Oh MAN! Director Peter Jackson has confirmed that he’s going to use extra footage and the Appendices and make THREE WHOLE MOVIES OF WHITE COUNCIL GOODNESS instead of two:
The richness of the story of, 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,” Jackson wrote. “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.
Principal shooting wrapped on the first two “Hobbit” films earlier this month, and though Jackson has plenty of b-roll to work with, a third pic will require a re-start of production. That means the filmmakers had to renegotiate and work out schedules with dozens of rights-holders, thesps and other people with leverage.
Radagast! Radagast! Radagast!
Heck, Alatar and Pallando.
Is this another fanfic film? You bet. But with the original cast on hand it will be watchable, we hope.
IMRAHIL! IMRAHIL! IMRAHIL!
Now, is there a downside to all this excitement? Yes. The actual STORY of the Hobbit is a 272-page children’s book, with a plot concise enough to be contained in one single Rankin/Bass movie. With songs. Will a Jabba-sized trilogy of movies hopelessly distort this simple tale of “There and Back Again?”
So for right now we’re supercharged by this wallow in obscure eddies of Middle Earth lore. As long as Jackson doesn’t go all King Kong on us…we’re good. We concede…that danger may exist.
But for now?
BOMBADIL! BOMBADIL! BOMBADIL!
Update: Here’s Jackson’s full statement from Facebook:
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.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.