Whether or not you think this is about Warner Bros. or Peter Jackson trying to milk the film(s) for all that they’re worth doesn’t matter. Peter Jackson has confirmed that The Hobbit will no longer be split into two films, but will instead be split into three!
If you’re wondering why this one book can be split into three while the LOTR trilogy was, in fact, a trilogy of films, well, you’ll just have to read the actual book.
Jackson stated, “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together. We recognized that 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, gave rise to a simple question: do we tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as filmmakers and fans was an unreserved ‘yes.’ We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and—lastly, and most importantly—we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I’m delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”
There is definitely enough source material in The Hobbit to warrant it being three movies, especially on the grand scale that Jackson has been known to film.
Here’s what Toby Emmerich, president and COO of New Line Cinema, has to say:
“We completely support Peter and his vision for bringing this grand adventure to the screen over the course of three films. Peter, Fran and Philippa’s reverence for the material and understanding of these characters ensure an exciting and expanded journey that is bound to please fans around the world.”
Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairman and CEO for MGM Studios say this:
“With the abundance of rich material, we fully endorse the decision to further develop what Peter, Fran and Philippa have already begun. We are confident that, with the great care the filmmakers have taken to faithfully bring this journey to the screen, the film will be welcomed by the legions of fans across the globe.”
“Peter, Fran and Philippa have lived in this world and understand more than anyone its tremendous breadth and scope, and the relationships that bind it together. We strongly support their vision to bring this great work fully to life.”
The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film releasing on December 13, 2013, and the third film slated for summer 2014. All three films will be released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX.
Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
So, there you have it. Three films to be released within 2 1/2 years of each other. What do you think? Are you happy about the split so that the story can be told in more detail? Or are you bummed that you have to wait impatiently for 2014 for the grand finale?
I myself probably feel a little bit of both, but more so excitement to see how it all comes together. It will definitely be an exciting three years to come!