Watch: The Sad Story Behind Why 'The Hobbit' Movies Were a Mess

November 21, 2015
Source: YouTube

Peter Jackson - The Hobbit

Wow. This is crazy. There's a video going around online from the special features of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies that is one of the most honest looks at filmmaking I've ever seen. It features extensive footage and interviews of the entire crew of The Hobbit trilogy, from director Peter Jackson to all of his various staff including script supervisor, production designer and set decorator talking about how they all had no idea what they were doing with these movies. It's a very sad, remarkably rare look at how hard it is to make a massive movie on this scale, and how much stress there is on a director. Having finally watched this video, I just keep wondering: how the heck did this get made and actually released to the public? Amazing.

I am still so stunned by this. The shot of Jackson at the 3:30 mark where it zooms out is incredible. That's the moment where I felt like - this is Hearts of Darkness, a brutally honest look at the making of a troubled trilogy. The video is out of context within the bigger picture - they do return and finish making The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and that's what the Extended Edition is - the complete cut. Not that it's that good in the end anyway. I remember thinking to myself while watching these that they just don't have that same magical feeling as the Lord of the Rings films, and I couldn't quite figure out why. Well now we know.

Watch the full featurette titled as The Problem with The Battle of Five Armies, direct from YouTube:

Thanks to The Verge for the tip on this. I finally caught up and watched this video and had to say something about it, because I was so taken back by it. Everyone is throwing around that "I don't know what the hell I was doing" quote from Peter Jackson, but there's so many other things I was thinking about. For example - during the release of these movies throughout 2012 to 2014, they were also putting out those 10-minute production blogs online. Thinking back, they must have been very creatively edited to find footage that only showed everyone looking happy. They were able to craft an "everything is going great!" narrative while the actual reality, we now know, was very different. I wish there was even more of this honest footage available.

It's such a fascinating inside look at the process on making such a large scale cinematic epic like this. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and have been grappling with my feelings about The Hobbit trilogy ever since I saw the first one (An Unexpected Journey) in a half-empty theater on opening night. I was hoping maybe, like with the LOTR trilogy, the final movie would be the best of the bunch but it's kind of the opposite (I still like the first the most). After years of being unsure, this video provides some clarity and allows me to say, very sadly, that unfortunately these movies aren't that great; they are a mess. They did their best, there are some wonderful moments and everyone who worked on them gave it their all. But now we know the truth.

Find more posts: Discuss, Hobbit, To Watch



There are SOOOO many issues with the Hobbit movies. I still think the whole thing would have been better as a 2 movie affair. Then instead of taking the time needed to plan out the movies, they just plow through, gota make that deadline, get asses in seats. Marketing can insure that, no need for a good flick.

Higgens on Nov 21, 2015


The thing people are forgetting about the "I didn't know what the hell I was doing" and "I was just winging it half the time" quotes is that he does follow it up with saying that he couldn't have pulled this trilogy off without the 25 years of film-making experience he had beforehand. In other words, he's saying that despite what he went through with having next to no pre-production preparation for these movies, they still turned out pretty darn great. He still pulled it off. It's a perfectly acceptable and far above average fantasy epic. Honestly, I think that if these were the first Middle Earth films we had ever seen, we'd all be raving about them. It's just that The Hobbit is not The Lord of the Rings, which is the real CLIMAX to the Middle Earth Saga, and we've already received that story on film. The Hobbit is the beginning, and it was written 20 years before Tolkien perfected Middle Earth in LOTR. On its own merits, whether as a book or this film trilogy, The Hobbit a wonderful fantasy tale. In the shadow of The Lord of the Rings, however, it's not nearly as great. It CAN'T be. The real problem lies in the fact that the story that was written before LOTR was filmed AFTER. I'm sure having the pre-production time would've made The Hobbit Trilogy "better," but they're not bad films as they are. We just went in expecting The Lord of the Rings, the climax to the story, and we already GOT that a decade earlier.

dangeer on Nov 21, 2015


That's your opinion. Unlike the epic nature of LOTR this series was merely just another example of your typical summer fare. Not terrible but nothing exceptional either.

neil on Nov 21, 2015


Of course it is my opinion, as I can never prove how audiences would've received the film had LOTR not been made first and The Hobbit Trilogy was. But hypothetically, if we didn't have the LOTR trilogy beforehand, we would not expect it to be as great as LOTR, because we would have no knowledge of how good LOTR would be in the first place. We wouldn't have that in our minds going into The Hobbit Trilogy. We wouldn't say things like "they just don't have that same magical feeling as the Lord of the Rings films." We would only know the magical feeling of The Hobbit trilogy, and in my opinion there's plenty of magic there, more than most any other fantasy films we've seen (besides LOTR). To me, the best way to judge a prequel (or sequel, really) of any kind is to judge it on its own merits first, on how well it works as a film (or SET of films). THEN compare it to what has come before and how it measures up. With The Hobbit, I think we can legitimately argue that the acting and characters were great, the action and atmosphere were fantastic, and the story is compelling. Had we not see LOTR, I really think The Hobbit Trilogy would be thought of as the greatest on screen fantasy epic of all time. But since we already have LOTR, it is not. It's the second best. 🙂

dangeer on Nov 21, 2015


I would have probably agreed with you if they had only made one movie out of The Hobbit (or maybe two ~1 1/2h movies). Not even mentioning the source material being so thin, but having no pre-production time is all the more reason to condense the story as much as possible, in order to have more focus and be able to better control the whole production. If they hadn't indulged in making three 3h-flicks, The Hobbit would've likely been much better and much better received.

