The Conversation: Should Peter Jackson Extend 'The Hobbit' for a Trilogy?

The Conversation: Should Peter Jackson Extend 'The Hobbit' for a Trilogy?

Jul 24, 2012

Update: News today suggests Peter Jackson definitely wants to make a third Hobbit  film, and that a decision as to whether that actually happens should be made soon. With that being the case, we're reposting this conversation from last week when the topic was a hot one at Comic-Con. [via THR]

After it was announced last week that the third Hunger Games book, Mockingjay, would be split into two films, I made a joke on Twitter: "Can't wait til it's announced that The Hobbit Part 2 will also be split into two halves. The Hobbit Part 2 Part 1 and The Hobbit Part 2 Part 2."

Apparently it wasn't that much of a stretch, as fans and journalists at Comic-Con went ahead and seriously asked Peter Jackson if he might consider extending The Hobbit to a third movie. His answer has been a bit misunderstood, and so far the studios involved deny plans for a trilogy. Basically, Jackson says there is more that he would like to shoot next year, specifically from The Appendices. "I don't know what would come of that," he told Katy Hasty of Hit Fix, "whether it'd be extended editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing."  

I'm going to jump on the side of those who would rather that stuff, if necessary and quality pieces, be included in the theatrical releases. And if that means three separate films, bring them on. Or, add them to the two films and make those longer. As someone who hasn't and likely will never see the extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings movies on Blu-ray, this is my attitude. I've seen those films once and if I missed out on material so be it. And if I saw it sufficiently, all the better. The same goes for The Hobbit. I'll probably only see these films once and I'd like them to be the films intended to be seen by Jackson and everyone else involved. 

I leave it to them to make the best decision. For now, we await The Hobbit: An Expected Journey on December 14, 2012 and The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013.

Do people think The Hobbit should be three films rather than two? Here's the conversation heard around the Internet:

Oh sure, the appendices, there’s great stuff in there. And hey, what about the dust jacket copy? That’s gotta be worth two more films, easy. Look, I know there isn’t much to do in New Zealand, but Jesus, man, learn to edit.  - Vince Mancini, Film Drunk

It seems to me that it will require a lot of molding to create a narrative out of it, and it could potentially hurt the main thrust of The Hobbit, which is what we all really care about seeing on the big screen. The fact that it is Peter Jackson’s idea makes it feel less like a cash grab, but I wonder if he’s just having trouble letting go. - Sean Dwyer, Film Junk

We’re certainly less skeptical of decisions like this when they’re made by the likes of Jackson. - Alanna Bennett, The Mary Sue

Appreciating that Jackson’s track record more than gives him the right to do what he thinks is correct for the material, the thought of splitting the book into three films is still a mildly troubling one. [...] The Hobbit is just one book. That’s one three-act story to split into potentially a trio of three-act stories. Just splitting it into two was already likely to be presenting big challenges. - Simon Brew, Den of Geek

Some fans already felt that two prequel movies would be a stretch - given the size of the original Hobbit novel – especially when compared to the much larger-scale Lord of the Rings movies. This isn’t to say that the final act in a potential Hobbit trilogy would be overdrawn and hollow but “more” isn’t always “better” and it does raise questions about whether another film could work in harmony with the movies that are about to be released. - Ben Kendrick, Screen Rant

I am sure the fans of the series would prefer to be shown two great movies rather than three mediocre ones that stretch the story of The Hobbit beyond recognition. The fact of the matter is that The Hobbit is simply not as epic in its scope as the Lord of the Rings and so therefore does not need three movies to support the plot. The last thing that I would want, if I were Peter Jackson, is for a Hobbit trilogy to be mentioned in years to come in the same breath as the star wars prequels as films that damaged the legacy of the originals. - Sam Whittingham, What Culture!

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. - Nick Newman, The Film Stage

If Jackson tells Warner Bros. he can film enough footage in those few weeks of filming to expand The Hobbit into three movies, I reckon they would give him the few extra million and snap his hands off. Quite amazing how far Peter Jackson has come when not so long ago it looked like a last minute strike would block Jackson from realising his 10-year dream over ever getting these movies made. - Matt Holmes, What Culture!

The fact that Jackson may still be filming weeks worth of footage in the days leading up to the film's release does set off some major alarm bells in terms of a possible trilogy. On the other hand, though, Jackson is famous for packing bis Blu-ray releases with untold hours of extras, so it's possible he may go that route with whatever he's planning. Either way, it seems as though there may be even more "Hobbit" coming. Whether or not that's good news for fans, on the other hand, is another question. - Scott Harris, Next Movie

On the one hand, this doesn't necessarily mean that footage will be turned into another feature film. [...] However, studios more than ever want to keep their franchise viable and moving like a shark, forever forward, and in an era where Sony brought "The Amazing Spider-Man" five years after "Spider-Man 3," and where Warner Bros. is likely already thinking of how to reboot Batman after "The Dark Knight Rises," it's likely an attractive idea to knock out one more blockbuster franchise to keep that gravy train flowing. - Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

F*ck the plan! This is Peter Jackson and tiny whimsical people! Give us a third you motherless monsters!!! - Penn Brown, Screen Junkies

Twitter Poll: Should Peter Jackson extend The Hobbit to three films rather than two?

Yes, he should. After the labour squabbles and the hernia, absolutely yes. - @LordBronco

There's lots of content from the appendices, wouldn't mind a third. I see the risk of an overstuffed or spread-too-thin story. - Dominc, @Count3D

If he's mining Tolkien's oeuvre for material and bridging the trilogies, I'm all for it. But if he's just making sh*t up, no. - Ben Deutsch, @BenLikesMovies

To quote Marcel Marceau in Silent Movie, "NO!" - Josh Spiegel, @mousterpiece

No! - Samuel W., @TheatrOfTheMind

What with global poverty, animal extinction, rising sea levels and economic's difficult to give a sh*t..but 2. - @studioexec1

3 part Hobbit is as ridiculous as when studio wanted a 2 part LOTR. The pendulum has swung. - Ryan J. Downing, @superherohq

Better yet, condense it to one hour-long special on the Hallmark Channel - Brian Rubinow, @brubinow

Remind me of this tweet in December when I have something to go off of. - @RennBrown


Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.

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