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Peter Jackson Confirms 'The Hobbit' Will Now be a Trilogy

Three films coming your way

The Hobbit will be three films
Photo: Warner Bros.

The speculation can come to an end. Peter Jackson has taken to Facebook to confirm the rumors that his two Hobbit films will now become a trilogy beginning with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on December 14, 2012, followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013 and now an as-yet-untitled third film in the trilogy is likely to hit theaters Summer 2014 (source).

Here's Jackson's note as posted on Facebook:

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."

Cheers,

Peter J

The rumors this would happen first began when Jackson teased the idea at Comic Con back on July 14, from there it became a question of shooting the new footage necessary to expand the story and securing new actor deals for the expansive cast as well as shoring up certain rights associated with the property. It would seem the necessary stars have aligned.

So there you have it, are you excited The Hobbit will now be a trilogy?


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  • Greg Dinskisk

    I wasn't a big fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, but I'll give them a shot at least.

  • Ano

    Does anyone know how this will work? Will the first two films complete the story of The Hobbit, with the final film being a compilation of other material Tolkien wrote, or will they weave it all together?

    • ImaRinger

      Part of that answer is that they are limited to the additional material written by Tolkein that is in the back of the Lord of the Rings. They cannot use material from the Simarillion (or other books published posthumously) because they do not have the rights to those properties.

  • jbob

    Cash grab. It's as simple as that. There's nothing in the book to justify that length. In fact, there's a lot you can remove since we don't need to see the same places we've seen from the other films. The problem also is that there's not going to be a trilogy if the first or second isn't successful. So, there's a bit of a risk there.

    Frankly, I used to be a huge fan the the films. I own both normal and extended editions. I also saw the first film twice in the cinemas, but after researching them recently, I feel the don't stand the test of time. Especially the later ones.

  • adu

    More Middle-Earth makes adu happy!

  • Khaira

    Yeah , u go milk that good Peter...milk it for all its worth....

  • Arjuna

    I've been on a lot of websites today and there seems to be a large amount of people crying cash crab and milking but I think its a bit of a misconception. Originally Jackson was turning the Hobbit into two films which made sense as he was going to work in a little bit more plot that wasn't in the book but helped bridge it with lord of the rings and no one really complained that badly about that but people seem to think he is taking those two movies and stretching it out to 3 films. That is NOT the case now instead of using a bit of extra material to bridge the gaps he is using the whole 125 page appendices from the Lord of the Rings. And if anyone knows that an appendices is, its not written out like a novel, it just gives A LOT of information which probably could of been turned into its own trilogy, for my money that 125 pages could of been turned into 4 or 5 books by Tolkein.

    Here he is trying to stay more faithful to the spirit of middle earth, to explain more why Gandalf disappears for so long and why the Necromancer was such a worthy threat. These pages that he is shooting will actually increase the tone of the movies as it becomes a lot darker and more mature much like the Lord of the Rings and he is trying to prevent the mistakes Lucas made with his prequel trilogy by really trying to capture the same essence again so it feels like one organic anthology. I really thought more people would be happy about this. You get a lot more plot of characters you care about and by increasing the stock of the Necromancer it gives more weight for why the return of Sauron had to be prevented at all costs in the Lord of the Rings.

    • adu

      Absolutely Arjuna...I wish people would actually read the context behind the reasoning for the third film rather than simply calling out 'cash grab'.

      • Jeff

        cash grab

  • SP1234

    At least it won't affect the release of Unexpected Journey, that's good. I'm actually intrigued by the idea of expanding the story because at least he's using Tolkien's appendices. That sounds like an interesting idea, because even I thought that the original book, as great as it is, would be too simple to audiences of the original trilogy.

  • Evengan

    What will the third film be called?

    “An Unexpected Film”

    “Milking the Shire”

    “There and back again again”

  • AJ

    So they are going to go back, script and film more story and footage, then? This isn't just a case of having shot way more footage than could fit into 2 films and not wanting to trim it down too drastically?

    Eh, I'm okay with it. Didn't need 3 films based off of The Hobbit and other sources to begin with, but I'm certainly not going to complain about it.

  • Akd1287

    I've never seen a more blatant cash grab since the Transformers series. I would think a director of Peter Jackson's caliber would be trying to explore new ideas and trying to bring those ideas to life to share with the world as he did with the original trilogy but this is, for lack of a better term, extremely lame and somewhat disappointing.

    • Arjuna

      I don't understand how this is the same type of cash grab as would be seen with transformers which just target audiences who love just pure brainless action. The footage he is trying to add in from the appendicies will make it much more dramatic and serious and it is because Peter Jackson is a director of his calibur that he is doing this.

