Peter Jackson loves Tolkien’s Middle Earth. His epic film adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings was a massive hit with critics and fans (despite being intensely long and lacking certain details from its source material), and the ‘net has spent months giddily anticipating Jackson’s upcoming two-film adaptation of The Hobbit. Neither of those films have yet hit theaters (the first is scheduled for debut on December 14), but Jackson is already looking to return to the fictional world with a third Hobbit movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, though Jackson seemed amused by the idea of a Hobbit trilogy at the recent San Diego Comic Con, in the time since he and his filmmaking partners have been exploring what exactly would be required for such an undertaking. Having nailed down most of the logistics (including a return to New Zealand to film for a few more months) the filmmakers approached Warner Bros. with the idea. If THR is to be believed, the production studio is on board with the idea, assuming deals can be established for the original cast to reprise their roles.
The big question here, from a fan’s perspective at least, is how changing this thing into a trilogy will affect Jackson’s ability to tell the story of The Hobbit. Jackson had originally planned to tell the tale over the course of two films and presumably had created a script designed to do just that. A third film however, will require its own plot which means one of two things: Either Jackson wants to alter the first two movies to stretch The Hobbit into a trilogy, or the first two movies will still contain The Hobbit in full while the third would tell a new tale featuring the same characters. Given the massive amount of notes and text Tolkien scribbled down during his life on the subject of Middle Earth it shouldn’t be that difficult to pad out a third movie, but it isn’t clear that this final flick is entirely necessary.
As much as we adore Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and will rush to see them in absolutely anything, we’re hoping that Jackson’s hypothetical trilogy won’t dilute what could be an excellent duology of Hobbit movies. We have faith in Jackson — the man knows how to turn Tolkien’s books into films — but with brevity being the soul of wit, we will remain worried about this nascent trilogy until the results hit the silver screen. Hopefully this new plan won’t force Warner Bros. to delay any of Jackson’s new films.