Peter Jackson Announces There Will Be Three Hobbit Movies

Peter Jackson just posted this letter to his Facebook fan 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.”

52 Comments on this Post

  1. My immediate reaction is to not so much concentrate on the number of films that will come out but to assume that each film, by itself, would be more shorter and hopefully more digestible. I think this may just work out for the best.

  2. To explain my point above a bit more: I am under the assumption that in ordet to make that third film, the first two would have to be recut so that some of their material would be moved over to the third film. No idea if that’s actually what will end up happening.

  3. ‘It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and…’

    …think about how much money you could make out of this !

    ‘All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to…’

    …shamelessly squeeze as much dough as possible out of the work of a well-respected literary master?

    ‘And the answer from…New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [and] Wingnut Films…was an unreserved ‘yes.”

    Reading that letter was like this scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLblwVUEHyw

  4. I was about to post this when I saw Sasha whipped it online faster.

    It was just too obvious that Jackson wasn’t ready to leave Middle Earth until he had explored every inch of it, and no studio exec was going to say: “What? Another billion-dollar installment? No thanks!”

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey begins December 14.
    The Hobbit: There and Back Again continues on December 13, 2013.
    Expect the third film (The Hobbit: Are We There Yet?) in the summer of 2014.

  5. There’s no doubt they’ll get plenty of additional box office out of a third film, but really, given how happy fans were Jackson stepped back in as director, and how much die hard fans complained Tom Bombadil was left out of Fellowship, does anyone really think the target audience is going to be upset they’re getting a third movie? Particularly if it means less left on the cutting room floor?

  6. You have got to be kidding. Unbelievable. I mean I was actually kind of looking forward to this even if I knew there was a part 2, but now 3? To top it off knowing Jackson each installment will be like 3 hours. Ridiculous. I mean I know post LOTR hasn’t been going all too well for him, but he’s really gonna dedicate this much time to the series. It’s only one book! Am I right? How can the first two films possibly have a satisfying resolution?

  7. I can’t wait for The Hobbit: Are We There Yet?

  8. Aaron B

    Stunned, honestly. I really didn’t think the rumor would come true and there would be a hobbit trilogy. Of course, only time will tell if it will work out for the best or not. Will two 3 and a half hour movies become three 2 hour and 15 minute movies?

  9. Does anyone really think the target audience is going to be upset they’re getting a third movie? Particularly if it means less left on the cutting room floor?

    Exactly. Ask yourself: Would you rather see the extended footage packaged as extras on the Blu-ray, or watch the whole shebang on the big screen?

  10. It comes down to how compelling this said footage is, in the first place. If it’s on the LOTR level than they should have no problems.

  11. Aaron B

    I will say this. After seeing “The Dark Knight Rises” I actually came out thinking that could have been split into two movies and actually benefited from it, so I’m a little hesitant to automatically dismiss this as a horrible decision.

  12. moviewatcher

    I’m a diehard fan of this series. The Lord of the Rings is probably one of the very few series (be it in books, film, music, etc) that I would consider myself a fanboy of. And I was really looking forward to The Hobbit being two films. Now… three? My dear Peter Jackson, here are the requirements you must now fulfill to give justice to your amazing saga:
    1) Cate Blanchett must appear as Galadriel in the three movies (if you disregard this rule, you are hereby… dead…)
    2) You need to give a lot more attention to other storylines other than the “Bilbo and the dwarves” story. You need to follow, not only Gandalf but other elves, dwarves and men, maybe even Aragorn could make an appearance!(though that’s just the fan in me talking).
    3) Make it epic.
    4) Make it personal.
    5) Make it emotional.
    6) Make it poetic and lyrical.

    In other words… make it Great…

    As for the length… I couldn’t give a damn about it. I don’t care if I have to sit through 3 hours of The Hobbit for the next three years… as long as those three hours are great.

    You have just upped the stakes Mr Jackson. You better live up to them. May the Grace of the Valar be with you… (hey that’s an idea!!! Let’s get the Valar envolved as welL!!!)

