back to article Jackson’s Hobbit becomes a trilogy

Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson has revealed that his next work, a film adaptation of The Hobbit, will span three films. The adaptation had previously been pencilled in as two flicks. Jackson took to Facebook to announce the extension, arguing that editing of the first film has yielded the insight that: “We were …

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  1. asdf

    hmm

    Peter Jackson is a polarizing figure. Yes as director of LOTR he hit out of the park but remember he was the director of King Kong (groan) also.

    1. asdf

      Re: hmm

      Wow I never realized how many people liked King Kong based on imdb, rotten tomatoes, etc reviews. NM guess I am in the minority then.

    2. Chet Mannly

      Re: hmm

      He also hit "Bad Taste" out of the park (for those who haven't seem Jackson's first masterpiece, the scene involving a sheep and a rocket launcher is pure cinematic gold :-) - more enjoyable than LOTR for my money anyday!

      1. Simon_Sharwood_Reg_APAC_Editor (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: hmm

        Bad Taste is indeed magnificent. I liked the brains best. The sheep was pretty funny.

        His next project, IIRC, was a Muppets parody called "Meet the Feebles." The student 'paper I worked on at the time interviewed him and asked if he would like to work with puppets again. His answer was yes he would, but puppets have said they won't work HIM again.

        Here all week ....

        1. h4rm0ny
          Pint

          Re: hmm

          Meet the Feebles is one of the most disgusting, perverse films ever made. I am continually amazed watching him churn out things like Lord of the Rings that this is the same person. He also did the film Beautiful Creatures with a young Kate Winslet, which was a very nice film. To me, he seems to have done his entire career backwards - starting off with extraordinary works of off the wall genius and descending into mainstream blockbusters.

          Meet the Feebles is the film that features a walrus driving a car out of a whale's anus, a sex scene between a weasel and a sheep and a fox in silver top hat and tales performing a song and dance routine that begins with the lyrics - "You may think it rather odd of me, that I so enjoy the act of Sodomy".

          Peter Jackson - what happened to you?

          1. Graham Bartlett

            Re: hmm

            Sure it is. It also happens to be one of the funniest things ever put on film.

    3. Shakje

      Re: hmm

      So erm, why hasn't anyone mentioned Braindead?

      1. klr_6
        Thumb Up

        Re: hmm

        who could forget Braindead !

        Seriously if you've watched it, you'll never forget it.

        Sparkling dialog such as 'your mother ate my dog' and featuring the kickboxing priest who 'kicks ass for the lord', along with the Nazi morgue assistant ...

        an unbelievable film.

  2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Flame

    I wonder why...

    ...they didn't manage to get the 'Scouring of the Shire' section into the LOTR, then?

    1. Thorne

      Re: I wonder why...

      The ending of LOTR narked me. Most of it was spot on (couple of important bits cut out but nothing changed) except for the ending. Why change the ending?

      1. Dave 126

        Re: I wonder why...

        Or Tom Bombadil... but maybe Jackson will work him in to this series of films.

        I always loved Bad Taste, and was thrilled when I heard it was PJ who was to be directing LOTR. I think he did a very good job.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: I wonder why...

          The only way in which Tom Bombadil should be involved should probably involve a sheep and a rocket launcher... not one of Tolkein's better characters.

        2. Adam T

          Re: I wonder why...Tom Bombadil

          No thank you, i'd rather French kiss Ja Ja Binks.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I wonder why...

      That was 3 films for 3 long books... each longer than The Hobbit.

      On the one hand I'm sad it'll span 3 years to see all the films, on the other it would be nice for a change to see a proper, deep film version that pleases fans - provided they get the extra info from real books and don't just make up a backstory they like.

      Maybe I'll wait until all 3 are out and watch them together.

      1. Ian Yates

        Re: I wonder why...

        Don't get too enthused: he's clearly incorporating an entirely new set of substories alongside the main Hobbit one, so how much of each he uses is unclear.

        I think six hours would be enough to do The Hobbit a lot of justice, but nine hours means he's planning a lot of new material.

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The Hobbit Trilogy

    Showing in 1D 2D and 3D

    1. Havin_it

      Re: The Hobbit Trilogy

      I'm afraid it could all be 1D.

  4. DaiKiwi
    Unhappy

    Too much padding?

    How can they manage to turn a 300 page novel into films running six to eight hours?

    (Anyone want to bet that any of the three parts will run less than two hours?)

    My favourite Jackson film is "Forgotten Silver", followed by "Meet The Feebles".

    1. Arctic fox
      Unhappy

      Re: Too much padding?

      Precisely. LOTR itself of course needed to be a trilogy - it would have been impossible to give it anything like the proper treatment otherwise. Indeed, the extended cut justified itself IMHO, artistically as well as commercially. However, stretching The Hobbit (a novel that I am very fond of BTW) to three films is no more than a very shabby piece of commercial exploitation without the faintest tinge of artistic merit. The novel is a little jewel in it's own right and deserves to be treated as such.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Too much padding?

