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The Hobbit Trilogy?

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The Hobbit Trilogy?

Is it possible?

By Robert T. Trate     July 25, 2012


Peter Jackson first mentioned at Comic-Con two weeks ago that he was toying with what to do with all the extra footage he has shot for a two film adaptation of The Hobbit. Now, reports are hot and heavy that he’s actually going to turn his two films into a trilogy. When Deadline spoke with Peter Jackson about The Hobbit in San Diego, he was very excited about the 125 pages of notes in an appendices that JRR Tolkien wrote and included in the final The Lord of the Rings novel Return of the King. Deadline suspects that the possibility is perhaps better than it was then that this might happen, but that it is by no means a certainty. There are internal discussions.  There wasn’t a wasted second in LOTR, with the films building to a satisfying, nearly $1.2 billion worldwide gross and Oscar-winning conclusion. 
Jackson told Deadline that the notes written by Tolkien presaged his intention to update The Hobbit and give it more of the weight of Lord Of The Rings. Here’s what he said:
“That goes back to JRR Tolkien writing The Hobbit first, for children, and only after did he develop his mythology much more over the 16 or 17 years later when The Lord of the Rings came out, which is way more epic and mythic and serious. What people have to realize is we’ve adapted The Hobbit, plus taken this additional 125 pages of notes, that’s what you’d call them. Because Tolkien himself was planning the rewrite The Hobbit after The Lord of the Rings, to make it speak to the story of The Lord of the Rings much more. In the novel, Gandalf disappears for various patches of time. In 1936, when Tolkien was writing that book, he didn’t have a clue what Gandalf was doing. But later on, when he did The Lord of the Rings and he’d hit on this whole epic story, he was going to go back and revise The Hobbit and he wrote all these notes about how Gandalf disappears and was really investigating the possible return of Sauron, the villain from The Lord of the Rings. Sauron doesn’t appear at all in The Hobbit. Tolkien was retrospectively fitting The Hobbit to embrace that mythology. He never wrote that book, but there are 125 pages of notes published at the back of Return of the King in one of the later editions. It was called The Appendices, and they are essentially his expanded Hobbit notes. So we had the rights to those as well and were allowed to use them.” Said Jackson: “We haven’t just adapted The Hobbit; we’ve adapted that book plus great chunks of his appendices and woven it all together. The movie explains where Gandalf goes; the book never does. We’ve explained it using Tolkien’s own notes. That helped inform the tone of the movie, because it allowed us to pull in material he wrote in The Lord of the Rings era and incorporate it with The Hobbit.”
The prospect of The Hobbit being turned into a trilogy would be welcome to New Line and financier Warner Bros and MGM. The actors would get an extra payday, and have a lot of leverage. And after Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn split into two films and The Hunger Games announced its intention to do the same and tell a three-book tale in four films, it seems logical. But the fact is, Jackson has already turned a single book into two films here; can he squeeze out a third without boring his fans?
We don’t think anybody would say that the last Twilight Saga benefited creatively by splitting one absorbing tale into two films. Watching Bella give birth to her vampire child was excruciating, it went on and on and on. Werewolves fought vampires, none of them got hurt. Bella grew emaciated, turned skeleton skinny, then died and came back to life. Edward and Jacob stood around, brooding. All of this happened halfway through the last book by Stephenie Meyer, and readers got to see a cool ending with those creepy vampire characters played by Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning. That doesn’t come until the finale. But the movie grossed over $700 million worldwide.
One would like to think that Jackson would be immune to a blatant cash grab. But let’s face it: in Hollywood, at the end of the day, it’s always about squeezing out the most money possible, knowing fans will endure whatever slop gets served to them if they are addicted to the earlier films. You can see evidence of that in the last three Star Wars movies, which are now being served up again in glorious 3D. Let’s hope Jackson doesn’t spoil the return to Middle Earth. Lord of the Rings was a groundbreaking trilogy because it was fueled by three fully realized books by Tolkien. Jackson has already cut one book and a set of Tolkien notes into a double feature.


Thanks to Chopsaki for the submission.


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SarcasticCaveman 7/25/2012 3:30:36 AM

 Eh, I love the LOTR movies, but don't make this a me, Mr. Jackson...I WILL buy these Extended Editions also.