Terry Craig on Nov 22, 2015


Making two 1.5h movies would not have allowed for the absolutely necessary appendices material to be filmed and produced. Tolkien took the time to fill in gaps that THE HOBBIT novel never elaborated on, so Jackson was absolutely right in adapting that material. Personally, I think they had enough materials for around 2.5 films. And the extra "fleshing out" of the story and action sequences is just fine in my opinion, since Tolkien never really describes much in the book. Film is a different medium. The pacing is different. The ONLY thing that probably doesn't need to be there is the elf/dwarf "romance" (that never really happened fully anyway), and that really only took up around 10 minutes of the entire trilogy.

dangeer on Nov 22, 2015


"absolutely necessary appendices material" No it wasnt. It was put in to bloat running time. The simple fact is that the Hobbit was not a prequel story. It was just a story, it was not written as a preamble to the LotR books.

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


I'm sorry, but in film form, you cannot just have a major character like Gandalf just say that he has to "attend to other pressing business" and leave the company without letting the audience know what he's up to. Perfectly acceptable in book form though. Different mediums have different requirements.

dangeer on Nov 22, 2015


Enough materials for 2.5 movies? You're kidding right. Considering a large part of some of the movies wasn't even in the book. So many characters added to fill the movie. Radacast was mentioned maybe once in the book. Galadriel...don't think she was in there. Legolas and Tauriel weren't even in the Hobbit. Completely unnecessary extension there. Azog was a mere mention in the books. They could have just had a flashback to him and be done with it. In the book he leaves to meet with the White Council not to fight Sauron. So many fillers.....

TK on Nov 22, 2015


It may be a stretch, but I was mostly referring to fleshing out the book into film form. It's a different medium, and Tolkien doesn't elaborate much on details in The Hobbit like he did with LOTR. What can be described in a page or two, for example, a lot of time can require different lengths of time to make it work for film. For example, you could state what happened in the goblin caves in a few paragraphs if you wanted to, and the rest is up to our imagination. But to SHOW it on film requires laying out visually what the cave is like, planning out action sequences, fleshing out new characters like the Goblin King, and still telling us the story of what happened there. Things can't just be left up to the imagination here. Everything has to be laid out, which can take up more space and time than the same scene in a book. Film requires different things, different PACING to make it work for an audience, versus a book. I appreciated them taking the time to flesh things out, as well as including the appendices material. Yes, there were things that were made up for the film. I've read the book more than once to know that this is the case. But the stuff that they added that wasn't there and absolutely NOT needed at all I felt really took up no MORE than a half hour more of film space. Yes, Radagast wasn't in the book, but they included him along with a storyline that IS a part of the appendices that pertain directly to The Hobbit, so I was perfectly fine with that. Azog was a part of the book and appedices, and while he isn't actually alive in the book, he is an important part of Thorin's history. I was okay with keeping him the antagonist and making it more personal with Thorin. Didn't NEED the personal connection I suppose, but I think it makes for a better FILM. Tolkien made Legolas the son of the King of Mirkwood later on, so it TOTALLY makes sense to include him in the film (Tolkien probably would have if he had thought of it before THE HOBBIT was published). There WERE other elves present besides Thranduril, so why not use what Tolkien later established as canon? As far as Tauriel, so they gave another one of the elves an actual NAME, and some action sequences that would've been happening anyway, at least in Mirkwood. Made sense to me. It's only when it gets into the love triangle stuff with Tauriel, Legolas and Kili that I believe the material was TRULY not needed at all, and really only included to expand the movies into a trilogy. That material is not all that much at all if you break it down, and it was still executed well so it didn't bother me all that much. Other things were probably SMALL bits of action that could've been condensed, but that's about it for me.

dangeer on Nov 23, 2015


No, we dont, Because what he is doing has nothing to do with the narrative.