      I expect Thorin will be sitting on a rock and singing about gold a lot.

      1. Arctic fox
        Facepalm

        Re: "singing about gold a lot." Oh please don't. Otherwise the bugger will make..........

        .........."Hobbit the Musical" after he has released the director's cut of all three episodes of this one!

      2. Irongut

        Re: Too much padding?

        I loved that game but always wanted to hit Thorin when he did that.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Timbo 1

            Re: Too much padding?

            Can't remember if it was the MSX or C64 version but do remember it taking ages to load. About 400 on the tape counter I think. Gave me time to go outside and smash some imaginary dwarves to bits before returning to the house and not long after :-

            >Cleave Gandalf's skull

            Fond memories.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Paul Bruneau

      Re: Too much padding?

      I believe the way they are going to manage it is to run the scenes in real time.

      There's going to be a lot of pony riding in these three.

  5. Local Group
    Happy

    "I am Born."

    I think I'll wait for the prequel to 'The Hobbit,' and see all four episodes in order.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "I am Born."

      I think you'll find that'll be the "Silmarillion", and will run to over 100 episodes :-)

      1. Local Group
        Thumb Up

        Re: that'll be the "Silmarillion"

        With Harry Lloyd as Melkor and his iterations.

        Bring it on.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Flame

    Smaug would approve

    All that lovely, lovely loot!

  7. Khaptain Silver badge

    "The studio said can we make more money and the answer was an unreserved yes.”

    Yes my preciousssss, it is a very difficult decision: Do we want to please the public or make more money ?????

  8. Shagbag

    Hollywood short of ideas

    3 films? Christ, it's going to be dull.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Longer wait for Dambusters then?

    if he's frolicking in MIddle Earth for longer

  10. Steven Davison

    Longer wait for Dambusters then? lets hope so

    To change the subject entirely....

    You *cannot* have a Dambusters film without Nigger the dog.

    I don't care if it's a bad word to some people, but it's the dog bloody name!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Longer wait for Dambusters then? lets hope so

      "I don't care if it's a bad word to some people, but it's the dog bloody name!"

      You saying you don't think it's a bad word?....

      1. Jedit Silver badge
        Holmes

        "You saying you don't think it's a bad word?...."

        Whether he is or not, he's right. Bowdlerising history in the name of political correctness is both obscene and stupid. Those who do not recall history are condemned to repeat it.

        1. itzman

          Re: "You saying you don't think it's a bad word?...."

          All history is bowdlerised in the name of political correctness.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "You saying you don't think it's a bad word?...."

          I think the bigger problem is making all the crews American and moving the dams to Iran

    2. Mr Lion

      Re: Longer wait for Dambusters then? lets hope so

      @Steven Davison "To some people" - colours firmly nailed to the mast there!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inventive

    “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,”

    What Battle of Dol Guldur is that, then? Perhaps the one that DOESNT appear in "The Hobbit" book?

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Inventive

      There are quite a few authentic story elements buried in such books as "Unfinished Tales"

      Some would say they should stay buried. I have my doubts about the effects.

    2. richardcox13
      Holmes

      Re: Inventive

      It's the one Gandalf goes off to fight with the White Council: remember when he disappears off from Bilbo and the Dwarfs in Mirkwood?

      Listed in Appendix B of LoTR.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Inventive

      There's a whole timeline of events which appeared in other books (IIRC there's one at the back of LOTR and then there are books like Unfinished Tales), plenty of material to drag out into three films.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the ambition?

    Three films? Amateurs. That's nearly 100 pages a film. They've just made a full film of The Very Hungry Caterpillar which has only about 20 pages and very little dialogue in, and no CGI battle sequences whatsoever.

    Peter Jackson is seriously underselling himself and his 'vision' - by that yardstick he should be able to screw at least 20 or 30 films out of The Hobbit.

    The sooner Martin Freeman hangs up his prosthetic ears and feet and escapes back to make the third series of Sherlock the better.

  13. Code Monkey
    Trollface

    A cinematic first

    Wow. No director's ever milked a Hobbit (on anything like this scale) before.

    1. Robert Ramsay
      Joke

      Re: A cinematic first

      And the Oscar for Most Unwanted Mental Image goes to...

  14. thefutureboy

    Peter Jackson seems to be creating a school of cinema where the only criteria (criterion?) for the next film is it must be longer than the previous one.

  15. terlan

    of course it has to be three films.

    and you can imagine how this epic idea for three films came about. and its all very reasonabla if you think about it. the piutch probably went along the lines of .....

