It could happen, according to Traveler's Tales, the developers of the rather brilliant Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman video games. EA has dropped the LotR rights to Warner Brothers... who owns Traveler's Tales.
As is necessary when discussing Lego, I'm going to defer to my ten-year-old self. Aly?
Thanks, Al. This. Is. AWESOME.
I totally loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings , and I also totally loved the Lego versions of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Batman, and even though I don't like Harry Potter that much, LEGO Harry Potter sounds strangely exciting to me! So Lego Lord of the Rings is... like... AAAAAGH!
Yeah, I know a prospective Lego Lord of the Rings game would almost definitely be based on the movies, but there are several reasons to not care:
- Howard Shore's score is epic.
- Lego games have no dialogue, so we don't have to suffer the bad one-liners and nonsense, and just imagine it's Tolkien's own words.
- The game is tongue-in-cheek and playful, so everything's going to have fun poked at them, not just Gimli and Pippin. The dwarf-tossing and Pippin's pratfalls will be far less objectionable when the rest of the saga is lightened up a bit.
- The games have a HUGE cast of playable characters, meaning that people from the book that didn't get a chance in the films: Glorfindel, Beregond, Radagast, Prince Imrahil, Erkenbrand, Ghan-Buri-Ghan, Elladan and Elrohir, Farmer Maggot, Beechbone, Quickbeam, even Tom Bombadil and Goldberry! What other opportunity will we get to have Tom Bombadil in a game? Even if they don't make much of an impact on the game's narrative, it'd be awesome to have some of these guys back.
- Lego games have big levels, and in the case of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, do some significant expansion of famous scenes. I think you can see where I'm going with this: the Barrow-Downs! Farmer Maggot's House! The Warg Night Attack! The Battle of Lorien!
Precocious little scamp, ain't I?
Now, my adult self is wrestling a bit with the expected reservations: how Tolkien's work is being "kiddified," that The Lord of the Rings' literary credence might be made harder to recognize when there's Lego Gandalfs running about, and the usual lamenting over the ever increasing commercialization of LotR.
Still, I think people can be too precious about commercialization. Great art can survive exploitation, and the true worth will remain as long as the original work is out there, and there are people to appreciate it. Look at Conan: he's survived Conan of the Isles, Conan of Venarium, Chuck Dixon's comic run, Conan the Destroyer, and even Conan the Adventurer, and he's still going despite those considerable setbacks. If Conan could emerge victorious from mass merchandising and misrepresentation, Middle-earth can survive this too. After all, it's gotten through The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, Aragorn's Quest, and Gollum's MTV award speech: at least Lego's just fun.