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


It doesn't have much at all to do with the surface narrative of getting them to Erebor. but it has EVERYTHING to do with what Tolkien envisioned when all is said and done. Sauron intended to use Smaug to his advantage. It would be wrong not to include this. For Tolkien to go back and say that Gandalf's story had something DIRECTLY to do with Sauron, the MAIN villain of Middle Earth, that meant it was important to Tolkien, and it's important to the story (it's actually more important that taking back Erebor!) It would be a smack in the face to Tolkien to not include it. And Jackson always said that they would be including the appendices material, so why are people still complaining about this? Regarding the narrative for film, again, you can't have a main character that's been with you for so long that's vital to the story just disappear from the narrative without elaborating on why. A film audience would be asking "What the heck does he have to take care of that's MORE important than slaying the Dragon?" because the narrative has already established that taking back Erebor IS the most important task at hand. Gandalf looks like a complete jerk to abandon them when there's apparently nothing more important than slaying the Dragon. So on film, the narrative NEEDS to establish that there IS something more important, which is finding out that there's a greater threat out there that relates to what's currently going on, and eventually affects the fate of Middle Earth. A book can get away with things like not explaining why, and the audience just accepts it.

dangeer on Nov 23, 2015


We will have to agree to disagree. The hobbit would have been better if it had not tried to make it a direct prequel to LotR.

Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


Totally. Always fine with agreeing to disagree. I just wanted to make sure my point was clear. There are fans that wanted more of a literal interpretation of JUST the book, and those that wanted Tolkien's full vision of Middle Earth and THE HOBBIT realized on film and matching the vision of Middle Earth that was already brought to the screen before by Jackson. If THE HOBBIT was adapted more literally, and left out material that was obviously important to Tolkien, we'd have a "Middle Earth" film that doesn't feel like a "Middle Earth" film. That might be okay with you, but it wouldn't be for me. It's a matter of taste, and that's okay. Some people like steak, some people don't. I think if THE HOBBIT were made first, we'd have a much different film, probably one that would've been more to your liking. I probably would've enjoyed it as well. But because it was filmed after LOTR, and because Tolkien essentially modified the story after the fact to match LOTR tonally, it made sense to me that they took the approach they took. I didn't like everything about the trilogy, but the general idea I was on board with, and still am.

dangeer on Nov 23, 2015


For me to have liked what we got, he needed not change things and remove things that were in the book. Azog, the Tree fire scene, there is other stuff I remember being removed but I would have to rewatch the movies to refresh, and I am just not doing that. He changed too much. Cutting down on the skin changers scenes, so much was lost. Had he added in stuff that Tolkien wrote with out adding in stuff he thought was good. I thought it terrible to have them on the run from the word go. Doesnt help that I simply LOVE the book, read it like once a year for the last 15 years or so. Its quintessential fantasy.

Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


Agreed that it's quintessential fantasy. But changing a book to adapt for film is almost ALWAYS necessary. You have to take what's in the book, and modify it to work for film. Sometimes that means changing things around, sometimes that means removing some things completely. It has to work as an adaptation, as WELL as a film. I don't believe a straight adaptation would've worked. My opinion, of course. This one in particular had to work as something that feels like it belows with Jackson's LOTR films, and I'm glad that Tolkien's own writings played a BIG part in what was changed.

dangeer on Nov 23, 2015


Well of course some changes needed to be made and I can see past some of it. But PJ flat out re wrote some of the ME lore to create an antagonist that did not need to exist. I cannot forgive that. He bloated the story with unneeded characters while thinning out what Tolkien gave us. I still think the movies were a mess. But I appreciate your view and thank you for remaining civil 😀

Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


My pleasure. Always appreciate an intelligent discussion between two different opinions.The last thing I want to be is a troll. Maybe an orc though...

dangeer on Nov 23, 2015


You are right in saying that "Film is a different medium." That is why I feel any appendices to the original novel aren't necessary and only hinder the story (not to mention any additional storylines that were never part of Tolkien's world).

Terry Craig on Nov 23, 2015


No, if I saw these first I would have still disliked them quite a bit. For 1 reason and 1 reason only. These movies are NOT the Hobbit. They are a loose adaption of The Hobbit. The Hobbit is probably my favorite book of all time, what I saw on screen.....was just not that, so much changed or flat out removed. How the hell do you remove stuff that was in the book when you had 9 hours to fill?

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


What if you saw the films before you grew so attached to the book? In and of themselves, they're well-made. From there, we can debate until the end of time whether or not they're good adaptations of the book. It has to be judged on its own first, and THEN compare it to the book. Granted, you make some good points, and there were choices made that I disagreed with as well. Jackson was faced with the task of turning a book into movie form that fell in line with the Middle Earth he created with the LOTR films. Directing a literal adaptation of THE HOBBIT after the fact would not have worked as a movie when taking his LOTR trilogy into account. Because it was written before Tolkien fully realized his vision for Middle Earth in LOTR, it's vastly different in and of itself. But when taking into account Tolkien's own appendices that pertain to THE HOBBIT, it becomes clear what Tolkien's vision for this story really ended up being. And this material was the perfect connective tissue for Jackson to use in order to help make his films feel like one cohesive story in line with his version of LOTR. Essentially, in many ways, Jackson did what Tolkien seemed like he wanted to do. I'm sure Tolkien never regretted THE HOBBIT, but it's clear he wanted some darker themes in there as the story goes on, and when reading THE HOBBIT-related appendices. Of course, Jackson also included material that wasn't in THE HOBBIT, LOTR or the Appendices. But that's just a matter of taste and fleshing out things that either Tolkien barely describes, or just don't make for engaging storytelling in cinematic form. Changes have to be made when adapting books for all types of different reasons, and Jackson had plenty or reasons for doing so.

