Two Movies Just Isn’t Enough For The Hobbit

The rumors of The Hobbit becoming a trilogy started flying at San Diego Comic-Con. Peter Jackson didn’t shy away from them and even discussed them on the press line. We should have known then. Jackson confirmed the decision today on his Facebook page. Basically, they have so much wonderful footage in the can that they can’t contain it to two films.

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.’

I have mixed feelings about the change. Mostly, I’m thrilled to see as much of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth as I can get. Even if the action is slow, it’s a damn beautiful world and I love getting lost in it. I’ve seen his Lord of the Rings trilogy almost as many times as I’ve seen Star Wars. Plus, at the end of the day, Jackson and his team are fans of the book and I know they’ll try to do justice to whatever they add.

However, I have reservations.

The decision feels a little tacked on to me – an afterthought that equates to dollar signs and maybe not a decision Jackson necessarily made. I admittedly don’t know a thing about making movies, but I would imagine that setting out to make two films and beginning filming with the purpose of creating a trilogy are different beasts. Will this lead to the footage feeling cobbled together? Probably not, but it’s a possibility.

I definitely believe The Hobbit is a rich story. It’s one I go back to time and time again just to read specific passages. The characters Bilbo and the dwarves meet along the road to the Lonely Mountain have stories to tell, and though they could be edited down, I guess this means we’ll get to see them in their complete glory. It’s not the worst thing.

I also wonder what the third installment could possibly be named. We’ve got An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again for parts one and two. Bleeding Cool reports on a couple of names that were registered as URLs just before the weekend:  Riddles in the Dark and The Desolation of Smaug. Between those two, my money’s on the latter.

The entire note from Peter Jackson:

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.”

How do you feel about stretching The Hobbit into a trilogy?

(Peter Jackson via The Mary Sue)

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