Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. had mulled over the idea of turning The Hobbit into a trilogy since Comic-Con weekend earlier this month. The adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel was to be released as two films, but Jackson stated that there was a strong desire by the filmmakers to tell more of the story.
Well New Line, MGM, and Warner Bros. must like what they have been seeing, because they have given the green light for Jackson to move forward with making The Hobbit into three films, making this his second Tolkien trilogy (his first being the famed, award-winning Lord Of The Rings trilogy). Jackson confirmed the news on his official Facebook page.
It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’
We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.
So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.
It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”
While specific details of what The Hobbit 3 could contain are unknown, reports have pegged the cast and crew to return to New Zealand next summer for a two-month shoot. During The Hobbit panel at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month, Jackson had teased that he shot plenty of extra footage. So it’s likely that we’ll see a combination of the two in the third film.
As for the release date of The Hobbit 3, The Hollywood Reporter says that we could see The Hobbit 3 in Summer 2014. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released on December 14 of this year; There and Back Again, the second film, is due out December 13, 2013. The name of the third film has not been revealed yet.
There’s no doubt that this third installment would round out the Bilbo’s journey across Middle-Earth, but let’s just hope that it isn’t an excuse to stretch The Hobbit into a trilogy.
What do you think about The Hobbit being turned into a trilogy?