dangeer on Nov 22, 2015


If I had no attachment, I would have walked out. I found there to be VERY boring parts, nonsensical parts and down right stupid part. My previous investment in the story is the only thing that kept me in the theater and kept me going back to see them. I do not think they were well made, aside from production value, I felt they were a narrative mess with poor pacing.

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


I found all three very boring, where the lord of the rings trilogy was emotionally a great ride. I get that the studios wanted more bucks, that's there sole purpose, and not the artistic side of it...

ari smulders on Nov 21, 2015


I remember feeling incredibly joyous when able to watch the final director's cut... Was that 12 hours? I can't remember but watched it in one sitting. Calling it a ride seems somehow under-appreciative of its epic canvas. I think of LOTR as a historical event.

neil on Nov 21, 2015



TheOct8pus on Nov 21, 2015


Maybe it would have helped them out to remove the scene with Legolas running up the falling bricks.

OfficialJab on Nov 21, 2015

27 The main problem I had with these Hobbit films is the story I read about Sir Ian McKellen literally crying on-set when he discovered that he would not be working with the actors playing the dwarves (posted the link for this story above). Instead of using force-perspective (as was so elegantly mastered during the Lord of the Rings trilogy), Jackson went for the lazy route, having McKellen act with pictures as reference, which is an absolute disgrace to such a phenomenal actor (and an audience member alike). Another problem I had is the complete disregard for genuine character moments, while there were some amazing scenes throughout, especially involving Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage's characters, there was a massive disconnect due to some really poor writing choices (the worst offense, in my opinion, was the final scene shared between Bilbo and the remaining dwarves at the end of The Battle of the Five Armies, a scene that could have been a heartwarming sendoff instead felt like the actors couldn't wait to get off the set and far away from this seemingly dreadful shoot). I still find enjoyment from these films, but there is no denying that they could have been so much better if the same level of care and craftsmanship from the original trilogy was interjected into this prequel trilogy. Hopefully Jackson sees the error of his ways and returns, someday soon, with an original fantasy epic that hearkens back to the incredible practical effects of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring is easily my favourite of the trilogy and remains one of the greatest films of all-time).

thejon93rd on Nov 21, 2015


Kind of heartbreaking

Nick Sears on Nov 21, 2015


Yea it is...

Alex Billington on Nov 21, 2015


Ah, so sad. I guess the writing was on the wall. They all can't win.

DAVIDPD on Nov 21, 2015


I watched one of them on a flight to Europe. Prob some of the worst garbage I have ever seen. The book was short. Should've been a single movie.

Sascha Dikiciyan on Nov 21, 2015


Really sad to see something originally thought of as a passion and a piece of art turned into a corporate interest. I still believe Peter's a great filmmaker. He needs distance from this and a new passion piece.

Quanah on Nov 21, 2015


Basically IMO del Toro is to blame for leaving it in such a shambles. PJ needed to step in and had to meet timelines, everything is scheduled in advanced and it was rushed due to del Toro.

Steven on Nov 21, 2015


Jackson should have run with what Del Toro had already designed... start from scratch with no pre-production time? I blame Jackson's ego... brutal decision and a complete slap in the face to the team that worked hard for that year and a half with Del Toro. To top it all off as an Exec Producer he was involved in a lot of those decisions and or OK'd them... purely ego.

Verithin on Nov 22, 2015


The style of the Hobbit would not of gelled with the LotR under Del Toro, something rumours suggest PJ wanted to keep so the films all tied together. If true Del Toro should of been on a shorter leash, but maybe he was and this is why he left.

Steven on Nov 22, 2015


All signs point to Jackson wanting control but without the work to execute (who can blame him, 21 hour days will kill you and he'd already done it on LOTR)... when it fell back in his lap his ego took over. This video seems like an excuse for the films. I love the guy and sure, he was in a tough spot... but his decision to throw away all that work was the wrong one.

Verithin on Nov 22, 2015


Exactly, he tossed out, what? 2 years of Pre-production for what reason?

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


I am pretty sure when GDT was on board it was for only 1 movie, 2 maybe. Studios wanted 3 and in the end he left only plans for 1 or 2 movies. PJ had to pick up and expand everything.

