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The Hobbit Being Split Into 2 Movies

by
September 23, 2006

Entertainment Weekly published a brief article discussing The Hobbit and Peter Jackson's future projects. One of questions answered was about the idea that Jackson will split The Hobbit up into 2 movies instead of just one.

But make no mistake: In the wake of MGM's unilateral announcement, Jackson has indeed started thinking about what he might do with The Hobbit. He's especially intrigued by the idea of making two films and inventing new material to fill in gaps in the story, since the plot - about how Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm in the LOTR films) befriends Gandalf (Ian McKellen), falls afoul of the miserable creature Gollum, and comes into possession of that pesky ring-is fairly simplistic compared with LOTR.

What's your take on this? Are there any die-hard Hobbit fans out there that would be killed by Jackson adding more? Personally, I have quite a bit of faith in Jackson (from the Lord of the Rings movies) and believe he'd do an exquisite job of filling it with quality material.

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  • Will Taylor
    The folks at EW have made a slight error. Jackson is not at all talking about making new stuff up. The discussion they are referring to can be found on 'Ain't It Cool News'. There, Jackson speaks of pulling in material which is not contained between the covers of "The Hobbit" but was written by Tolkien nevertheless. There is material in the "Unfinished Tales" and elsewhere that helps tie the narrative of "The Hobbit" into the much larger and more complex narrative of "The Lord of the Rings". In "The Hobbit" we read that Gandalf leaves and then later comes back, but the narrative stays with Bilbo and the dwarves. Tolkien had a very clear idea of what Gandalf was doing during these episodes (it's great stuff). Though these plot elements did not appear in "The Hobbit", Jackson could (and certainly should!) pull them into the film[s]. Adding in what takes place with the White Council and when Gandalf goes to Dol Guldur - or even Gandalf meeting up with Thorin near Bree before either ever gets to Bilbo's would be the same approach as adding in material from the Appendices and other sources as Jackson did with LOTR. Much of those films did not come right out of the three books, but was written by Tolkien all the same. It would not be a case of Jackson simply pulling new ideas out of, um, nowhere. Jackson could begin the film[s] with Gandalf reminiscing with members of the Fellowship in Gondor about Bilbo's adventure (effectively making the whole story a flashback being told AFTER LOTR - making it an actual sequel), and he could end it with Gollum leaving his underground crib, going in search of "Baggins", and be being captured by Sauron's servants and be pulling his script entirely right out of Tolkien's own writings. Pick up a copy of the Unfinished Tales. And somebody tell MGM to give Jackson a call before its too late and Jerry Bruckheimer ends up with the project!!!!
  • That's actually a good point WIll. I was thinking the same... the LOTR and Hobbit universe is pretty vast, given all that Tolkein has written and created. And even now there are still more books coming out (the news about that one edited by his son). In the same way that the LOTR game for PC did (Battle for Middle Earth 2), it used/added various "creatures" and things from the "LOTR universe" taken from Tolkeins writings, and I think that's the perfect thing to do. And I'm glad you've emphasized that is really what is likely to happen as opposed to Jackson creating things out of his own mind. That's why I made that point... I have faith that he wouldn't just pull stuff out of his ass, and would rather really research the LOTR/Hobbit universe much further to take these elements and create a longer story for 2 movies.
  • Name Required
    Good night! They should make it a trilogy that begins with the Silmarillion. Talk about enough material!
  • John
    I agree totally that they should use the Silmarillon to further the story. Not a bad idea at all. After all, among fantasy writers is there any that even begins to compare with Tolkien and the world, WORLD he created? I think Jackson, presuming he gets the job, should announce it as a trilogy, but make five installments adding in tales and sequences from both Unfinished Tales and Silmarillon, screw the stupid critics who like to see a quick finish. There was no quick finish to any of Tolkien's work. The only way in my opinion to improve upon the job Jackson did in LOTR would have been to spend more time on the character relationships in the fellowship, and more on the differences and different kinds of wisdom among the characters and peoples themselves. I think at least 5 parts would have been necessary. Anyway, just an opinion.
  • Simon
    Silmarillion is the freakin best! About the Hobbit - it would be outrageously absurd to invent new material. Totally absurd. The utter arrogance of it sickens me. It chaps my thighs so bad I'm peeling dead skin off my thighs.
