Update: There will be a third Hobbit movie released in 2014

Remember that time I said there might be a third Hobbit movie, but not to get excited? Well, feel free to get excited: Peter Jackson has confirmed that the summer of 2014 will see the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Trilogy. (That title, by the way, is not confirmed.) Says Jackson: "[W]ithout 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." (via Film Junk)


  1. I agree that the other films could/should have been stretched in to two or three for each book.
    I wonder how this one will play out as its only 1/3 the length  of the Rings Trilogy.

    1.  IIRC they’re padding it a ton with stuff from Tolkein’s notes about what happened in the margins, e.g. the Necromancer in the Mirkwood(?). 

  2. Why would I get excited? How could this be anything other than a bloated, meandering disaster?

      1. There’s also a thing called “not ruining the legacy of a great writer”. 

        I’d be all up for Peter Jackson interpreting the books if it didn’t include him and the horrible heirs shutting down all other interpretations of the Tolkien works.

        1. Your options, though, are limited. You can go, or not. But I guess you can whinge regardless.

          If you don’t want the works to be ruined (for you), don’t go, and they will be pristine forever in your memory.

          1.  I’ll go, I can’t be certain he’ll be boring unless I do.  It wouldn’t be fair.  I’d also like to go and see a dozen more Hobbit movies, I want to see it done by other folks in other ways that may be more or less interesting. 

            Peter Jackson didn’t completely fuck The Lord of the Rings up, but he didn’t do anything interesting with it.  He has, though, made certain that generations of people will not see another version. 

          2. Peter Jackson didn’t completely fuck The Lord of the Rings up, but he didn’t do anything interesting with it.  He has, though, made certain that generations of people will not see another version.

            I dunno… I thought Jackson’s version was plenty interesting.  Faithful enough to the books, with buckets of production value.  And with… what, 17 Oscars?  A billion dollars in domestic box office alone, and nearly three billion worldwide.  Seems like plenty of people found it interesting.

            And this was a generation after both Rankin-Bass and Bakshi tried, with only limited success, to adapt the books as cartoons.

            In any case, never doubt the willingness of Saul Zaentz to cash in again on his Middle-earth Enterprises holdings whenever someone brings along some new technology or other excuse to “reboot” the damned thing.  Maybe in 3D 8K Sensurround Smellovision.  At this point, Tolkien’s creations are no more sacrosanct than caped superheroes as a media commodity.

  3. Meh. I was so incredibly disappointed with the films. The lighting was so distracting (*everything* was blue!) and they were mostly just boring fight scenes.

    All of the magic of the books was lost, can’t see how this would be any different.

    1. This isn’t about magic, it’s about test marketing for 13 year olds.  It’s why we have all the dwarves dressed in Sauron armor. 

  4. Dead horse, meet flogger.

    I am okay with this on the condition that I only have to buy one ticket to see all three parts of the film. This was bullshit when it was going to be two films, and it’s even worse now. 

    Inventing new characters to pad out extra episodes? Piss off.

  5. My first thought: the annual extended edition LotR (soon to be LotR+Hobbit) 12-course feast at the Alamo Drafthouse will soon become unmanageable.

    My next thught: why? I mean, sure more films=more money and you can produce as much footage as you want from the source material to make it happen. But does the story really NEED three movies?

    I kind of wish there was more of a market for mini-series. It seems the appropriate screen format for this sort of thing, but I don’t think I’ve actually seen one since the Sci-Fi channel did Dune.

    1. You need look no further than Game of Thrones, my friend, and the accompanying novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

      The books are excellent, and, beyond all belief, the series is excellent as well.

  6. LOTR was great, loved every minute of it (that didn’t involve spiders. Slightly arachnophobic and I literally closed my eyes and covered my ears in the theatre for certain scenes. Still have never seen that damn thing and don’t plan to.).

    King Kong was a meandering, aimless mess devoid of substance whose only purpose in existence was to give WETA Digital something to do for a while. It could have been two hours shorter and probably would have been better for it.

    The idea of Jackson stretching The Hobbit out to three full films does not excite me.

    1. Almost a ditto from me.  I loved LOTR almost unreservedly (though I still think Liv Tyler was miscast), and it’s still My Favorite Movie Ever.

      But King Kong was a gross miscalculation.  It was nearly twice as long as the (tightly-paced and still hugely entertaining) 1933 original, and Jackson added no value to that story.  It took over an hour just for the movie to get out of NY and onto Skull Island, for Christ’s sake!

      The Hobbit is a relatively slender volume, significantly shorter than any of the three volumes of LOTR.  (Might be shorter than ROTK, if you ignore the appendices.)  Now, I’m speaking as an enthusiastic fan of Jackson and his LOTR movies (I’m rewatching the Extended Version this very week, halfway through the last one as of last night), but this is disappointing news.

      The Hobbit does not contain enough narrative content for three full-length theatrical features.

    2. Oh, you’re going to enjoy Mirkwood. On the other hand, there’s a chance Mirkwood and it’s spider fiesta will be the entirety of movie 2, and you can skip that one.

  7. It sure as hell doesn’t excite me.  Jackson’s KING KONG was a garish, overlong travesty of a genuine classic.  His LOTR trilogy was fine, but I dunno, I’ve never felt too much of a desire to revisit them – most of the cgi already looks quite dated, and the whole thing was maybe too much Enya and not enough Led Zep for my liking.  Does anyone really want/need six Jackson/Tolkien movies?  The only thing that interests me about THE HOBBIT is what the 48 fps 3D is gonna look like.  Over than that, it’s just gonna be Cue the schmaltzy music and the sun-kissed New Zealand tourist board reel, and yea we’re back in the magical world of the Shire…..no thanks.

