Following much rumour and speculation, it has finally been confirmed that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is to become a trilogy of films rather than just two movies as previously planned.
Filming recently wrapped on what was to have been a two-film version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s children’s novel set before his epic three book sequence The Lord of the Rings, previously adapted by Jackson as a record-breaking and award-winning trilogy.
Director Peter Jackson said the decision to adapt the story as three movies instead of two was made when he began assembling the footage shot. ‘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,’ noted Jackson. ‘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.’
Two possible sub-titles have been suggested for the third movie: The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, and The Hobbit: Riddles In The Dark.
The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, released on December 13, 2013, and the third film now slated for summer 2014.