These are just my thoughts from a post ABS-CBN made some weeks ago:
Why not try making your own original story first with a good plot based on ACTUAL Philippine folklore that’s been researched into with as much gravity as that in which J. R. R. Tolkien did for his amazing works? The Silmarillion alone is an extensive narrative that looked into the inner workings of Eä and would be necessary to read through to create any film that’s based in THAT universe for it to be legitimate at all.
As it has been mentioned in Variety’s article “16 Things You Didn’t Know About the Making of ‘Lord of the Rings’” (http://variety.com/…/lord-of-the-rings-making-of-backstory…/), “A production team of over 2,400 and 26,000 extras worked on the films for five years.” 64 miniature sets were created, with “some so detailed that the larger ones were known as “bigatures”.
Even Peter Jackson, the director of both film trilogies based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, said as much behind the work required to recreate the literature; “I had to create the most believable world I could. The decision was to make it feel very historical, with the levels of detail creating the illusion that the viewers were immersing themselves in a real world”. Their budget was ginormous, reaching $281 million (Source: https://variety.com/…/hobbit-trilogy-has-cost-561-million-…/).
Since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is a universe based on Norse and general Germanic mythology, as well as Celtic, Slavic, Persian, Greek, and Finnish mythology, it’s justifiable that the actors they used for the original trilogy (and the succeeding cinematic trilogy created that was based on the prequel “The Hobbit”) were all of Caucasian descent; it just made sense.
Remaking it in the Philippines would be a great insult to J. R. R. Tolkien’s memory, his son Christopher Tolkien’s efforts in editing most of his father’s posthumously published work, and to the rest of the Tolkien fandom, especially considering the current production quality of Filipino films (which isn’t bad, but it would be a great let-down for the massive diehard fans of Middle Earth if it weren’t up to the international standards of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”; it still needs a lot more work).
The Philippines has a rich oral and literary narrative if people were to just dig it up and research about them (or even just consult the experts who’ve been studying the subject for so many years who have many great ideas themselves), and it’s just there wasting away instead of having more people attempt to preserve it by putting it on a medium that’s most accessible for the general populace. Why look outward, when we have so many stories we can tell right here in our own country? Maybe do something similar to what J. R. R. Tolkien did to create his extremely rich world and do research into the many different parts of the Philippines (actual REAL linguistic and regional-cultural research, and not just a quick surface allusion) to create something even more original than LOTR.
The Philippines has a great talent pool for this sort of thing that’s just being side-stepped in mainstream media for whatever can bring in the big bucks. We have the capacity to create something as great as Lord of the Rings and even Game of Thrones, if only the right talents were tapped and if sacrifices were made to create the art Filipinos deserve.
For what are proper films and TV shows, but art that reflects a society’s culture.
Please, let’s not have our media be more of a laughing stock than it already is.