View Poll Results: Will the flood of Fantasy entertainment turn off mainstream audiences to fantasy?

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  • Yes, I'm already getting sick of fantasy. Give me a good romance!

    3 6.98%
  • Probably. The genre can only stay hot for so long.

    11 25.58%
  • The genre is likely to cool off some, but this generation will continue to love fantasy.

    13 30.23%
  • No, we need lots of new fantasy to fill the Harry Potter Void.

    4 9.30%
  • Are you crazy? Keep the fantasy coming. Bring it!

    12 27.91%
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  1. #1
    Tolkien Disciple Wayne Batson's Avatar
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    Exclamation Will the General Population Get "Fantasied Out?"

    In a previous thread we had a lot {A LOT} of discussion over whether or not we are in a golden age of fantasy. Much of that conversation got bogged down in semantics. In the end, I think most of us agreed that fantasy is more mainstreamed than ever--that culture and entertainment are now, not only more accepting of the genre, but more actively promoting it.

    Long preface, but there's more! I was at the movies with my wife last night and while waiting in line to order my Gy-normous bucket of popcorn, drowned in valvoline, or whatever that butter-stuff actually is, I noticed the seven posters of coming attractions. I was thunderstruck. Of the seven, five of them were fantasy books being made into movies--one of which, I'm happy to say is Susan Cooper's way cool Dark is Rising Series. YES!!

    But then, I got to thinking. As a fantasy author and a middle school teacher, I pay particular attention to books that are coming out, and a VERY high percentage of titles are fantasy. (Okay, preface over).

    So, I'm wondering will the deluge of fantasy begin to turn the public away from the genre? Will the surge in the genre's population swing back to a much smaller niche?

    Or could it be that the genre is so dang cool that the populace won't care if we are flooded with fantasy?

    Most of us who frequent this site would probably never get tired of our beloved genre…right?

    What are your thoughts on this?

  2. #2
    Uh, Moderator
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    I think two things:
    a) You need to tone down that font
    b) In terms of movies it's a flavour of the month, and when something else comes along the studios will chase that. At the moment they're riding the popularity for all its worth, but when they've mined out all the easily adaptable novels and sokmething else big comes along (what are the chances it's Westerns?) we'll see less fantasy products.

  3. #3
    ^ Fay-lim. Ok, its Phill. Phellim's Avatar
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    Even I'm getting sick of all these fantasy films that are being released, so people who don't read fantasy will no doubt be tiring of it aswell. We see it all the time, crime, romance, sci-fi, horror; Each popular for about a decade then the next big genre comes in and dominates the rest, with the exception of comedy which seems to stay strong at all times, but in second place to the current big thing.

    Once all the hype surrounding Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribean etc. is gone, then there will still be a small dedicated community of readers keeping the genre alive.

  4. #4
    Gentleman and Scholar Wulfa_Jones's Avatar
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    We do have a great deal of high quality fantasy going around at the moment, but I wouldn't call it the Golden Age. I'd say we are going through a fantasy renaissance.

    I don't know when they Golden Age was... that is a debate on it's own. Prehaps it was the late 60s early 70s with the success of LoTRs and authors such as Moorcock, L. Sprague De Camp, Ursula K. LeGuin, Vance etc. Perhaps it's earlier with authors such as Howard....

    However, back to the question. I think the general public will grow tired of fantasy. You'd have thought after the success of LoTRs there would have been a move to producing fantasy films which hasn't really happened. We've had adapts of Lewis and Rowling, but not much else. I don't know if the sales of fantasy books outside of the books by authors who have been adapted for film have increased any since the fantasy "boom".

    Fantasy is a choice, you read it and enjoy it then you'll carry on reading it. It's likely that the success of fantasy in mainstream cinema has increased the numbers of people reading fantasy, but I don't think that has much to do with the increase in quality of recent titles.

  5. #5
    Registered User Crysania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Batson View Post
    I[SIZE="4"] Of the seven, five of them were fantasy books being made into movies--one of which, I'm happy to say is Susan Cooper's way cool Dark is Rising Series. YES!!