TK on Nov 22, 2015


However, all of pre-production is designed and worked around a specific plan and vision for a film. Not creating a hundreds of million dollar trilogy (or duology, originally) trying to retrace the purposed steps of another artist and his style or not just hoping that using what's there won't result in a weird hybrid with the worst of two worlds seems to me to be a worthwhile rationale. A lot of great works of art come from the artist pursuing their own vision. Regardless of what you think of Peter Jackson's talents, I hope you'll agree that letting an artist work from his own perspective, ideas and passions is more than just a decision of ego.

Snev De la Fontaine on Nov 23, 2015


Hundreds of other Artists worked to develop Del Toros vision, a vision that Jackson was privy to. Dismissing their hard work, efforts and passion because of his 'unique vision' (especially in a production environment) IS ego, period. He had to know that that decision wasn't just going to back him into a corner but was also going to force all of those other artists to work ridiculous hours to meet the deadlines which became impossible as soon as his ego took over. It's sad that he only thought of his 'vision' and not what executing it would cost him, the project and the people making it.

Verithin on Nov 24, 2015


A lot of hard work, effors and passions from the crew gets dismissed in favor of the director's vision anyway. The director is there to channel their talent in a way that fits together for the big picture that (s)he's controlling. In that sense, you could call it a bit of an ego-driven job, I guess, but I wouldn't call it vanity just because of that. If you're going to be in trouble figuring out how to direct films without much prep-time, but with a huge, talented crew and budget enough to make it work, it might as well be your own vision. At least that's a vision you'll be able to handle much more than the vision you presumed someone else had. I don't mean to dismiss that this was a risk, and maybe even a badly calculated one, but I'm more inclined to believe it was made with the intention of getting a better film than out of vanity.

Snev De la Fontaine on Nov 24, 2015


Good points... but it's pretty rare that a better film is made when you throw away years of pre-production work. This video is a shining example of that as are the results of the Hobbit series. In the end it wasn't about making a better film or series of films, it was about finishing them, period. That's a tough place to be for everyone on that project for sure...

Verithin on Nov 24, 2015


I fell asleep watching one of them. Such a shame, will have to wait for the remake. 😉

Carpola on Nov 21, 2015


Should've been two films.

Ry on Nov 21, 2015


Should've been one film.

mainstream05 on Nov 22, 2015


The Battle of Five Armies was shit, but the first two were good movies!

M_LokSatta on Nov 21, 2015


Um.. let me think... No.

Butchy Butch on Nov 21, 2015


The best I can give you is that the first one was not total shit.

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


TBoFA was not just bad, it was one of the worst fantasy films I've ever seen. The first one was alright, but it should have ended with Bilbo walking into a black cave toward Smogg until the darkness consumes him, then cut to black. The second, and last, movie begins with him going toe to toe with the dragon, he breaks out, the guy shoots him, and the final act is the battle of the five armies! There! Why was there a third movie!?

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


"TBoFA was not just bad, it was one of the worst fantasy films I've ever seen." Wow! Then you really must have an awful taste when it comes to films! Or perhaps you've only seen a very few fantasy films. In my opinion "The Battle of the Five Armies" (extended edition") is the best fantasy film since 2004.

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


I feel very sorry for Peter Jackson. He was stuck in a very sad situation. Unfortunately he ultimately had to make someone else's movie. You could tell he lost so much weight during that time. To be honest I thought he did a great job. I loved the Hobbit movies. Sure 3 was a bit too much but you are stuck between making a movie about something you love and pleasing the money bags. It is so unfortunate to see something he was so passionate about turn into an experience that he probably won't have fond memories about. This is why so many directors are starting to prefer tv.

TK on Nov 22, 2015


I got the impression that he was not invested from the very beginning. Sure, he loves the source material, but Guillermo Del Toro had two years to prep, whereas Peter had nothing. I'm not sure what that has to do with "pleasing the money bags." And if this had been for TV, he wouldn't have gotten a whole extra year to plan the Battle of Five Years. Not to be contrarian; there's certainly things about TV that are appealing to directors, but time is definitely not one of them. They work on a stressful schedule.

mainstream05 on Nov 22, 2015


Pleasing the money bags means, PJ had to make a 3rd movie when he him self thought there was only enough story for 2. And it shows. The story meanders around and is down right boring at times (looking at you lake town scenes and the horrible elf/dwarf flirtations).

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


I'm sorry, what? These were his decisions. He already turned a 90-minute horror film into an overwrought 3-hour melodrama [King Kong]. Then, instead of asking the studio to push back the release date (as has been done many times before when a movie falls behind schedule), he must have presumably asked for more money to film a third movie. I wasn't even aware there was an "extended edition" until now. This is a guy who's never agreed with the phrase "less is more." I don't understand the desire to shift the blame to some nebulous "money bags" scapegoat, when he's the one who threw out all the work Del Toro had done and filmed all these boring scenes to begin with, as if there was some minimum running time on Hobbit movies.

mainstream05 on Nov 23, 2015


I am not digging through years of articles but there is a quote somewhere of PJ saying something to the effect of "wont make a trilogy there is not enough material". Then magically a few months later he was making a 3rd movie. Money bags were shoved in his face to make a 3rd cash cow. The money bags AND PJ are equally to blame. He could have stuck to his guns and said no I am not making a 3rd.

Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


Or he could have just not made such long movies. As for the "not enough material" problem, he said he pulled from the Scimillarion (sp?) and Tolkien's notes to pad it out. And PJ could have easily left out pointless, meandering scenes and delivered three fun, 90-minute adventure movies. Or, WB could have given PJ the time to prep and film the BotFA, taken the film away, and cut it up into 2 shorter movies. That's why studios normally demand directors to cut out scenes, because it means theaters can hold more showings. Instead, WB left PJ in control, and he gave us three bloated films. This may just be my opinion, but there were cheaper ways to drag this thing into three movies. PJ is ultimately responsible for what ended up on screen. But, if it floats your boat, sure, money is 50% to blame behind this disaster.

mainstream05 on Nov 23, 2015


You make good points that I can agree with.

Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


Yeah he originally wanted 1 to begin with and it dragged out to 3 because obviously 3 movies will make a lot more money than 2. By the time they got to TBOFA they had to fill in around the battle which to be honest took way too long. TV is different now. Just look at GoT which has different directors and writers for episodes. They have an overarching story but get from here to there within 45mins not as much pressure as a feature film. Also True Detective had a lot of planning and was by one director. They get a lot more creative control and less interference.

TK on Nov 22, 2015


I have never seen anything suggesting Jackson wanted less than two films. As for TV, you just named two HBO shows which, frankly, are not the norm (Steven Spielberg worked on Band of Brothers years ago). A typical TV show is "directed" by the showrunner and the writers' room. The individual episodes have directors, of course, but unless you're filming the pilot (like Martin Scorcese and David Fincher did for Boardwalk Empire and House of Cards, respectively), you don't have anywhere near the amount of creative control a director working on their own project would have. The appeal for directors to go to TV is that hungry new outlets like Netflix and Amazon are desparate for critical appeal and are willing to bend over backwards to keep their creators happy. And even then, how many big-name directors actually stick around after the first season, or even the pilot? I think the real reason they're starting to prefer TV is that the condensed schedule means they don't have to commit such long periods of time to one project.

mainstream05 on Nov 23, 2015


Well Del Toro actually agreed to 3 year contract to do the Hobbit with 2 years of pre-production which to me seems like he would be making only one movie. He left after they tried to get him to extend it to 6 years which he couldn't commit to due to his family. HBO series, Netflix or whatever are all still tv or web series. Big name directors may not always stick around but they do jump in there every now so often. Justin Lin for TD, Joel Schumacher for House of Cards, David Lynch started Twin Peaks and has directed eps in season 2 as well. Mottola directed a few episodes of the Newsroom. I'm not disagreeing with you but the medium is changing and directors whether they are starting out or just in for a few episodes do get a lot more free way now. The problem with the big feature films now is that they are a big risk and studios often step in to try to minimize that.

TK on Nov 23, 2015


Everything I've read suggests The Hobbit had been planned as a two-part film since 2006, and Del Toro wasn't hired until 2008. I'd be glad to be proven wrong; I just don't see any evidence to support that PJ ever wanted to do less than two films. As for "HBO, Netflix, or whatever," context matters. I agree that the medium is changing, but not all TV shows (or all movies, for that matter) are made the same way, and the conditions have to be just right for shows like True Detective and House of Cards to happen. So it's important to make the distinctions - especially for HBO, which hasn't really changed its formula for creating content in a while. Again, not trying to be argumentative, but pointing at this debacle as an example of the reason directors are fleeing to TV doesn't hold up to me.

mainstream05 on Nov 24, 2015


I saw that originally New Line wanted to make 1 film with Jackson but MGM had distribution rights and wanted another film between the Hobbit and LOTR. So they eventually went with 2 films and again extending to 3. GDT was probably there for the 2 films. I think in the end after all of that I have realized we are arguing for the same point. I do agree that context does matter. Which is why in my original point I was saying that Jackson did do a great job with the Hobbit movies given the limited time he had with the project. Definitely context matters with TV and movies when creating it, which is why I was illustrating HBO and netflix because if the Hobbit were to be made for TV it probably would have been similar to those type of shows. GoT took years to create same as Band of Brothers.

TK on Nov 24, 2015


In my mind the LOTR trilogy got steadily worse from the first cracking film to something that even over the course of the remaining two films became more money and fan pleasing obsessed. A great example of this being how Legolas' take downs became ever more ridiculous and how Gimli became more of a comic stooge than a proud dwarf. The highlight of the franchise for me was the battle of Amon Hen and the beautifully played death of Boromir. Perfection that was never surpassed.