  13. JPEsquire

    My questions are: Does this mean that The Hobbit, a book far shorter than the total of LOTR will be split into three movies now? Or will this third movie be the stories connecting The Hobbit to LOTR and other stuff from the Appendices, a notion bandied about before Jackson and Co. got to work?

    Either way, as a fan of Jackson’s representations of Middle Earth, I’ll enjoy this. Do what you’re good at, right? Jackson is good at filming Middle Earth stories.

  14. JPEsquire

    Oops! I wrote my comment before reading what was after the cut. That was a big fail on my part as that answered my questions.

  15. Bob Burns

    I was hoping for a bridge film with the material, mainly Aragorn, from the appendices after Bilbo’s return to the Shire.

  16. This is so wrong. Jackson of all people, I thought wouldn’t go the blood from a stone route.

  17. I have just lost interest in that.

  18. THE Diego Ortiz

    Oh my God! Peter Jackson is making a third Hob-zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Sorry. Fell asleep. Brings back memories of Fellowship. What a great nap!

  19. Chris138

    Lame.

  20. Jeremie

    Looking forward to another boring endless closing of a story stretched into a three hours films. Return of the King wasn’t quite enough, I’m sure Jackson can top himself in the art of milking to death. Shame. He used to be so promising.

  21. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out. There were a lot of events happening around the time of the Hobbit that we got hints of either in the Hobbit itself, or in the LOTR appendices, so the idea that we’ll get to see all of that on the screen is really exciting to me.

  22. Mattoc

    1 for the price of 2, now 1 for the price of 3…

    Stupid, fat Hobbit

  23. rufussondheim

    Peter Jackson is not good at making Middle Earth movies.

    What he’s good at is making teen melodramas centering on matricidal lesbians.

  24. Man, that is a lot of sight unseen venom. King Kong was great. Overlong but great. What’s everyone’s deal with PJ?

  25. ChrisFlick

    Is Return of the King over yet? This is really no surprise. In the Hollywood of 2012 where four books become five movies and three books become four. At least this is literature, and craft.

  26. Aaron B

    I agree, Maxim. I think King Kong is very good the bug pit and some of the dino stuff could have been cut, but that doesn’t make it a terrible film to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  27. steve50

    Three films? Totally unnecessary. The book isn’t worthy of 3 films, but perhaps a 3 or 3 1/2 hr film.

    This does look like a money grab on the surface and I’m certain there are people approving it for just that reason, but will likely turn out to be just bloat – same as the Star Wars I – III. Mr Jackson should think about what move that move did to Lucas’s stature.

  28. Six films to rule them all!!! :D

  29. Choekaas

    I’m sceptic. It would seem like he constructed everything into two parters and now he will arrange everything so it will be a classic three act structure? LOTR was about destroying the One Ring. The mission was basically to save the world. I’m not sure a story about finding a treasure is fit to be in a trilogy.

    However, I’ll still show up at the premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

  30. lazarus

    While three films does seem like overkill, am I the only one more interested in this “bridge” film based on the appendices than the actual Hobbit material? The original plan was to have one Hobbit film and a second film based on the supplementary stuff, so it’s not like this came out if nowhere.

    For me, the truly lame announcement was needing two parts for just The Hobbit.

  31. Although I’m not happy about spening almost 50 bucks plus the cost of food so let’s just say about a hundred dollars for the next 3 years when these movies come out, I’m going to trust Peter Jackson and his brilliance. Even though this move seems to be more of a money grab. I know he said he wants to explore the appendices and back stories of Tolkien’s Dense story, But the Hobbit was only 310 pages children’s book, I don’t know why it has to be this 3 pic epic. But yes, I will watch them, I guess that is the point, complain all you want but you’re still going to watch them anyways.

  32. #CashGrab

  33. Reform the Academy

    This is utterly ridiculous…The Hobbit is only a 300 pg book. I know it was discussed when they were talking of splitting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that length doesn’t necessarily equate to substance and it would take an entire movie for just the last 100 pages, but that’s not the case here as I recall. Nor was it true of the final Twilight. Everyone is just copycating Potter now with the split thing, but without any artistic justification, so it’s purely financial for these other franchises.