    Sure if you love the fact that they've taken the story OUT of Britain setting it in America - thereby making Will American, gotten rid of ALL the Celtic, Pagan and Arthurian mythology, given Will a girlfriend, they're making his brother come along on the "quest" and have magical powers of his own for some oddball reason and COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY TURNED THE STORY INSIDE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????? Seriously, you might as well take the Legend of Zorro and set it in New Jersey. THAT is how integral the UK is to the Dark iS Rising. Go watch the preview if you can stomach it. If you love those books as I do - they were my first foray into fantasy, reading etc - and completely formed who I am today. Anyway, sorry, I posted a thread on this a few weeks ago and not ONE person responded. If you want to debate this travesty please feel free to resurrect that thread.

    I, myself, think it's an example of the DANGER of fantasy becoming more mainstream -- making the stories more user-friendly, palatable to a wider audience. I LOVE Harry Potter - the books, the films etc -- do not get me wrong! BUT they are basically trying to make the Dark Is Rising more accessible in that way -- a story about a magical boy as opposed to the struggle between good and Evil set against the backdrop and interweaved with the Celtic and Arhurian Mythology that Cooper grew up with. It APPALLS me.

    Okay, I'm done with my rant. But that movie preview had me screaming and crying in the movie theatre like a child. And I"m not ashamed of it.
    Last edited by Crysania; August 7th, 2007 at 12:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Tolkien Disciple Wayne Batson's Avatar
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    Crysania, I am SO sorry to hear that about The Dark is Rising. I hate when the screenwriter/producer alters the story so ridiculously. I mean some hard decisions have to be made, some things have to be cut or streamlined, but to make wholesale changes like that...well, it irks me too.

    Not that common sense prevails anywhere in Hollywood, but you would think that folks would realize that there's a reason why people love those books in the first place. Do a faithful film adaptation of a great book, and you'll have a great movie.

    One production company that does very reliable, high quality adaptations is Walden Media--they did Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia, etc.--very true to the books, IMHO. I wish more production companies would follow suit.

    Huge bummer about The Dark is Rising film.

  7. #7
    Registered User Zsinj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crysania View Post
    Sure if you love the fact that they've taken the story OUT of Britain setting it in America - thereby making Will American, gotten rid of ALL the Celtic, Pagan and Arthurian mythology, given Will a girlfriend, they're making his brother come along on the "quest" and have magical powers of his own for some oddball reason and COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY TURNED THE STORY INSIDE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????? Seriously, you might as well take the Legend of Zorro and set it in New Jersey. THAT is how integral the UK is to the Dark iS Rising. Go watch the preview if you can stomach it. If you love those books as I do - they were my first foray into fantasy, reading etc - and completely formed who I am today. Anyway, sorry, I posted a thread on this a few weeks ago and not ONE person responded. If you want to debate this travesty please feel free to resurrect that thread.

    I, myself, think it's an example of the DANGER of fantasy becoming more mainstream -- making the stories more user-friendly, palatable to a wider audience. I LOVE Harry Potter - the books, the films etc -- do not get me wrong! BUT they are basically trying to make the Dark Is Rising more accessible in that way -- a story about a magical boy as opposed to the struggle between good and Evil set against the backdrop and interweaved with the Celtic and Arhurian Mythology that Cooper grew up with. It APPALLS me.

    Okay, I'm done with my rant. But that movie preview had me screaming and crying in the movie theatre like a child. And I"m not ashamed of it.

    I've never read the Dark is Rising Series, but I've been interested in it for quite a while now, and I definitely plan on reading it, certainly before I see the movies. That is IF I see the movies. That's terrible that they took it completely out of context like that! Why in the world would they do that?! Do they think that Americans are so dumbed down and MTV-brainwashed that they couldn't handle Celtic Mythology?!! Geez!
    If they're doing this kind of thing with the Dark is Rising, I seriously fear for the upcoming Elric movies!

  8. #8
    The problem that I see with the current "mainstreaming" of fantasy is that most people are only being exposed to it through movies or the Harry Potter books. With the exception of the Lord of the Rings movies, what we are seeing in the mainstream is predominately children's fantasy. Child main characters that are marketed to a preteen or teen audience. Yes, some of those kids will continue to explore the genre. However, most will "outgrow" it. I wouldn't seriously consider fantasy to be mainstream until we see a glut of fantasy movies geared to adults, with adult protagonists and no "cute factor". The upcoming HBO series based on a Song of Ice and Fire is a good start, but we aren't there yet.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Zsinj View Post
    Why in the world would they do that?! Do they think that Americans are so dumbed down and MTV-brainwashed that they couldn't handle Celtic Mythology?!! Geez!
    Well, sort of. In order to put butts in seats and make money, movie makers have to cater to the lowest common denominator. That segment probably is too dumbed-down to handle it. What's sad is that catering to that group essentially condones membership in it and erodes the need or desire to be educated. That's a whole different conversation though.

