The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
There you go. That’s the new title for the second film in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, which will then be followed by The Hobbit: There And Back Again a mere six months later, turning the final film into an insta-summer blockbuster.
Since it became official that PJ and company were going forward with a third film, many expressed concerned that some reshuffling was going to leave the actual source material of The Hobbit unduly stretched out and padded by Peter Jackson’s adaptations of Tolkien’s remaining notes. It would appear that is essentially the plan now, as Smaug’s demise comes deep into the book, but is followed by the climactic Battle Of The Five Armies, which will naturally make for quite the climactic spectacle in the final film.
This will obviously confirm some folk’s worse fears, and for others (myself included) this is merely confirmation of the natural and obvious path by which Jackson would make this happen. Adapting The Hobbit into two epic films will already entail a great deal of reinterpretation and ultimately, once you’ve reached that point, you just kind of have to accept that this is Jackson & Co. writing a trilogy of their own, using all of the beats of the book as their guide.
From where I sit, I think the chances of this endeavor being great or shitty are exactly the same as they were when it was merely two films. In both cases we’re relying on this group’s ability to adapt, mold, curate, and expand on this material. Either they’re going to fuck it all up or nail it straight through- I’m skeptical that the duration will ultimately be the deciding factor. In other words, if The Hobbit sucks as three films, it will most likely have sucked as two. That’s how I see it anyway.
The producers now describe the third film (and its new release date) thusly:
‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy. Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over.