    Adapting The Hobbit should be pretty straightforward and self contained in one film. What I find ironic is that Jackson didn’t really even want to direct The Hobbit, only stepping up when they couldn’t find anyone else…and now he wants to make 3 movies out of this one book?! Well so long as he doesn’t stretch the story thin I guess…I find that far worse then overbloated.

  34. Andrew

    What a terrible decision.

  35. JPEsquire

    To those saying that Jackson is stretching a 310-page book into three films, he is not. The Hobbit itself is the first two films (which in itself is a bit of a stretch). The third film is the “bridge” film made up of other stories in the LOTR appendices and elsewhere that connect the events in the Hobbit to the events in LOTR. I am intrigued by that if Jackson and Co. can tell a coherent story out of that material.

    I enjoyed the LOTR films quite a bit, so I will see all three of these, sheep that I am. Even I think this looks like a cash grab, but if they are at least half-decent movies, that really won’t bother me. All these Marvel superhero movies into The Avengers are a huge cash grab, but some of them at least were enjoyable films.

    Also, am I the only one not entirely bothered by the ROTK ending(s)? Sure they were long, and those ending sequences could have been tightened up, but I don’t think audiences would have taken to “the scouring of the Shire” either. There are a full 100 or so pages of story after the business on Mt. Doom. They couldn’t cut all of that.

  36. Natasha

    Is the title of the third film seriously “Are We There Yet?”–or is that serious sarcasm? Or perhaps one could see it as a bit of both?

  37. Natasha, Just me kidding around.
    Not sarcasm. More like playful satire.

  38. Andrew

    JPEsquire,

    Jackson made it pretty clear in his Facebook post that this is, in fact, going to be a third Hobbit film. Because apparently, two films is not enough time to stuff in storylines that have nothing to do with Bilbo’s journey and growth as a character.

  39. I think that’s right, Andrew.

    Peter Jackson is not planning to stretch the existing Hobbit from 4 hours to 6 hours. He’s simply adding 2 new hours that will contain additional material published in supplement to The Hobbit — and will probably help form a narrative bridge between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

  40. Jake G!!!

    I’m surprised at all the people complaining about three films!!! I think its awesome, the more LOTR the better!

  41. JPEsquire

    Andrew,

    He did indeed say that. But there’s this paragraph:

    “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.”

    Most of this is outside of The Hobbit narrative. There’s Bilbo’s journey with the dwarves over and under the Misty Mountains, through Mirkwood, to The Lonely Mountain and Smaug’s lair, and the Battle of the Five Armies and all that. That’s the main narrative. Then there is the other stuff in the above paragraph, such as the “Rise of the Necromancer” and the “Battle of Dol Guldur,” which mostly comes after. (End nerdery). Now I guess my question remains whether he is going to weave all of this stuff into The Hobbit narrative or make it all into the third film. As for character development, there is Jackson’s clear and gaping flaw. He is willing to sacrifice that for his battle scenes.

    Yeah, it all seems a bit unnecessary. But he’s won his Oscars, he can have his fun. It’s no more unnecessary than James Cameron making two more Avatar films.

  42. Andrew

    The White Council and Seige of Dol Guldur actually take place during The Hobbit’s timeline (that’s where Gandalf kept vanishing off to in the book). They are interweaving those storylines into the narrative.

  43. moviewatcher

    I’m happier with this if it is indeed a “bridge film”. There’s a lot that happens in the third age, besides LOTR. A lot of stuff indeed. Som have mentioned Dol Guldur… but also Saruman’s fall and the War in the North in Angmar and The battle in Osgiliath. This could work… maybe… let us hope so. And let’s not go into the theatres with that feeling alright? Let’s remember the great LOTR movies… And then let us sit down and watch and review and comment fairly. With no bias. Each movie by itself. And then the trilogy as a whole.

  44. Aaron B

    I could see him stretching out The Battle of Five Armies like he did with Helms Deep, and if it’s done as well I’ll be happy to watch it. Like I said earlier, there’s really a TON of really cool stuff that happens in The Hobbit, even if in the book it only takes a few pages. The success of this is going to depend on how well he integrates the supplemental stuff.