    As for this poll, I don't believe the mainstream will get sick of fantasy, just forget about it when the next cool thing comes along.
    Last edited by Obtuse; August 7th, 2007 at 05:17 PM.

  10. #10
    It's cyclical, of course, meaning that it won't get more and more popular forever and fantasy also won't go away forever.

    I think the reason it is on a huge high right now is that special effects technology has reached a point where it is cheap and easy to do a very good looking fantasy movie. Massive special effects involving the destruction of an army of 10,000 orcs don't require hiring hundreds of extras, weeks of preparation and a one-shot-at-this filming of a dam breaking. It just requires renting 2 hours of effects time on a high end computer from Silicon Graphics.

    Many many stories that have built up over several decades are finally getting the chance to be shot (LotR, Narnia) and are competing with new fantasy series as well (Potter). After a couple more years, not only will people be a little sick of fantasy, but many of the best stories will have been done, and there won't be this massive backlog of guaranteed money-makers out there demanding to be filmed.

  11. #11
    Rule #78 - No excuses! dragoncd's Avatar
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    I like Stark Ravens quote that a misconception is being created by fantasy movies out there. While I think the newfound media attention towards fantays is great if it brings more readers to the genre, I can't help but feel somewhat alienated by the current genre definition. Fantasy is a lot of things, and in particular when I mention to my friends that I read fantasy, or they have seen me read fantasy (or see my dragon tattoo) they raise an eyebrow and associate a particular mindset (Dungeons and Dragons come to mind). I think a lot of the movies coming out are only furthering that misconception (some are not) but overall the genre is being misrepresented to the general public.

  12. #12
    Just another traveler.
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    Considering the number of movies that are pumped out every year, fantasy flicks are still a very tiny percentage. Hollywood was long overdue in getting around to them.
    I can see them perhaps tiring of the HP movies if they keep making one for each book.

    I don't think people will tire of the stand-alone movies so long as they're well made.

    I've mixed feelings about HBO perhaps making a series out of ASoIaF. I'd really love to see it done, if done well, but I'm afraid they'll cut it down and leave out so many of the smaller characters that are so important to this great series.

  13. #13
    ^ Fay-lim. Ok, its Phill. Phellim's Avatar
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    I agree with Stark Raven; Unless they start making serious adult fantasy, instead of all this YA/child stuff, then the public will lose interest very quickly.

    I've read the Harry Potter series, but the only film adaptions I've seen have been given to me by friends and only watched because there was nothing better to do at the time. With the exception of Lord of the Rings, all these film remakes of famous novels are too dumbed down and lacking in proper content, although I'm not saying LotR stressed the intellect at all.

    I know not to expect too much, because to fit every little nuance of the written texts in it might be needed to have a 12 hour film, and even 3 hours is pushing it for todays audience. Not to mention that seeing your favourite stories on screen can ruin your image of the characters and world forever. Earthsea is a good example of this happening.

    Reading books and watching films will always be something I enjoy doing, but maybe they are better left seperate.
    Last edited by Phellim; August 8th, 2007 at 08:00 AM.

  14. #14
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    I voted "Probably. The genre can only stay hot for so long."

    In the 80s everyone wanted to see cop movies. In the 90s it was disaster movies. Now, because of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, fantasy is the cool thing of the decade. I predict that we still see more fantasy movies over the next couple years (perhaps until the Harry Potter furor dies off) and then something else will capture the public's attention.

    Fantasy is fashionable for the moment, is all.

  15. #15
    Tolkien Disciple Wayne Batson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phellim View Post
    I agree with Stark Raven; Unless they start making serious adult fantasy, instead of all this YA/child stuff, then the public will lose interest very quickly.
    I wonder though because A LOT of the entertainment business caters to kids. Look at the HUGE success of kid or kid-friendly movies over the last several years.

    There are so many good YA Fantasy titles out there, yet to be explored in the movies. I wonder if at least the younger segment of the population will continue to gravitate toward fantasy, even if there aren't any "adult" fantasies made.

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