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After revealing his desire to turn his Hobbit adaptation into a trilogy, Peter Jackson has reportedly spent the last week with producer and wife Fran Walsh and writer-producer Philippa Boyens to figure out the logistics of shooting as much as two more months worth of footage. The challenges include sorting out the actors’ contracts for them to return, making sure the financials make sense for Warner Bros. to give it the green light, and securing any lingering rights questions — and with The Hobbit, there are always lingering rights questions, for whatever reason. Reports indicate the decision on whether to go ahead will be made in the very near future, with the goal being to “tell more of the story”, even if it seems like an open question whether there’s really enough story in The Hobbit for two movies, let alone three. [Heat Vision]–io9.com
Then we get from Peter Jackson –
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.”
I wouldn’t know how this will turn out to be? “Is there enough material for all these flicks (even with the additional material J. R. R. Tolkien’s notes and appendices).” Now the dates for the movies are 2012,2013, and now 2014. It will be interesting. I’ll be going to all to see how they did the movies and the third. I do hope that the bestiary of the movies are good.
From the LATimes’ Steven Zeitchik:
The official news Monday of a third “Hobbit” movie instills conflicted feelings. On the one hand, more screen hours of a property that fans have craved for decades is good and desirable.
On the other hand, it’s hard not to smell the Hollywood cynicism in all this. Two movies wrung from one book is tolerable and, increasingly, with precedent; three starts to seem like a cash-grab (even if it was Peter Jackson who reportedly came up with the idea).
Whatever the reaction, Jackson and New Line aren’t going small. The movie will bring back most of the major stars and come out in the thick of summer, land of Dark Knights and Spider-Men. A “Back to the Future”-style afterthought this isn’t. (Clearly this isn’t just a creative decision — Warner Bros. needs franchises, especially summer ones, and the studio was just served one on a platter.)
What Jackson will actually put in the movie remains unclear. He could treat the first two films as he did before and build out offshoots and new stories in the third. More likely the entire arc will be reconfigured so that the first movie will end at an earlier point than originally planned, and then the second one paced more slowly, so that the book’s climactic battle scene will take place at the end of the third film. Which will keep a certain thread running through all three movies, but could make them feel padded and slow.
Maybe the biggest question is how a franchise that will see three movies in just about 20 months will feel fresh.
Summit brought out the first three “Twilight” films in a similar time span, and had just a seven-month wait between the second and third films. Though all the movies did well, it felt like too much too fast, and the studio wisely backed off that approach for the fourth and fifth installments.
Much of the no-they-didn’t Twitter carping that followed Monday’s “Hobbit” announcement will have worn off by the time the third movie hits in 2014. But the bigger problem is that when it does, we’ll have already gorged ourselves on “Hobbit.” And even though a sequel-obsessed Hollywood rarely acknowledges it, you can have too much of a good thing.
For me it matters how Peter Jackson looks at the between years of the Hobbit and LOTR, which is about 50-100 yrs. So it can be done. They could also look how the fan films of LOTR ie “Born of Hope” and “Hunt for Gollum” the best and do enjoy.