    Okay, this is turning into a bit of a rant, but you know should have gotten to direct the Lord of the Rings movies?  John ZARDOZ/EXCALIBUR Boorman, that’s who.  His version would have pissed all over Jackson’s.

    1. You know John Boorman’s LOTR script had, among other things, Frodo having sex with Galadriel, and Gandalf forcing Gimli to crawl into a hole and beating him (Gimli) to force him to recover his ancestral memory of the Dwarvish words needed to open the gates of Moria, right?

      Unless this comment was made without the knowledge that Boorman had ever done a LOTR script, in which case hahaha oh my god you are in for a surprise.

      1.  Knew Boorman was working on a script, wasn’t aware of the elements you have highlighted in your comment.  However, they are the VERY KINDS OF THINGS that would lead me to enjoy a Boorman version over Jackson’s.  Boorman’s brand of loopy, fearlessly camp psychedelic paganism would be vastly more interesting than Jackson’s bland loyalty to the text, and cloying Enya-scored schmaltz.

        Who cares about being loyal to the text?  The maximum fidelity to the text has already been achieved – by the actual text itself.  Why not try something different with it in a different medium?

        1. I always go back the the bakshi version myself.  It is much more imaginative, colorful, and exciting.

          rotoscope is a helluva drug

    2. I watched all three LOTR films recently (yes… an extended editions marathon), and I hadn’t seen any of them since ROTK came out on DVD, whenever that was.

      There is only one CG bit that doesn’t hold up – Legolas doing some BS with an elephant in the final battle. Newer CG is better, yes – but most of the CG in LOTR is more than good enough that you don’t specifically notice it like you do in so many other films from that era and earlier.

  8. I really enjoyed The Lord of the Rings,  but noticed that the best parts were usually the ones that adapted the book, and completely new things like ghosts-versus-elephants were usually the worst. So knowing The Hobbit is going to be even more filled with new stuff…only makes me worry for it.

    If Peter Jackson really wants an endless source for Tolkien movies, he can turn to The Silmarillion, and lots of luck to him, because he’ll need it.

  9. i was sad to hear they were gonna stretch and mangle this lovely little book into 2 movies… but now 3?
    i can picture the greedy man behind the hollywood desk saying “you can’t sell a box-set if there’s only 1 movie”.

    it’s a shame :(

  10. i have no REAL concerns, because (1) i know there is plenty of content to go from, and (2) it’s the same crew that did the LOTR, which was (all things considered) fantastic. seriously, if you read his post about it, peter jackson said HE was the one who wanted to tell the story right — this didn’t come from the studio first as a MOAR MONEYS thing. if you remember from Comicon, he said back then that he had gone to them and pitched the idea. he had to convince them.

    1. I know, but still.  Here’s a man who should have been the perfect guy to remake King Kong.  Fan of the original movie since childhood, and a hugely talented filmmaker, with the financial and political clout at the time to make whatever the hell we wanted.  And so he makes an incredibly lavish production that drags like the ass of a palsied orangutan.

      I seriously hoped he’d learned his lesson and wasn’t about to disappear up his own ass in classic Hollywood masturbatory Michael Cimino fashion.

    2. Here’s a crazy thing I learned watching the Director’s Commentary for the first trilogy: Peter Jackson originally pitched LOTR as two films, and the studio convinced him to stretch it back into three.

  11. I enjoyed watching the movies, but I find the parts where they deviate from the book to be terrible (in particular, Jackson utterly ruined the character of Denethor – in the book he was a wise, noble leader driven to madness and despair by Sauron, but in the movie he was a buffoon).  I hope we don’t have more of the same…

    1. He messed up many characters. Aragorn wasn’t torn with doubt. Faramir wasn’t a dick who suddenly had an epiphany. It’s as if he were consulting some style manual that states that no character can simply be good, they all have to have moral conflicts. The end result being that all the characters end up on a sort of flat graph of moral ambiguity.

  12. Interesting to see how poorly King Kong has faired in our collective memories. Anyone see it recently?

    If I remember right, it might have been too long, but it contained some wonders. I remember the internet at the time being aflame with awe-stuck tributes to the real emotional component between beauty and the beast, as well as an action sequence (Kong vs. dinosaurs) that really felt like something we had never seen before.

    1. Funny. My response to the action sequences was to wonder if Peter Jackson had never seen the Jurassic Park movies.

  13. Part 1: An Unexpected Journey
    Part 2: There and Back Again
    Part 3: What the Fuck are YOU Still Doing Here?

  14. Here’s a suggestion for the third Hobbit film — show us the end of the third LOTR film! Ya know, all that unimportant stuff like Fatty and Lobelia being released from the Lockholes; the raising of the Shire; Saruman’s end. (Bonus points for including Bombadil in a flashback.)

    1. Saruman already got thrown off Orthanc and was impaled on a prop from the Wizard of Oz.

  15. I am hoping to see a huge showdown between the more-evil-than-Sauron-theory version of Tom Bombadil and a charming rogue armed with a repeating crossbow played by Bruce Willis.  Songs by Eminem backed by Enya.  There’ll be a bit where Sir Willis is about to get stomped by a troll and the troll like totally gurgles and dies and falls down and standing behind him holding a humorously over-sized bow is a sheepish looking Bilbo and Bruce Willis totally rolls his eyes and says “Not you again!”

    It can happen.

  16. just another perfect example of how all films are petty, unresearched piles of trash that stretch credulity to the limit.
    And they actually expect you to invest in these so-called ‘stories’.
    When have humans ever liked stories or tales or heroic journeys?!?
    ‘Made up nonsense’ I call it!

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