Is Peter Jackson Really Hinting At Making a Third 'Hobbit' Movie?
"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" What's going on here? Over the weekend while at Comic-Con, I started reading reports & hearing rumors about Peter Jackson hinting at a third Hobbit movie. The quotes are coming from a number of various interviews Peter Jackson conducted while at Comic-Con in San Diego, speaking with online press about The Hobbit, who drilled him about shooting scenes and additional work. In the Hall H presentation, they showed a video blog of the last days of the main shoot, making me wonder why they would all of a sudden want to pick up and start shooting again. Maybe it was so much fun.
The first quote from Peter Jackson that set this thing ablaze came from HitFix, where they asked him straight up if they might split the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, into two. "That's a discussion we're having, yeah," he said. "We have certainly been talking to the studio about some of the material we can't film, and we've been asking them so we can do a bit more filming next year. Which, I don't know what would come of that, whether it'd be Extended Editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing." Interesting. These kind of quotes set the internet abuzz, and as other press started to hear about this, they would follow-up as well. Here's the real hint via HitFix as to where all this might be coming from:
"I'd like to shoot a bunch more material that we [couldn't] shoot. There's so much good stuff in the appendices that we haven't been able to squeeze into these movies," Jackson said, referring to the appendix sections found at the end of The Return of the King detailing more background on Middle Earth and its history.
That's not all, though, as Jackson also followed-up with another quote on ComingSoon. He spoke with them about how nothing is confirmed or set or even happening yet, but of course the rumor mill is now buzzing. Might they split into two? Would that be bad? Could it just be part of Extended Editions? Who knows what will happen, as they're just finishing up production and only now beginning the very long post-production process, with the first movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey getting ready for theaters this December. Jackson goes on to explain in more detail what he's considering with this third one:
"It's very premature. I mean we have an incredible source material with the appendices because 'The Hobbit' is obviously a novel but we also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of 'The Hobbit' published at the end of 'Return of the King' and we've used some of it so far and just in the last few weeks as we've been wrapping up the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story, 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. So there isn't really anything to report but there's other parts of the story that we'd like to tell that we haven't been able to tell yet."
That's all we've really have from PJ at the moment, other than that it's wait and see. He already explains where they're hoping to draw from, for those questioning how they could split and fill it up, but reiterates: "We've used more source material than The Hobbit. For instance in The Hobbit when Gandalf mysteriously disappears for chapters, it was never really explained where he's gone. Much later Tolkien filled in those details. In these appendices he did talk about what happened. And it was all together a lot darker and more serious than what is written in The Hobbit. And also to be honest I want to make a series of movies that run together so if any crazy lunatic wants to watch them all in a row there will be a consistency to it, a consistency of tone." Did he just say that? Because I'm definitely one of those crazy lunatics doing this.
One thing I will say, watching the video blog he showed at Comic-Con, it's certain everyone working on the film seemed to have an amazing experience. They're all one big family, who came together and put their hearts into making something that will fill all of us with wonder and amazement over the next few years. Maybe it was such a fantastic experience they're happy to go back and keep shooting, why not? If they've got the money, the time, the material, the interest, the passion, go for it. As a die-hard fan myself, I am more than happy to spend as much time in Middle Earth as Mr. Jackson will allow. We'll have to see. Thoughts?