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‘The Hobbit’ is Close to Becoming a Trilogy

Do you remember when the film adaptation of The Hobbit just wouldn't happen for six years? And that Peter Jackson didn't want to direct? Now, word is going around that "serious" talks are underway with Warner Bros. for a third "Hobbit" film after Jackson hinted at the idea at Comic-Con earlier this month.

Several outlets around Hollywood are reporting that "sources" close to the production have stated that Jackson wasn't joking when he told the Hall H crowd he intended to shoot extra footage for his second Hobbit film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again (the first entry, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released this December). What sounds like it was meant to be footage for "There and Back Again" has now potentially morphed into the foundations for a third "Hobbit" film to be directed by Jackson and produced with his fellow writing/producing team Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

The idea of a third "Hobbit" film leads the production into murky waters: The Hobbit is not an overly long book, where two films are likely more than enough to tell the story of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their quest to rid the Lonely Mountain of the dragon Smaug, with several creature encounters and the discovery of the One Ring occurring along the way.

Jackson has noted that there are several gaps in the timeline of the story (where specific characters disappear and events fade into the background) that J.R.R. Tolkien had not developed when he wrote The Hobbit. Turns out the originally author later expanded on the story of "Hobbit" for 125 pages in The Appendices of The Return of the King. Were he to develop the third film, it sounds like those Appendices are likely where he would mine his story.

Although Jackson owns the rights to the Appendices, we wouldn't be surprised if the Tolkien estate went up in arms about a potential third project, not that they can do much. If a third film were to be made, the production would need to renegotiate deals with the already massive cast, increase the two-month shoot planned for next summer and likely cough up with a ton more cash. If there is a decision to be made, the same sources that let slip this news have said the decision would need to be made "soon." Naturally, Warner Bros is keeping mum. For now.

Is three parts of The Hobbit overkill, or would you take as many films as Jackson will give us?


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