The Hobbit, Comic-con PosterVia Jackson’s Facebook page:

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

My concise commentary:

Oh, just fuck off. What a lame way to start the week.

Discussion
  • Akshay Bakshi July 30, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I have to agree. While LotR is officially one novel with three volumes, The Hobbit is just one tiny book. Feels like a financially motivated move to me, though I hope I am proved wrong.

  • JP July 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

    My cynical side is screaming that they’re going to butcher a fantastic story just to capitalize on the popularity of the LotR films. My inner child is afraid and crying because The Hobbit was such a big part of my childhood.

    However, there’s a part of me that’s just a tiny bit hopeful. If they’re really using the extra film time to delve further into Middle Earth and Bilbo’s story, then this might be kind of awesome. If they can avoid the unnecessary time-sinks (*cough*FrodoandSam*cough*) and focus on the interesting parts of the world … If.

  • Joel July 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Sweet. When is the 9-film remake of LOTR coming out? So sad Jackson had to cram three books into only 3 four-hour movies.

    I blame Harry Potter for all of this.

  • Noldorimbor July 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Oh, just fuck off.

  • Scott July 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Funnily enough, with the sheer amount of Appendices info and peripheral stories…I can see why they’d want to do this.

    People needed to stop thinking about this as merely a movie version of THE HOBBIT book alone…it stopped being that when he decided to put where Gandalf goes to talk with the White Council, Necromancer fight ect. stuff in.

    In that vein it seems not at all odd that he wishes to make a third film. I think the point was less about making a hobbit Film, but making a Hobbit film and then using Tolkien’s material to make the slight connective tissues be thicker and stronger to flesh out the world in between.

    I have zero problem with that.

  • Aidan Moher July 30, 2012 at 9:38 am

    In that vein it seems not at all odd that he wishes to make a third film. I think the point was less about making a hobbit Film, but making $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    I’ve fixed that paragraph for you, Scott.

  • Jan July 30, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Wow. Those are my exact feelings. Well put.

  • Scott July 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Ah Aidan. Why so jaded? :P

    If this were any other film series I’d probably agree with you. But to be honest the HOBBIT is such a clipped short book with a whole whack of stuff only being referred to or eluded to…add the appendices from LOTR and possible stuff from the Silmarillion…and it makes good sense to have a 3rd film. And I truly refuse to believe that Jackson (who had the LOTR source material best interests at heart) would do this for money…right now he’s got more money than most people in the industry.

  • Aidan Moher July 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

    @Scott — The Hobbit is my favourite novel and Lord of the Rings is my favourite series of films (FotR being my favourite film, period), but this announcement just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I just don’t see The Hobbit having enough story to span over three volumes and don’t feel that any of the White Council/Aragorn & Gollum/Evangeline Lilly stuff is necessary to tell Bilbo’s story.

  • Paul (@princejvstin) July 30, 2012 at 10:56 am

    :Sigh:

    I am not hopeful,but a big Tolkien fan friend of mine is not yet in despair. Depends on what they put into the three movies overall. There is a lot of stuff that happens offscreen in the book…the Necromancer stuff.

  • alabrava July 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Everything in Hollywood that is done, is done for money. It’s why there will be an Ice Age 8 at some point, and another Batman movie, in the near future even if it’s another reboot. If you were a business, would you leave a possible billion dollars on the table for artistic reasons? Probably not.

  • Raphael July 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Slow down, guys. Do you really want to claim that a 6h movie can even start to capture even a 300 pages book? Making it 9h can only help (provided you trust Jackson to do a good job, which I do). Just look at the Game of Thrones series.

    The only question I have: how could you cram LotR in three movies?!

  • Preston July 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I’d be more ok with this if they spaced them every six months instead of every year. For a story with the narrower scope of The Hobbit (even with the added stuff), I don’t really want to wait two plus years to see the whole thing. Also, there are some pretty natural breaking points for LOTR that make each part work well as an individual movie, with a climactic finish; I worry the same is not as true of The Hobbit.