      The guy loves Lord of the Rings and the entire mythos more than just the scope of the 4 main books. He is trying to craft the entire story and weave it together in a way that someone who hasn't read the books would be able to get a faithful as can possibly be adaptation. Thats why his first 3 were all 3 hours+ and thats why he is doing more here. He went and asked the studio if he could make the films, its not a case where the studio knew they could make a shitload more money and forced Jackson to do it or really pushed for it as is the case with Transformers.

      And there is no indication either from interviews or the footage that the quality of the actual films will be any lower than LOTR so its not at all like transformers where they are trying to push out crap for cash.

    • adu

      It's not like PJ is sitting there pulling out stories froma magical hat. He will be using Tolkein's unexplored appendices. Why is that a bad thing?

  • Irf

    Wow, in movieworld, 2 has become the new 3 and 3 has become the new 4. So tired of studios squeezing an extra movie from already exhausted properties. The intentions may be creatively nobel but it reeks of spreadsheet men pulling the strings. Peter Jackson hasn't had a hit movie in almost a decade and knows he needs to revitalise his stock. I suppose this seems like the most obvious way to do that.

  • Rusty

    This makes Rusty sad. Jackson used to make tight, snappy little films. I'd love to see a good, but brutal, editor come in and make an awesome 2 or 2 and a half hour flick out of this material. After sitting through the trailer for the first film inthe cinema twice, I really can't get excited for this. Just my opinion, don't hate me.

  • chewbaca69

    Sooo many frames in this trilogy.

  • Ian

    Yeah, this is a WB cash grab. More films that are shorter equal more money, and we all know the studios don't give two shits about quality. I don't have a problem with being thorough, but they're going to stretch a fairly simple 300-ish page book into six hours of film...probably less actually...there's no way any of these films will exceed two hours. Epic? I think not. With The Lord of the Rings, they took three longer, much more densely plotted and themed books and squeezed them down to 3.5-4 hours of running time. With The Lord of the Rings they were chopping stuff out, now with The Hobbit they're continuing to force stuff in. So from a detail perspective they won't really be consistent at all. This should have been one three hour (maybe a tad more) film. That would be an epic.

    And from what they're saying, it still doesn't sound like we're getting a "bridge film," just The Hobbit spread over three films. The bridge film was never a good idea; you could maybe pull together enough material (especially if they pulled from the stuff that happens between A Long Expected Party and Gandalf's return to The Shire in Fellowship), but it wouldn't really be consistent with everything else, mainly because there wouldn't be any hobbits in that part of the story at all.

  • Chris138

    Meh.

  • JB

    At least he's going to film additional footage so it isn't simply a drag out all the material that could have been trimmed. As long as it is better than the first half of the last Harry Potter.

  • ImaRinger

    I will be very interested in how they adjust the pay for the crew (if we ever here about it). They did not realize it - but they filmed three movies instead of two. There has to be commensurate compensation or the guild/unions will have a fit. Right?

    • Matt C

      Some of the actors' deals will have to be reworked to add another film to the contract, since it's likely actors like Martin Freeman, the dwarf actors and Ian McKellan will have to return for reshoots for the third film. And for some actors, they'll probably be compensated if they won't be needed for reshoots.

      But I don't think any of the actors will get a huge payday equal to the amounts the Harry Potter and Twilight trios received when the studios decided to split the final book into 2 films apiece.

  • ImaRinger

    On the money-milking side of things - eh, even if the accusation is true -I do not care so much that they are doing this just to make money. Studios are in the entertainment business. Most any business tries to make money. If they think that three films will deliver substantially more profit - then great.

    This model is true of almost any entertainment business - always stretching to make more profit. Look at the professional sports entertainment in the USA/Canada (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NCAA Division 1 FBS, etc). There are many more teams then there is talent. All leagues would have significantly better play of they downsized the number of teams. They don't do that because people are willing to buy tickets/sit in front of a TV to watch the diluted product.

    If WB thinks they can still get people in the seats with a diluted three movies instead of two movies - And It Works - then more power to them.

  • The Jackal

    Hallelujah! Peter Jackson, you just made my day, good sir. This is awesome news, I am now ore excited than ever. Much love.

    Thems the facts

  • GiveMeStorms

    Peter Jackson doesn't want to leave Middle Earth. After he wraps up the 3rd film, he is gonna take a ship to the undying lands D:

  • Juan

    I'm sorry, but this was a mistake. They did such a great job with LOTR only to mess this one up trying to milk it for 3 films. They added a bunch of stuff and deleted stuff and pulled things from other lesser known Tolkien books- very unsatisfying for someone who grew up reading Tolkien when reading was cool. If they wanted to get more films in, they should have done Silmarillion first, or if they wanted to be original then they should have just written an original prequel to it all.