans and PT fans like myself after years and years and year of nasty, vile, and petty crap spewed online and in public about the things we like. Can we agree on that? It’s not just that some fans prefer the OT, a minority of selfish fans clearly feel the need to destroy the parts of the saga they don’t like and chastise those who support it. I document this type of behavior here all the time. And sometimes that frustration explodes in a comment or a rant that may seem like it’s targeting everyone who prefers the OT, but is really directed at those few who have made it their mission to ruin the saga experience for other fans. Not everyone is as graceful as you or I about making our points.

            Now, I don’t know what happens over on Reddit on a daily basis. Occasionally, I’ll check it out, but I don’t post there. But it seems to me that the same people who delight in following every positive mention of the PT (or even completely benign ones) with a snarky comment about how the PT sucks or insinuating that fans who like the PT are delusional or fools are the same ones who immediately get the vapors and play victim when someone gets frustrated and explodes in response. It’s classic bullying behavior: harass and annoy by pecking away until someone finally lashes out and then accuse THEM of being overly sensitive and confrontational. It’s playground BS.

            Fans who simply prefer the OT should talk about the OT. They shouldn’t even bother discussing the PT because it’s clearly not something they enjoy, so leave it to those who do. Every argument about the flaws in the PT has been made and re-made years ago. Saying it sucks now is a pointless endeavor. It’s just an annoyance to other fans. Those who persist in doing so are hateboys. They’re engaging in an activity that deserves to be called out. And until they knock that shit off, people will do so.

  7. buick runner says:

    That link was really funny.

    I thought part 1 of the final Harry Potter film was really boring because it was padded out so much. Even though I like HP they spplit the last book for the money. So it is no question to me that they are splitting the Hobbit into 3 films for the money. To pad it out into a prequel trilogy for LOTR. Yet they have accused Lucas of doing this with the SW prequel films, makes me sick.

    • Kitster's Shoe says:

      I’m a big Harry Potter fan and have been for over 11 years, and some of these claims that the Deathly Hallows split was purely money-motivated annoy me almost as much as the nonsense tossed George Lucas’ way. :(

      I’ve been following the HP movies all along. The producers/writer/directors are not the kind to do this just for money. They’re just not. Deathly Hallows is a dense book, and they’d been struggling to keep all the major beats from each book while making the films dramatically satisfying since Goblet of Fire, which was a huge tome, and all of the later books remained around the same length (and, in fact, they even considered splitting Goblet of Fire, and presumably every installment after it, but decided against it, those money-grubbers!!!). Splitting Deathly Hallows in two not only allowed them to keep all the major story beats (which were numerous in DH) and tie most of the major threads, but it also allowed them to let the story and the characters “breath”, which was a sacrifice they sometimes had to make from Goblet of Fire forward and which was not especially enticing for a finale that’s supposed to be highly emotional and that’s supposed to reflect upon the series as a whole.

      Steve Kloves (writer of all but one of the movies):

      “As for Deathly Hallows, I intuited — almost from the first moments I began reading it and certainly once I’d finished — that to realize the story in a single film was going to be a tall order. Others in ‘the group’ felt similarly. So the idea of two films began to get kicked around as early as late summer of 2007. We didn’t take it lightly. But ultimately everyone felt that despite the challenges it would present, it was the most sound creative decision. I’m sure some will think we’re crazy. My wife looked at me cross-eyed when I first mentioned it. But I’m really excited about it because it should allow us to stretch a bit with the characters and give them the proper send-off. The story is highly emotional and those moments deserve time to breathe. And, personally, I feel we owe it to Jo — in order to preserve the integrity of the work — and the fans — for their loyalty all these years — to give them the best and most complete experience possible. I’d love to do it in three parts!”

      I think the creative team definitely decided to split it for artistic reasons (and would they really have been that desperate for a few million more after all the billions the series had gotten them over the years and would continue to give them for years to come?), though I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a lot of the higher-ups in WB allowed it for monetary ones. ;P

      Just had to have that said for my fellow HP fans (you know how it goes, of course XD).

  8. Adam D. Bram says:

    I just had a revelation about the REAL modern-favorite-vs-Lucas-Movie hypocrisy…

    The real hypocrisy would be people who accept the nuclear shenanigans in The Dark Knight Rises (which I otherwise loved to death) but lambast the underappreciated Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because of a lead-lined fridge.

  9. Nathan David Shearer says:

    Get a load of this: Apparently many Lord of the Rings fans are in favor of Peter Jackson replacing Ian Holm with Martin Freeman in the Prologue from Fellowship of the Ring, to better match the new Hobbit films.

    • A New Hope says:

      If Jackson were to do that, expect the hateboys to blame George for it.