  • Jamie
    If it is so simplistic, why not just make one extraordinary movie and eave it classic and clean...after all that is the beauty of The Hobbit. It is a journey of spirit and will - as long as the director can create a connection between the audience and the characters' hearts it will be amazing. I wish that the trilogy had allowed us to feel the characters a little more.
  • Cody
    I agree with Jamie on that one: The Hobbit SHOULD be made into one, spectacular, 3-hour movie. I believe it would cover everything in the book, and STILL leave room for additions from other Tolkien books. I'm afraid that making two movies may draw it out. I would also be VERY pleased to see the original cast return for The Hobbit (Ian Mckellin / Ian Holm / Hugo Weaving). Also, they should make the OTHER film The Silmarillion (again, 3 hours to keep with the expected flow).
  • mmason
    The only thing I dont care for in regards to this movie is the actor that plays bilbo. I just didnt like him. And dot see him able to pull off a 'young' bilbo.
  • Frank-O
    In the Silmarillion, there's so many good stories. The tale of Galadriel and Celeborn, of the origins of the hatred between elves and dwarves, of Annator/Sauron's seduction, the forging of the rings of power, the Numenorian's legacy, Celebrimbor's betrayal, all centered around Eregion and Rivendell. I can see this being a trilogy if PJ is going to embellish the Hobbit with other tales as flashbacks. The best tie in between LOTR and the Hobbit was one line I read from the Unfinished Tales quoting Gandalf. Imagine if Smaug was present during the War of the Ring. Rivendell would've fallen and no reinforcements would've been sent to Helm's Deep by neither elf nor the Rohirrim, and the siege of Minas Tirith bu Nazguls' would've been led by an ancient dragon general of the First Age. "Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords in Eriador!" Though Thorin's party was inspired by Gandalf's epiphany with his fondness for the pipe, and Thorin's dilemma with the orcs of the north. The real reason was to take out Smaug that would've been like a Mario Lemieux during the Stanley Cup of the War of the Ring.
  • Milander
    While I take nothing away from Tolkeins' magnificent books the idea of sitting through two films based on a slim book doesn't excite me and makes me think that Hollywood is trying to milk the book for all the money they can get. In all honesty the LOTR films are typical of the kind you buy to watch once and then put on the shelf to be dragged out again when you're feeling bored or want some kind of background noise while you work. Seriously I would love to see a film version of the silmarilion and the hobbit but I don't think I'll be adding them to my collection until they eventually appear on the 2 for a quid shelf in my local garage which will probably be about a year after they screen them in the UK. The LOTR films sucked and any fan of the novels will tell you the same thing, the idea of a producer 'inventing' material to fill in the gaps just scares me too but whatever happens the hype will storm, fans will go nuts and film critics will dribble over the bribes they are about to recieve in order to give it a good reveiw. I sense another Titanic around the corner. Books = great (except the mindless first 200 pages), films = shit.
  • Brian Nolan
    Obviously, the real genius of Tokein's works is the world and history that came out of his head. That is why the books are perfect the way they are, except that you can't get enough of them, and why it is a classic. It just sounds like now everyone wants more and more entertainment instead of appreciating the masterpiece. They should never have been made into movies unless the were word for word because when they were they became simple entertainment. The wonder and awe was taken away. Experiencing Middle Earth is intensely personal and the movies thrust a world upon me that was NOT Middle Earth. Books= great (every page)
  • Peter Jackson
    If my namesake (Peter Jackson) adds authentic Tolkien material, it should at least be contemporary in narrative nature, and Silmarilion material should await a completely newer project. It would, however, be interesting to see an introductory voice-over historical flashback from earlier ages, telling of earlier days approaching Bilbo's days, to place it into a worldview perspective. I doubt he'd jam-pack the narrative of Bilbo's quest with incessant peep holes into a past Bilbo didn't perhaps yet know then. The Hobbit ought to be one movie - that would be perfect. He can always do a Tom Bombadil movie, with cameos from the four Hobbits, Gandalf, and some Elves - perhaps with the Hobits' rescue from the Barrow Wights! Then one long movie on Tuor and family (immediate and extended) and on the Fall of Gondolin. And other individual movies on other parts of the history. One about Beren and Luthien, perhaps with the meeting of Melian and her husband leading into the main story. And so on, and so forth.

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