Peter Jackson is set to make history today after confirming rumors that The Hobbit would be cut into three movies instead of two, the first time in history that an adaptation of a book will take longer to watch than the book does to read. “Watch The Hobbit?! Aw, c’mon, Mrs. M, can’t I just read the book?”
Part one is scheduled for December, part two for December 2013, and part three summer 2014. Peter Jackson explained his approach, which I like to call “Tantric Filmmaking,” in a personal note on his Facebook page:
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.”
Ugh. Three Lord of the Rings movies, and now three Hobbit movies. If the last three are as long as the first three, we’re going on almost 18 hours of hobbitry now, for a story that was like 50 percent unnecessary epilogues to begin with. Three hours of content stretched into 18? I think Peter Jackson may have gotten into Kevin Smith’s weed stash.