Dazzler 7/25/2012 3:55:28 AM

Harry Potter dragged also with it's two parter also.  But this is Jackson so it could be better.

Ryodin 7/25/2012 5:12:37 AM

Well, the Appendices really are a book unto themselves. So I can sorta see this becoming a trilogy and being okay with that. So long as the last two movies are released no more than six months apart. I really don't have the patience to sit through another three year wait to see events unfold to their fullest in Middle Earth.

kinetoscope 7/25/2012 5:35:24 AM

With each movie previous clocking in over 3 hours, are we talking 3 - 3 hour movies or 3 - 2 hour movies? Make it 3... I'll pay, I'll watch over and over again... I have faith in Peter Jackson.

SmokingFrog77 7/25/2012 5:37:37 AM

Umm, am I missing something here? Doesn't that quote from Jackson simply say that they utilised the notes from the LOTR appendices to expand a one-book story into two films? Where does Jackson say a third film is a possibility?

"there are 125 pages of notes published at the back of Return of the King in one of the later editions. It was called The Appendices, and they are essentially his expanded Hobbit notes. So we had the rights to those as well and were allowed to use them.” Said Jackson: “We haven’t just adapted The Hobbit; we’ve adapted that book plus great chunks of his appendices and woven it all together. The movie explains where Gandalf goes; the book never does. We’ve explained it using Tolkien’s own notes."

Sounds like he's talking about something he's already doing i.e. a second film, not a third one.

jedibanner 7/25/2012 5:58:41 AM

Seems weird that this comes out when this weekend the last video blog of The Hobbit came out where they finished principal photography...if they just want to add a 3rd one just from 125 pages...wouldn't that mean they would need to re-write the first 2 parts to make sure it all fits in 3 movies?

Seems a bad idea to me...sure it's a great fantasy world and we just want more turn it into a marketing thing becomes too much of a money grabber.

No sir...not liking this idea at all.

HudsonTaco 7/25/2012 6:34:38 AM

 Jedi - I agree completely. I am already worried about the padding they have done already. The Hobbit is like one sixth the length of LOTR and now they want to make it 3 movies? Bad idea, really bad.

SmokingFrog77 7/25/2012 6:37:24 AM

But isn't it saying that Jackson used those 125 pages to pad it out to two movies?? Seems that a comment about what to do with all the deleted scenes, and this comment about the Appendices have become confused into a story that Jackson is going to make a third movie?  I'm going to call shennanigans on Deadline...

ddiaz28 7/25/2012 8:12:11 AM

I think people are worried as usual that this is simply a cash grab.  An insider said that the decision is "strongly driven by the filmmakers' desire to tell more of the story."  So this doesn't sound like the producers forcing his hand. It sounds like Jackson went to them because he genuinly wants leave less on the cutting room floor. 

You've got to realize that principal photography only recently ended so Jackson is only now in the process of ediiting film one.  He has probably realized just how much great footage he has that he doesn't want to lose and figures if he shoots just a bit more that they might have left out of the script, it would be enough for a trilogy.  I'm completely on board with that.  I'd rather see three amazing films in the theater than have to wait a few years for 2 extended cuts to be released.  It's obvious from the LOTR extended cuts that those are Jackson's true visions for the films.  I want to see those right off the bat rather than wait.  I hope this does happen.

I can understand people wondering how he can make one book into three films when he did the entirety of LOTR in 3 films.  But if you've read those books you know just how much he cut out of them, even from the extended versions. ROTK extended was over 4 hours alone.  He easily could have split that into two films  especially if he had included the burning of the shire.  Taking all that into consideration, it's easy to see why Jackson might want to make a third film. 

So basically I'm just saying lets give PJ the benefit of the doubt and let him give us his vision of this story.  He hasn't let us down with these films yet so why would he start now?

horcruxx 7/25/2012 8:25:09 AM

Well in the trailer we see Gandalf going thru what look like a ruined castle, that may be his investigation of the Necromancer aka Sauron, also the movie was split into two because they wanted to expand beyong the Hobbit book as to include LOTR material, so i dont understand why a third film. I hope they reconsider and bring out a extended edition instead.

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