Jackson, Walsh and Boyens’ secret plans to make a BOTFA musical #richardarmitage

You’ll remember my speculation about the many similarities between Thorin Oakenshield and Alauddin Khilji a few weeks ago. And then there’s this, which looks an awful lot like the Company of Thorin Oakenshield dancing — if you don’t look all too close.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Richard Armitage bouncing around like that in his dwarf boots?

Doing my usual job of scouring the far corners of the Internet for Richard Armitage news that will interest my fellow fans, I happened upon a transcript of a conversation overheard by the typical drone bugging sources, this time from Fran Walsh’s bedroom, where many of the films’ script moments were fine-tuned, during the summer of 2012. I’ve added some links throughout to aid readers’ memories. This is the first part of the transcript; our spies are reconstructing the second part as we speak.


Fran: I still say it was a missed opportunity in The Desolation of Smaug.

Philippa: What do you mean?

Fran: It would have been great if Thorin could have broken into song when they opened the keyhole, with something like “Memory,” from CATS.

Thorin, upon seeing the inside of Erebor for the first time in decades: “Memory … All alone in the moonlight … I can dream of the old days … Life was beautiful then … I remember the time I knew what happiness was … Let the memory live again.”

Philippa: As I remember, Richard refused categorically. Even when we offered him a $10,000 bonus.

Fran: Ten thousand US or NZ?

Philippa: We tried both. Went over about as well as asking Martin Freeman to sing “Consider Yourself” from Oliver! when he got his pony in An Unexpected Journey.

Fran: Ah, but Martin can’t sing. Or dance. Richard can do both!

Philippa: Richard didn’t want to. Didn’t want to do either.

Fran: Well, let’s just brainstorm a little bit. Maybe with the right combination of music, Richard can be persuaded.

Philippa: OK. So The Battle of the Five Armies is going to begin with the people of Laketown fleeing the city.

Fran: Well, you know what means.

Philippa: What?

Fran: We’ll do a big orchestral version of “Anatevka” from Fiddler on the Roof.

Philippa: Wait …

Philippa: “You do know this line is meant ironically, right? This is Jewish humor. Facetious? They actually DON’T want Anatevka set on fire.”

Fran: Oh. OK. Well, still, the Jews were sad to leave Anatevka, the Laketowners are sad to leave Laketown.

Philippa: “Laketown” has two syllables, while “Anatevka” has four.

Fran: They could sing “Laketown, Laketown.” That has four syllables.

Philippa: Or they wouldn’t have to sing.

Fran: Easier to shoot.

Philippa: Good point. Next: Bard killing Smaug.

Fran: If you want a Smaug song, apart from Elliott in Pete’s Dragon, there aren’t any. And Elliott is nothing like Smaug. We’ll really have to go back into opera.

Philippa: There was a dragon in “Shrek: The Musical.”

Fran: Yeah, and it was a huge flop. Lost $300,000 a week!

Philippa: OK, so no dragon number.

Fran: No, but we could give Bard a song.

Philippa: Luke Evans does know all the songs from Rent.

Fran: That will be a stretch.

Philippa: We could maybe re-write the lyrics to Seasons of Love to be about measuring the time he waited to kill the dragon.

Fran: There are 171 years between the destruction of Erebor and the Battle of the Five Armies. That’s 89 million, 877 hundred thousand, six hundred minutes. Kind of oxy for a lyric!

Philippa: OK, but Bard was only 43 when he killed Smaug.

Fran: Now I know why we chose you to go up against Stephen Colbert at that quiz competition.

Philippa: Uch, don’t remind me. Anyway, forty-three years would be 22 million, 600 thousand, 800 minutes. It totally fits in the song. Or we could have him sing 22M, 600K plus 800 minutes. Sounds more contemporary.

Bard, singing: “How do you measure a life of a woman or a man? In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried? In bridges he burned, or the way that she died?”

Fran: Why do you think Luke will do it when you thought Richard wouldn’t?

Philippa: Why don’t you think Luke would do it? He never gave interviews in which he said musical theater made him smile too much. Unlike one moody dwarf I know.

Fran: Admit it, you’ve got a crush on Richard. You just want to make him happy.

Philippa: Who doesn’t?

Fran: Good point.

[both sigh]

Fran: OK, that’s settled. Luke will sing a song from Rent and Richard is adorable.

Philippa: Back to work.

Fran: Do you think it would be too much to give Stephen Fry his own number?

Philippa: We really can’t add too much time to the film, when you consider all the battle scenes that Pete has to scissor into this.

Fran: Don’t tell him, but I was thinking we could keep costs down by having more songs, fewer battles. Maybe there could even be a song that prevents the final Battle of the Five Armies from happening!

Philippa: Can you imagine the uproar from the Tolkien fandom? Not going there.

Fran: Some fans are already writing “everybody lives, nobody dies” fanfic. Why wouldn’t they like it?

Philippa: Some fans are already writing Bagginshield, and we’re not putting that on screen, either.

Fran and Philippa, at the same time: too bad!

