Peter Jackson isn’t done with Middle Earth just yet.
The Hollywood Reporter hears the acclaimed filmmaker would now like to extend his two-picture Hobbit adaptation into a trilogy, with additional filming taking place in summer of 2013. Warner Brothers is seemingly on board, as talks are now picking up and logistics are being sorted out. From THR’s source:
“If we’re going to do it, we have to make a decision soon… It’s strongly driven by the filmmakers’ desire to tell more of the story.”
Now that a third film appears likely, it’s hard to believe we didn’t arrive at this sooner. You’ll remember Warner Brothers applied similar strategy in adapting the Harry Potter franchise, extending The Deathly Hallows into two parts. Moreso, it’s a move that’s proven worthwhile time and again – with Twilight and The Hunger Games now adopting similar strategies with their final entries.
I’m of two minds about this. On one hand: Star Wars. But on the other, Peter Jackson is a much, much better filmmaker than George Lucas. And if the LOTR Extended Editions proved anything, it’s that the guy can cut 13+ hours of material and still have more story to tell. Tolkien amassed a rich Middle Earth world that extends beyond both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but my guess is that Jackson intends to survey what he has of The Hobbit: There and Back Again (the second film, for December 2013 release) and apply that now over two narratives.
Logistics will certainly be an issue, as cast scheduling is no doubt going to cause headaches. But with Nolan’s Batman having already taken his final bow, WB is going to throw the necessary money at this to extend their next biggest franchise in the pipeline. Take this to the bank: we’re getting a third Hobbit film.