The Hobbit Officially Becomes a Trilogy
07.30.12 by Ryan
Earlier this month at the San Diego Comic-Con, director Peter Jackson revealed that he might shoot more footage for his two-part prequel of The Hobbit, arriving this December as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and December 2013 as The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Even though principal production just wrapped up for The Hobbit, looks like Jackson is headed back for more Middle-Earth. On his Facebook page, Jackson officially announced that The Hobbit will become a trilogy.
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."
Variety reports that the third Hobbit movie will arrive in the summer of 2014, eschewing the winter release schedule of the previous two movies. Jackson recently wrapped production, but, clearly, will have to start shooting again soon.
Even before the third installment was announced, it seemed a stretch to take J.R.R. Tolkien's novel and adapt it into two movies, but Jackson's inclusion of characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy that weren't in Tolkien's The Hobbit novel, as well characters invented just for the movies, justified Jackson's longer adaptation. To make a third movie, Jackson said that he and co-writers Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens would use "125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit published at the end of Return of the King adding that "we've used some of it so far" for the first two Hobbit movies. The only question that remains is whether the third movie will be made up entirely of Tolkien's additional notes about The Hobbit, or whether Jackson will include those in the earlier movies and finish the story of The Hobbit in the third movie.