The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s hotly anticipated adaptation of the prequel to The Lord Of The Rings, will now officially be three films, rather than the previously announced two.
Jackson first hinted at the possibility at Comic-Con 2012, and since entering discussions with Warner Bros on the matter, he has now confirmed the decision to make The Hobbit a trilogy via a Facebook post.
Finding himself overwhelmed with material, from the source novel, as well as J.R.R. Tolkien’s appendices, Jackson will now shoot additional material.
Here’s PJ’s comments in full:
"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."
Well, he puts it pretty convincingly, doesn’t he? While some have expressed fears this may spread the book too thinly, it’s hard to not get excited at the prospect of an extended stay in Middle-earth.
One question remains though… What’s the subtitle for the third film going to be?!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will open on 14 December 2012, with The Hobbit: There And Back Again following on 13 December 2013. We’re expecting The Hobbit: Whatever It’s Called to arrive around 12 December 2014.
Good news? Bad news? Drop your opinions below!