Payne by name on Nov 22, 2015


Jackson wasn't being lazy with his shooting technique. He sighted the reason for it (on one of the special edition appendices, I believe) being that shooting in 3D does not allow forced perspective to work. The trick is then exposed, and you can totally see that the "small" actor is not right next to the "tall" actor. Also, the green screen technique was used in abundance on The Lord of the Rings. But because it was in 2D, he had the luxury of also using forced perspective for some scenes. 3D limited the amount of tricks they could use to pull off the effect.

dangeer on Nov 22, 2015


Yep, that's what I figured. I mentioned in the post it was out of context and of course they still made the movies and are proud of them anyway. That doesn't necessarily mean they're that great. 😉 But yes, thanks for sharing this.

Alex Billington on Nov 22, 2015


I agree that they're not as good as LOTR, but that's as it SHOULD be. The book was never as great either. The advantage the book had was that it was published first and it had years of fan appreciation before LOTR was published. Had THE HOBBIT films been released first, they would've been much more well received. No one would be saying that that "same magical feeling" isn't there. They're magical in their own right. Your criticism of THE HOBBIT trilogy is like someone being fed an appetizer AFTER having already eaten their $60.00 steak dinner, then complaining the appetizer isn't nearly as great. Well, of course not! But that doesn't mean these films are "a mess."

dangeer on Nov 22, 2015


I cannot more disagree with what you are saying. The Hobbit , as written by Tolkien, Is a fun light hearted adventure tale. With no real connections to the LotR, I am not even sure that as he was writing them he knew that the "magic ring" was THE one ring. It was just a story of some dwarfs going to reclaim their home with some fun hyjinx along the way. What we got was a depressing overly dangerous affair, with our heroes being chased from the. word go. Antagonism that never existed in the book, characters that never existed, parts that never took place, (kings foil scene was taken from RotK). The movie could have been great, if they stuck to what was there in the book. Kept it to two movies (should have really only been one). What I watched was a mess of story telling, a series of movies that I have no interest of ever sitting through again, I rewatch the LotR about once a year. I have read the book ohh I want to say 20 times or more, verses the 3-5 times I read LotR. PJ and Co ruined The Hobbit. Has nothing to do with your "apps after the meal" analogy either. Has to do with the fact they are flat out not as good. The time was not taken and the love just isnt there. It reaks of a movie series made to cash in. Thats why we got 3 instead of 2, When PJ himself said something to the effect of he didnt feel there was enough content to make 3, 3 hour movies, I guess that changed when the studio shoved a bag of money in his face.

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


An appetizer is typically not thought of as being as great as the main course, whether served before or after. I'm simply saying that people tend to appreciate the appetizer MUCH more when its served first, before they've tasted something better. That's what happened with THE HOBBIT book, generally speaking, and THE HOBBIT films did not have that advantage because it was a story created long before LOTR that was released on film much later. When Tolkien initially wrote THE HOBBIT, he had not yet fully developed his ideas for LOTR, so OF COURSE the initial story doesn't seem to tie in closely. However, when reading Tolkien's appendices, it is VERY clear that he eventually chose to link THE HOBBIT and LOTR very closely, which is why we see much of that material in the films. When you think about it, Tolkien was never REALLY done with THE HOBBIT until he finished those appendices. Like I said, I don't think THE HOBBIT films are as good as the LOTR films. And I don't think the book is either. But that doesn't mean THE HOBBIT, whether book or film trilogy, isn't good at all. And I think if the LOTR films did not exist, people would appreciate them more. There would be no comparison. It's up for debate as to whether or not the films destroy THE HOBBIT story, or improved upon them. I personally think the movies improved it, mostly because I prefer the LOTR. And because these films were made after RINGS, it was the right decision to match them more tonally. And it's clear that's the tone Tolkien was headed the further into the book you get, and when you read the appendices material that pertains to THE HOBBIT. LOTR simply expanded upon it and perfected it. BTW, From what I understand, it was Jackson that pitched the idea to the studio to make it into 3 films, and the films in their initial release were not all 3 hours. They got shorter and shorter.

dangeer on Nov 22, 2015


I actually read the Hobbit after I read LOTR. It is a better book by far. The writing is tight and everything about the narrative of the story is great. LOTR is bloated in many places and he often wonders off with too much setting the scene. I know it's important because it's fantasy/adventure book but often I found he would repeat himself when in the same settings, not as bad as Jordan though. The pacing was a bit off as well. I guess we can argue all day about it haha but it is all subjective. Just my 2 cents on which book I enjoyed more.