Cut from the BOTFA musical, Stephen Fry singing “Master of the House” from Les Misérables: “I do whatever pleases / Jesus! Won’t I bleed ’em in the end!” as he flees Laketown.

Fran: There’s just going to be a time issue, if we have to give every major character his or her own single number. Plus ensemble numbers with dancing. It will be too much.

Philippa: Plus, who really wants to see an orc singing?

Fran: If the villains don’t sing, the dramatic tension is lessened.

Philippa: We’ll get it to it when we get to it, I guess.

Fran: So the villagers are now crossing the lake.

Philippa: What do the nuns sing in “Sound of Music” when the von Trapps are fleeing?

Fran: “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”? Nah — first of all, there’s a LAKE in this scene. Second, Bard already had his song.

Philippa: OK. But then we need a love song.

Fran: You mean, for our superfluous love affair?

Philippa: Right. West Side Story is a great reference for star-crossed lovers. We need something with three syllables.

Kili to Tauriel: “Maria TauRIel / I just met a girl named Maria TauRIel.”

Fran: Awkward, because he met her hours and hours ago in the film. Also it’s TAU-ri-el.

Philippa. Hmm, okay. Do you like “If I Loved You” from Carousel?

Kili to Tauriel: “If I loved you / Time and again I would try to say / All I’d want you to know.”

Fran: It does get to their communication problems. I’ll pencil it in.

Philippa: So the villagers go to Dale, and the dwarves who survived the inferno travel on to Erebor, where they meet crazy Thorin.

Fran: That’s perfect. We’ll have Thorin do a number where he welcomes them in.

Thorin, to Fili and Kili: “Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome!”

Philippa: From Cabaret! That’s perfect. Well, except there aren’t any girls in Erebor.

Fran: We’ll have him put “gold” in place of girls. “Leave your troubles outside / So life is disappointing, forget it! / In here life is beautiful / The gold is beautiful / even the orchestra is beautiful.”

Philippa: No orchestra there either.

Fran: Details.

Philippa: Oh, look at the time — I need to get going. Can you check with Pete and see what he thinks? I’ve got more ideas for the rest of the film, I just have to get home right now.

Fran: I’ll let you know what he thinks. And meanwhile I’ll be thinking of where the colossal dance numbers will fit in.

[part one of transcript ends]


This is a spoof, and a contribution to this month’s Mach was.

~ by Servetus on March 4, 2018.

24 Responses to “Jackson, Walsh and Boyens’ secret plans to make a BOTFA musical #richardarmitage”

  1. Fran: Admit it, you’ve got a crush on Richard. You just want to make him happy.
    Philippa: Who doesn’t?
    Fran: Good point.
    [both sigh]
    Fran: OK, that’s settled. Luke will sing a song from Rent and Richard is adorable.

    Sitting here with a silly grin on my face……..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. LOL, what a great idea – a musical. They could also put in a dwarf ensemble number. How about “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go”? They could sing it on the way to find the hidden door, and everyone would have a chance to sing and dance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that would be good in the part of this film where they suddenly block the entrance to Erebor in like ten minutes. That always impressed me.


  3. Hahahahaha!!
    I love it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny! It certainly would have been a different film! For a dragon number, how about Fagin’s song from Oliver: “In this life, one thing counts, in the bank, large amounts. I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees… you’ve got to kill a dragon or two!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that would fit well in TDOS, just straight, when Bilbo and Smaug are talking. “You’ve got to kill a dwarf or two.” Bard doesn’t seem to care much about money. Or maybe he could sing about the one thing counting being freedom.

      I saw Oliver! again a few nights ago — really holds up well. Almost everyone who was in it is dead, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, true. It’s Thorin, really, who wants the gold the dragon is sitting on.

        I loved Oliver as a kid. I guess it was a long time ago now.


        • I was in it once, as the undertaker’s wife, and then about two years later I played the score for rehearsals for it for about a month. It has that abusive relationship and that disgusting song “As Long as He Needs Me” to justify it, which is vomit inducing. I think both times I participated they modified the book to leave that song out, and I know the first time I was in it, Nancy didn’t die. But I can live with the rest of it.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Clever! Ah yes can hear “wilkomen” – perfect spot. Loved it.. You brought a smile to me today and a giggle or two as always with your quick wit. too many good suggestions to list them all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That dance clip is absolutely perfect! A perfect dance number for Thorin and the dwarves! You should tweet it to Richard on April 1st and ask why this scene was deleted from the film. Ha-ha! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll leave you to do that. I wonder how his ankles would hold up to that dance. Must have been very tiring for the actors!


  7. Just as long as they all rise to do a Bollywood finish…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Will there be singalong showings in cinemas???
    I can’t wait to hear what Pete thinks about this!!!!

    This is brilliant Serv, thanks for the hearty laugh

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve seen part of part two of the transcript. There seems to be some issue with Dean O’Gorman and autotune that’s holding up contract negotiations.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Still searching for a dragon song, but how about Thorin singing to the dream of his Arkenstone , “If Ever I Would Leave You” from “Camelot”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ROFL!
    I think ‘Climb Every Mountain’ would be very fitting… 🙂


  11. the crush on Richard part was the best 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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