    Peter baby, we really need 3 films, You need at least an hour for bilbo to have flashbacks to explain his undying love for [insert current flavour of the month starlets name here] and the backstory of why they are no longer together.

    Then at least 30 minutes in the second film where the go off on a side quest and bolbo is finally reunited with her, even though he thought she had died.

    And of course we have to have that really big section about the forbidden love between gandalf and whats her name... the pointy eared chick from lord of the rings....because the audience are desperate to learn more about that.

    Oh and about another 30 minutes to recap how golumn found the ring in case they missed it in lord of the rings.

    And we have to get strider into the film, cause we have a bucket load of strider action figures that never sold when return of the kind came out and we could really do with the extra cash.

    And how about we sneak in a few scenes with legolas, cause chicks REALLY dug orlando bloom in lotr, and you know, we can put his picture on all three films posters to lurte them in , even if he's only in it for 5 minutes. plus you know, we can sell some of those legolas for men aftershaves we could shift when the orginal films came out.

    oh and as a last minute surprise is there any way we can get jack sparrow into the story, cause I know he wasnt originally in the hobbit, but like putting him into a movie is box office gold baby, and we can explain it as he's actually gandlafs second cousin or the likes.

    So peter how about it, we doing a trilogy or what?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: of course it has to be three films.

      Isn't Jackson one of the few directors who gets to call the shots and tell Hollywood "I'm doing it how I damn well want"?

      1. terlan

        Re: of course it has to be three films.

        or perhaps they said..."peter baby.. three films... means three different chances at more oscars"

  16. Stephen Wilkinson

    There, a load of extra stuff to make Hollywood more money, and back again!

    1. lawndart

      Damnit

      You beat me to it. I was about to comment "Nearly There, There, and Back Again".

      Kudos.

      1. Elmer Phud
        Coat

        Re: Damnit

        There is a fourth one -- Are We Nearly There Yet?

  17. Irongut
    FAIL

    As someone who read all the Tolkien books repeatedly as a young teenager I have just one thing to say - Fuck Off Peter Jackson!

  18. Havin_it
    Stop

    Not a big surprise

    He's realised he needs the extra 2/3 hours to fit in enough false endings :(

  19. Norman Hartnell
    Thumb Down

    Spoiler alert

    Radagast's bunny-pulled sled (no, I'm not joking) should be burned, the ashes ground into a fine powder, and the whole lot chucked over Rauros.

    Peter Jackson generally got the LotR visuals right, but he sure knows how to mess up a story for no good reason.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Stevie

        Re: Spoiler alert

        Starring:

        Gilbert Godfrey as Gandalf

        Adam Sandler as Bilbo Baggins

        Jesse Ventura as Thorin Oakenshield

        Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dain of the Iron Hills

        Carl Weathers as Elrond

        Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, King of the Wood Elves

        and

        Fran Drescher as the voice of Smaug!

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    It's not the Dwarves.....

    .....it's the Mithril. That's stuff's seriously expensive.

    I hear that they'll be saving money by shooting all the scenes set in the Desolation of Smaug on location in Slough.

    1. John70
      Joke

      Re: It's not the Dwarves.....

      ".....it's the Mithril. That's stuff's seriously expensive."

      They need to head over to Azeroth. Loads of Mithril nodes to mine.

  21. Tony Paulazzo

    The Hobbit would have made a nice 3 hour film (King Kong was overstretched at 3 hours 7 minutes), with a beginning, middle and (proper) end - like the book... that he wanted to film... Splitter!

    DISCLAIMER: I actually bought the Extended King Kong DVD because it contained 13 more minutes of glorious dino action which I felt should have been in the cinema version (but they could easily have edited out about 30 minutes from the boat scenes and maybe shortened the tyrannosaurus fight).

  22. LesC
    Coat

    Bernard Matthews R.I.P

    Is it only me that thinks these have "TURKEYS" written all over them?

    Mines is the one with squashed tomato in the pocket.

    LC

  23. Steven Davison

    Correction to my inital post "it's the dog's bloody name!"

    @ AC : 08:17 - No, I don't believe any word is a 'bad' word. Words become bad based on the context in which they are used...

    @ Mr Lion - I'm not sure what you are attempting to say here. I didn't mention anything about colour. Please elaborate.

  24. Bod

    Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

    Three films gives plenty of space for some musical elements. Leonard Nimoy I'm sure can be persueded.

    1. perlcat
      Coat

      Re: Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

      Don't let's forget that it could also feature Shatner shouting shitty shanties about Shagrat shyly shagging shifty sheep.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll give him the benifit of the doubt

    I enjoyed LOTR trilogy, and thought the extended versions were even better. So lets hope he turns the Kids book of the series into a spectacular trilogy. However if after paying for three films to watch one story I find any part of it un-necesary, un-cinematic or just dull then Mr Jackson will never get any of my money ever again. Ever.