    Oh, and Aidan, I think you should run a contest to name the extra installment; my entry –

    The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey
    The Hobbit, There and Back Again
    The Hobbit, The Blatant Money Grab

  • Aidan Moher July 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I prefer, The Hobbit: There and Back Again Again.

  • Noldorimbor July 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The Hobbit, Not So Unexpected Robbery
    The Hobbit, How to Get Rich: Smaug Shares His Secrets

  • Shiro July 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I’m amazed at all the anger over what is not your fucking decision. of course they make movies to turn a profit. I would like to point out Peter Jackson’s artistic integrity. Think about it for a minute. Yes the goal is to make money for the studio, remember when Newline signed off on LoTR? They nearly bankrupted the studio to give an unproven director a chance to make the biggest story come to life he could. PJ delivered. Let’s not troll this announcement, you have no idea how much they were looking at leaving on the cutting room floor when they were going to release it as 2 movies, I doubt they are saying right now: “Okay, lets go out and shoot movie 3.” most likely they are looking at what they already shot and are making a list of scenes they need to sew the remainder of film 3 together. You are all acting so entitled as if spending the extra $14 or whatever is going to make your life miserable for ever. Suck it up.

  • Andrea July 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    The Hobbit
    The Necromancer
    The Dragon

    Chances are Jackson would have had no luck selling the studios on the idea of filming “The Silmarillion”. Tucking more of a vast tale under the recognisable name of The Hobbit is a way to get two extra fantasy films.

    It’ll all come down to execution for me – I’m not fussed by the existence of two movies which fill in the transitional sections of a story. But if movie 2 is dull, I’m not likely to see movie 3.

  • Aidan Moher July 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    @Andrea — The issue there being that Jackson doesn’t have the film rights to anything other than Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He cannot include any content from Unfinished Tales or The Silmarillion in these films. The Tolkien estate won’t be giving up the film rights to those books. At least not to Jackson and New Line.

  • Jesse July 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I finally saw the trailer of The Hobbit today. That 2.5 minutes already bored me (although the look was quite beautiful). I can’t imagine adding a 3rd movie is going to make me want to see this any more.

  • Kevin July 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Every movie is made to make money; it’s not a sudden new thing we’ve somehow uncovered about what Jackson is doing here; artistic integrity and the “a tale that grew in the telling” BS is nowhere near the top reason for this decision.

    If this disappoints you, then let all movies disappoint you and don’t just pick on this one.

  • Aidan Moher July 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I wonder what independent film makers would think about the suggestion that every film is made to generate revenue. I can only imagine the dollar signs in the eyes of Langman and Hazanavicius as they set out to make The Artist.

  • bozhebozhe July 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    woooooow,you people aren’t right in the head, the man knows what he’s doing and he enjoys making his movies, and i don’t know why I’m even writing this… If you were talking about Michael Bay making more goddamn transformer’s movies just to make money i would understand, but Peter fucking Jackson!? You might not like his movies, but you can’t say he is a bad filmmaker, the man seriously enjoys and uses his head while filming… wow…

  • Kevin July 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Yes, I stand by what I said. Every film maker, independent or not, wants their movie to make money, just like anyone who puts in effort and wants to get paid for their work. You may as well criticize authors for having the gall to want money for writing books.

  • LeNainJaune July 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    From a business point of view, more ( a lot more ) is not always a good idea. From an artistic point of view it could be even worse ( Star Wars… shudder ).

  • no one much July 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    If you don’t want to despoil your childhood, or wish to protect your innocence about the financial reality of movie-making (shock horror) then don’t see the movies. No one is holding a gun to your head. If anything the LOTR / Harry Potter series movies have probably done alot to promote the genre to the masses. Now not just the turf of territorial highbrow geeks. So maybe some people just need to “get over themselves”.

