I was so happy when Peter Jackson announced an end of production on The Hobbit. I don’t have anything to do with the films, myself, but it simply felt… satisfying, if you will, to see the man reach the end of a line he’s tried to cross for far too long. (Particularly when you watch the terrific video blogs, which make his process look like a heart attack-inducing task.) I figured that, like Lord of the Rings, Jackson would have to do some additional shooting between now and the impending release — probably moreso for the second film, There and Back Again, since that’s not five months away — but this, here, was basically the requirement being fulfilled. So we may have thought.
At Comic-Con, Jackson was asked about the possibilities of getting back behind the camera and, even, taking new material to shape a third film. Here was his answer (via ScreenCrush):
“We also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of ‘The Hobbit’…Fran and I have been talking to the studio about other things we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting, probably more than a few weeks actually, next year. And what form that would actually end up taking well the discussions are pretty early…”
Furthermore, he told HitFix that the filming of additional material — some of which would constitute the in-universe items, or “appendices,” that made up special features on the extended Lord of the Rings releases — is “a discussion we’re having.” What might the end result be? He doesn’t know — well, claims he doesn’t know — but the possibility of Hobbit extended editions or, ominously, “whatnot,” were raised.
Okay. I “get” why you like to tell your stories at such great length; you like to expand them on home video, where the constraints of theatrical exhibition don’t apply; you’ve delivered three movies that justify either approach; and, yes, I’ll fully defend King Kong, even if it could afford to lose about half an hour in total. So I’m going to trust, implicitly, that you’re smart enough not to do… this. Making three books into three movies? Great! It makes total sense, and it’s all the better they also work beautifully as pieces of cinema.
Making a trilogy from a single, not-very-long book? You’re stretching yourself there, Peter. Slow down.
What do you think Jackson will do with this extra Hobbit footage? Are you dreading the prospect of a third movie?
Latest posts from The Film Stage