Peter Jackson Answers Questions about The Two Towers – Why the changes in Faramir? Why the different ending?

by Dec 24, 2002Reviews

Green Cine had the opportunity to speak with Peter Jackson and Phillippa Boyens about some of the changes they made to The Two Towers…. Here’s an excerpt:

In the book, for example, Faramir is very pure and very noble, but here in the film, he’s got this evil touch. He’s even tempted by the ring.

Peter Jackson: For a short time, yeah. We made that change, just to use that example — and this is really where being a filmmaker differs from being a writer. You make decisions as a filmmaker and, rightly or wrongly, you change things if you think they need to be changed. We wanted the episode with Faramir in this particular film to have a certain degree of tension. Frodo and Sam were captured. Their journey had become more complicated by the fact that they are prisoners. Which they are in the book for a brief period of time. But then, very quickly in the book, Tolkien sort of backs away from there and, as you say, he reveals Faramir to be very pure. At one point, Faramir says, “Look, I wouldn’t even touch the ring if I saw it lying on the side of the road.”

For us, as filmmakers, that sort of thing creates a bit of a problem because we’ve spent a lot of time in the last film and in this one to establish this ring as incredibly powerful. Then to suddenly come to a character that says, “Oh, I’m not interested in that,” to suddenly go against everything that we’ve established ourselves is sort of going against our own rules. We certainly acknowledge that Faramir should not do what Boromir did and that he ultimately has the strength to say, “No, you go on your way and I understand.” We wanted to make it slightly harder, to have a little more tension than there was in the book. But that’s where that sort of decision comes from.

The reality is that The Two Towers is the slightest of the books, I think. We kind of have all the memorable moments of the book in the film and what we’ve done is to actually enhance and add bits of story that weren’t in the book. For instance, we have Frodo and Sam arguing with each other at one point in the movie so that you can see that the tension of what they’re doing is getting to them. And that wasn’t in the book, but we wanted to develop these characters a bit.

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