  • Noldorimbor July 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    @Kevin What a flawed argument. “Wanting their movie to make money” and “making a movie to make money” are entirely different things. I see this argument over internet about movies, music, games, books, about everything whenever some criticize a work being done merely with financial reasons in mind and it makes me sick. When did we start to accept “it’s ok to do anything to make more money”? Especially in art? Yes, some people go that way, but we as human beings are, and should be more than that.

  • Taniwha July 31, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I am usually a digital lurker on this site but I had to reply to this particular topic and say that I find it rather bizarre seeing people praise LotR in one breath and then tar and feathering Peter Jackson for this announcement in another?. Last time I looked at his career it was littered with projects that suggest to me that he chooses projects that he has an interest or passion in not ones that he believes is going to bring in the biggest payday (and it is not as if he or his partner needs the cash these days).

    Many moons ago as part of my university orientation week to escape the constant jugs of beer I was feeding myself I went to a screening of Brain Dead, Peter Jackson spoke afterwards and his passion for movies was evident to anyone there and I cannot imagine seeing his work that it is any less today. Personally after listening to him and given what he has done in his career I am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the ‘suits’ have pushed for a third movie to make more cash but in the end as long as they are enjoyable and bring me the same joy LotR did I really do not care if there are 2 or 3 of them.

  • Scott July 31, 2012 at 7:51 am

    @Shiro: Bravo! Well put indeed. It kind of baffles me the upset over it in that regard.

    @Aidan: Not having access to the Silmarillion matters not. You should know better than anyone a LOT of the appendices of LOTR (which Jackson DOES have the rights to) contain huge segments referring to the events in both the SILMARILLION and UNFINISHED TALES. Just in a appendicied-way and not a “full story” way. I think the Lay of Luthíen and Beren comes immediately to mind. Which makes what Jackson is allowed to shoot a grey are with few boundaries. There really is nothing to stop him (for example) from showing portions of the Fall of Gondolin since the appendices talk about Sting (and for that matter Orcrist) having been smithed there and who-by. So even though he doesn’t have the rights to the actual full “Of Tuor and The Fall Of Gondolin” tale from the SILMARILLION (or UNFINISHED TALES version if you prefer), the appendices give him more than enough right to touch on those events and how they affect both the HOBBIT and LOTR. In fact, I’d be super jazzed to see such things since it adds such extra enjoyment and weight to both swords and how they ended up in Goblin hands, not to mention their parts in saving M.E. from Sauron down the line.

  • Andrew C July 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

    The extra material may be interesting and fun to watch – but surely the simple narative flow of The Hobbit stands to just disappear and the welter of all that material. Keep it simple, keep it safe.

  • Preston July 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I am wary of this announcement because I am concerned it will make the movies worse, not because I have to pay $14 more. I love both LOTR and The Hobbit, but they are very different books; part of The Hobbit’s charm, for me at least, is its relative simplicity through its focus on Bilbo. It is a wonderful tale, imaginatively told, and I think it is better for all that extra, tangential storyline being in the appendices – there’s a reason Tolkien put it there. I, for one, would like to see The Hobbit, not Prequel to the Lord of the Rings.

    My other, related concern is that we are all too familiar with this pattern from authors like Robert Jordan and others – their initial hit or hits is so successful that the publisher/producer loses a certain amount of control over the editing process (and are probably quite happy to do so as long as they keep making money); the tale grows in the telling, and no one is willing to cut out the fat. Frankly, I think that began in Return of the King, which took a half hour to wrap everything up after the ring was destroyed. In the book, I was interested in how every loose end tied up; in the movie, I was bored and ready for it to finish already. Long story short, as great a job as he did with LOTR, I’m not going to blindly trust Peter Jackson on this one.

  • Dave Thompson August 1, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I’m going to try and give Jackson the benefit of the doubt, although that was easier to do when the people were complaining about two films instead of one. With the announcement of a third, I’m definitely left scratching my head, but I’ll be happy to see whether his creative team can pull it off or not.