  45. Yeah the Hobbit is very different from the Lord of the Rings in how bare bones some of the events that take place are. The Battle of Five Armies, for example, basically occurs while Bilbo is knocked out and we don’t see much that happens. I think that Jackson wants to expand on the events in the book that don’t have much detail by supplementing them with details that we know from other things that Tolkien has written (like the Appendices). I don’t think that this is just a blatant cash grab I mean Jackson was initially reluctant to return as director anyways.

  46. This is make my anticipation got even higher. One of my best experiences about LOTRs is that how surprise I am when watching the scenes that’s not actually happened in the book, but lives on screen. The fight scenes between Gandalf and Saruman on the first film, Gollum self-talking scene in the second film, and all the Aragorn’s scenes with the ghost army are all excellent. Cannot wait!!!!

  47. Tero Heikkinen

    Three nearly 3hr films… OR two 3hr films with Extended Editions being released later. This is what I think. The decision must change the films a little, they must become slower, and I don’t mind even.

    I see no EE-releases coming on BD this time. For LOTR they shot 2hrs worth of stuff that they (in most cases) knew will not make into the theatrical cuts.

  48. Personally, I’m against the extension, but then again, I’m not a LOTR fan dying for as many minutes of LOTR on film as I can get.

    But it makes me wonder about The Hobbit (Part 1, that is). Did they not plan when to start and stop the story? I doubt that all the extra material for these three films will come from the end of the story, so surely changes are being made to the first one. It just seems like everything’s being done by the seat of their pants and I have to think it might show in the final product, at least of the film that’s due out this year.

  49. Bob Burns

    More White Council and Dol Guldur means more screen time for Christopher Lee – and Cate.

  50. moviewatcher

    “More White Council and Dol Guldur means more screen time for Christopher Lee – and Cate.”

    That’s right, Bob!!! Go Cate and Sir Lee!!!

  51. Jackson has already stated Hobbit 3 is not a “bridge” film, but the thirdt part of the actual Hobbit movie trilogy. As far as anyone knows, as of now, there is no “bridge” film (contrary to what was stated initially when this project took off).

    For me, this poses a problem. See, when Jackson et al did LOTR, they had to produce 3 films. There was no free reign from the studios, and the budget was set for a trilogy. It was a bet, an uncertainty.

    10 years later, billions of dollars later, many awards including over 10 oscars later, and Jackson was given Kong and Lovely Bones. He did with them as he pleased, and the results were less than stellar. The films were less focused, and box office noticed. As did awards seasons.

    Jackson is now free to do as he pleases with The Hobbit, and studios trust him with the LOTR franchise. As do we. After all, Fellowship, Two Towers and King are amazing pieces of cinema. But after his too long, too unfocused non-LOTR films, I have lost faith in his ability to tell a story.

    I believe this choice is ill-fated. We’re going to have 3 movies with many, many scenes made up to fill up only suggested stories in the source material, and the danger of three King Kongs and not three LOTR looms ever closer.

    Not to mention this all gambling on 48fps and 3D, which I hope the cinema in my area does NOT force upon me.

    My two cents,
    T.

  52. Indio22

    For my part, I found the LOTR films (primarily parts 2 and 3), overly long in places. And this is coming from someone who is decidedly not of the ADHD mentality, and normally does not mind slower paced or longer films. I think Jackson could have used the services of an editor with the power to make the required cuts. A director such as Jackson understandably might be in love with all his hard won footage , and that is why a collaboration with an editor is needed to get rid of the chaff. So, I worry the extension of “The Hobbit” to three films will find the viewer sitting through lots of nice looking footage, that regardless does not need to be there, and is not moving the narrative along.

    Actually, I do a bit of amateur video editing in Adobe CS5, and am planning to cut down the LOTR films myself for future viewing. I read somewhere that Jackson tends to shoot a lot of footage, compared to someone like Eastwood who shoots in a leaner fashion. I hope Jackson is able to reign in any desire to bloat the “The Hobbit” films with all the footage, making them interminably long.

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