  26. stucs201

    It'd be quicker to read the book than watch the films

    I know that happens with films based on short stories, but when it happens with a novel things are getting silly.

    Then again I'd get most of the travelling over with in 5 minutes with an Indiana Jones style red line on a map then spend most of the budget on CGI for the 2 pages with the dragon, which was the only bit of the book I liked.

  27. Neil B
    Meh

    The original two films were always going to be drawing material from outside the book.

    Now, whether there's three films worth of material out there? Who knows.

  28. Super Fast Jellyfish

    I'll watch but only if...

    they get someone else to do the music. maybe Hans Zimmer. I'll buy the blu-ray version of LOTR when I can watch it without the music.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll watch but only if...

      but the music was the good bit. The films bored me, but I own the soundtrack albums.

    2. Geoff May

      Re: I'll watch but only if...

      Tangerine Dream?

  29. Drieakko

    Good

    As someone who read all the Tolkien books repeatedly as a young teenager I have this to say: this is very nice news. The book Hobbit alone is poorly connected to LOTR, which made Tolkien to create a lot of additional characters and story outlines later, part of which seem to be within Jackson's reach now (part still not, I assume). The book Hobbit is also confusingly different in tone and scope than LOTR.

    For me, only major worry is that since Tolkien's complementing stories are often brief and anecdotal, the screenwriters need to flesh them out a lot. All of Jackson's detours with LOTR material were not totally successful.

    All in all, Jackson has the right opinion to take all the available material and create a double trilogy that makes sense in its entirety and feels whole. If he and his team earn more money while doing this, I allow that pleasure to him gladly.

  30. Richie 1

    Fingers crossed for him doing The Last Ringbearer afterwards

    Although its a ridiculous long shot due to legal complications.

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/a75r7u

    1. Stevie

      Re: Fingers crossed for him doing The Last Ringbearer afterwards

      I rather think he'll be doing Farmer Giles of Ham next, provided he doesn't get involved in that twelve-film visualization of "A Comet in Moominland".

  31. philbo

    Just realized...

    It's Star Wars all over - instead of "The Hobbit", we're going to get "Lord of the Rings - Episode 1 (The Hobbit)", so "Fellowship of the Ring" becomes "Episode 4", just like the original SW.

    I mean, it worked out so lucratively well for George Lucas, didn't it?

  32. perlcat
    Black Helicopters

    He has a long uphill road to travel to make this good

    Every previous Hobbit movie had that gawd-awful singing in it, trying to keep faithful to the book. Don't get me wrong -- I love all the books, but 'The Hobbit' was pure kiddie lit, while the 2nd and 3rd volume of the LOTR were serious fiction.

    Tolkien's genius took a long time to evolve, but it turned into a masterpiece. Watching/reading 'The Hobbit' after those is like looking at the stick figures Van Gogh drew and stuck on whatever passed his mum's refrigerator.

    [ducking from the inevitable hailstorm of fanboy abuse]

  33. John Sturdy
    FAIL

    Best viewed second-hand

    It's a series I would have liked to see in the cinema, but after the way SZC treated Southampton's Hobbit Pub, I'll wait until I can get it on second-hand DVDs, and not contribute to SZC's profits!

  34. sisk

    A trilogy of movies for one book?

    Actually that sounds about right if you're going to do the book justice. I've always figured that one good novel was about three movies worth of material. That, I think, is why Hollywood can't seem to adapt a book into a movie without ripping it to shreds. Just look at what they did to John Carter (to name a recent offense).

  35. Dick Emery
    Thumb Down

    Hope it flops

    I really hope it flops so they have to cut it into only 2 movies.

  36. Stevie

    Gasp!

    Not the Battle of Dol Guldur! Why that consumed (riffleriffleriffle)...half of one sentence in the book!

    It's the Scouring of the Shire all over again!

  37. Petrea Mitchell
    Thumb Down

    I give up

    An Unexpected Journey was the one film I was really looking forward to this year, and I was willing to live with having to wait 'til next year for the second half, but if it's going to take THREE consecutive years to get the whole story out, then just let me know when I can watch the whole thing from start to finish.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with making a miniseries adaptation of a book... just make it an honest miniseries and release the whole thing as one season.

  38. Old Handle

    It's kind of silly, isn't it?

    The Hobbit was, if I'm not mistaken, a shorter book than each of the three LotR books. How can it be that one fairly short book needs the same number of movies to tell the story as three longer books? Now I realize film adaptations typically cut out quite a bit of the source material but maybe there's a good reason for that. I have my doubts that there's really enough content in The Hobbit to make three interesting movies.

  39. Sil

    Loved the LOTR trilogy but can't imagine Bilbo having enough material for 3 movies.

    I fear it will be completely padded out in a let's make lots of money scheme.

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