    It will be interesting to see how much of the story in the third film takes place from the pages of the Hobbit vs. the appendices.

    Curious – if film #2 ended where the Hobbit novel ended, and film #3 was generally made up of the appendices, would that lessen the frustration to people like Aidan, who are upset about this announcement?

  • Miles August 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Seems the answer here is simple: If you don’t like The Hobbit, don’t go see the other two movies? How does this affect -you-? If anything, it brings in more people to Tolkien’s LotR precursor, for there will be an influx of people interested in the literary creation.

    How is this a bad thing?

  • Aidan Moher August 1, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Err… the final two movies will complete the story of The Hobbit. I’m not sure how skipping them will solve any of the issues presented here.

  • Preston August 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

    @Dave: That’s an interesting idea, and I think I would be on board if they divided it up that way (although I’m afraid it’s pretty unlikely).

  • Miles August 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Aidan, here’s my question to you: If you love the first movie, then why would you not have faith in PJ’s judgment that The Hobbit isn’t done justice in two films, and thus went for three?

    You already know the story of the Hobbit anyway, so the reason for seeing it in film is to see it translated into a different kind of media.In so doing, PJ will likely bring a flood of people who have not read the books into /that/ format of entertainment, anyway.

    Is it -just- that you don’t want to pay a matinee fee for a third movie? If that’s the case, my initial statement of: “Don’t Go” still stands. Rent it when it’s out, you know the story anyway.

    It seems to me you’re complaining unnecessarily.

  • Aidan Moher August 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    My concern has nothing to do with money out of my pocket. I’m not concerned about spending $70 over the course of two years for my wife and I to go see the three films. We’ll be there opening night for all three.

    My concern, one expressed by several other people throughout this thread of comments, is with with New Line and Jackson adding content and storylines to the film that I (and Tolkien, by his admission of them in the original text) feel is unnecessary to Bilbo’s tale, which is what The Hobbit is about.

    I don’t believe that the films being stretched from two to three films will have any effect on how many new readers are exposed to the novel as a result of the film.

  • Shawn Speakman August 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I’m enraged about it. Because Jackson is ruining The Hobbit.

    Look. This is simple, guys. The entire Hobbit could easily be told in one movie. Easily. We’ve seen it done once already in 1977 using only 77 minutes. 77 fucking minutes that only left out three or four things from the novel! Even if Jackson expanded that narrative out to encompass the entire book, he’d have a simple 120 minute movie. With two movies, he could have a rich complex story including the things he wants to add (White Council, etc).

    This is, however, what he said yesterday:

    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.

    NO ONE ON THIS PLANET can convince me that Jackson needs ANOTHER movie to tell all of that backstory/concurrent story akin to The Hobbit. That amount of backstory/concurrent story can’t equal — at minimum — 200 more minutes. At maximum, 240 minutes. It can’t equal two movies worth. It just can’t.

    So what is Jackson doing here?

    He’s doing the same exact thing he did at the end of Return of the King and the entirety of King Kong and Lovely Bones — excessively bloating the narrative for spectacle, leading to poor dialog and poorer editing and making a series of movies that slow down the actual story of The Hobbit.

    Count me as a detractor when it comes to this third movie. I’d rather have a tight movie duology — not the meandering crap we’ve gotten from Jackson during his last 2 1/4 movies.

  • Scott August 7, 2012 at 11:37 am

    @Shawn.

    No, Jackson is making a film trilogy of the HOBBIT.

    He’s not ruining anything…is your book still safe on your shelf? Then he’s not ruined it has he?

    Gods, this is getting tedious.

    If you don’t like the idea of a HOBBIT trilogy, that’s cool,. stick to your book and all is well…

    the level of ire you are leveling at the man who is making film versions is…Level: Fanboy.

  • […] (which, at the end of the day, is what The Hobbit should be about), and raised concerns about the decision to extend the series of films from two volumes into a […]

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