I'm glad to see Adamson stepping out of the directing role for the third film, I thought he sanatized the first film a bit too much. The battles should have had more bite -- the books didn't pull punches in that area, there was real menace and danger in the evil characters and events. The books were not as adult-oriented and dense as The Lord of the Rings, but they were certainly not just children's books. I reread them recently and found them quite dark, thrilling, and allegorical as I'd remembered as a youngster.
I'm not thrilled about Apted, who is really hit or miss for me. I hated his Bond film work. I was thinking about this last night, that I'd like to see one of the currently two greatest historical epic filmmakers give a shot at this franchise, namely Mel Gibson or Ridley Scott. I know Gibson tends to be bloody, but no one does authentic historical detail better right now, and we know Ridley can do extravagant fantasy (Legend).
"I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind." - Ed Rooney