TK on Nov 23, 2015


I think it's great you like THE HOBBIT more than LOTR. But it's generally accepted that, while they're both wonderful in their own right, LOTR is the more intelligent and well-written of the two. That's not to say THE HOBBIT is bad. It's simply what came first, and it's great on its own merits.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


The Hobbit trilogy would still be considered a horrible blemish on the cinematic landscape, with or without LoTR coming out before it. Anyone who's ever read The Hobbit knows exactly how that movie should have been handled.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


What you're basically saying is that Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens know how the movie should've been handled. They've read the book. They've read and studied it probably more than most people, and they've also read and studied Tolkien's appendices, which is Tolkien himself finishing off his vision. You can't make THE HOBBIT after LOTR has already been established in the canon and eleborated on the events of THE HOBBIT. That'd be ignoring Tolkien. Jackson and the writers simply tried to encompass Tolkien's entire vision, and not adapt the book as if LOTR never existed. Tolkien would've wanted this. He may not have wanted as much action, or the dwarf-elf romance (which hardly took up any film time, BTW). But over all I think Tolkien would appreciate it.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


Please, oh Please explain to me how a simple faithful interpretation of The Hobbit would not make a great film by itself, without all the appendices (that 99% of people don't know or care about)? Also what the hell are you talking about when you say "You can't make THE HOBBIT after LOTR has already been established in the canon and eleborated on the events of THE HOBBIT. That'd be ignoring Tolkien."? That makes absolutely no sense, the story of The Hobbit is a self-contained story that doesn't really need much help from any of the other books. If that's what you meant? Because I honestly can't make any sense out of what you've written. Films and Books are not interchangeable, and wanting a film that will appease the .02% Tolkien fanboy by adding a bunch of extra crap from other books does not a good movies make.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


Tolkien originally wrote THE HOBBIT without LOTR completed. When LOTR was completed, Tolkien knew that he had to write some things to help connect the two books so that THE HOBBIT feels more like the same world. Of COURSE you can adapt THE HOBBIT to film without the Appendices, and it'd pretty much be fine on its own. But because LOTR was already filmed, the film-going audience now expects THE HOBBIT to connect and feel like that MIddle Earth we already saw. THE HOBBIT on its own feels like a completely separate entity when you take into account LOTR. Tolkien KNEW this, which is why he wrote THE HOBBIT-related appendices. I think Gandalf's solo quest is my biggest hang up. Tolkien could've had Gandalf doing anything. But he CHOSE to have Gandalf discovering that Sauron - the BIGGEST threat to Middle Earth - has re-emerged, and intends to USE Smaug to his advantage. THAT'S a plot element that's essential now that Tolkien established it, and Sauron is a pretty big deal, don't you think? Sure, you could just have Gandalf walk away and do what he does in the books and say, "I have some pressing business to attend to away south," and then just show up later at the Battle of the Five Armies and not elaborate on what the heck it was that was MORE important slaying the Dragon and taking back Erebor - a mission that Gandalf HIMSELF initiated. In a book, a wizard can "come and go as he pleases," and the reader can imagine what's going on. That method is find for book form, but not for a film-going audience. IMMEDIATELY the question arises of what's MORE important that the mission? He looks like a complete jerk to the audience if we're not shown what happened. That'd be like in LOTR when Gandalf doesn't meet them at The Prancing Pony in Bree and the audience is never told why. On film, the reason needed to be shown. Same here. It's just that HERE, Tolkien didn't elaborate until later. Honestly, truly I think these films are a more faithful adaptation of Tolkien's OVERALL vision for THE HOBBIT and MIddle Earth.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


"the film-going audience now expects THE HOBBIT to connect and feel like that Middle Earth we already saw." Dont speak for me please. I expected to see a faithful adaptation of the Hobbit. Which was a story that took place in ME. And had loose ties to LotR, I did not expect a bloated mess of storytelling. The Hobbit should have been A fun for all ages film, not some dark and gloomy tale. They ruined the movie. And Reviews show that, Largely mediocre, Vs largely stellar for LotR.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


I was replying to BNN667, and it was a generalization - Film reviews and things like Rotten Tomatoes are a generalization as well. No need to take this personally. I guess I got what I expected and hoped for with this films, and I know many that agree and others than disagree. Fair enough.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


The aggregate sites are a good measure of the overall reception of a movie. Hobbit, Mixed LotR, Well received.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


Well, back to my original thoughts, THE HOBBIT films are not as good. We agree. I just think we have different reasons for thinking that they are lesser films. I personally think they did the very best they couldv'e done with THE HOBBIT, and actually improved it. It just still not as good as LOTR, nor would it have been as a straight adaptation.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


I Can see where you are coming from. When I look at the Hobbit(read it) I see a "G" rated family film. A simple low on frills tale of some Dwarfs and Halfling going to fight a Dragon. Thats what (number out of my ass time) 75% of people who are familiar with the Hobbit think. They have no knowledge of the appendixes or the The Silmarillion. Thats what I and every one I know personally wanted, thats why I and they were severely disappointed in the movies. And I am a person who had read The Silmarillion and the appendixes.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


For me, I see a writer who wrote a family-friendly book that eventually went back and re-evaluated what he wrote and expanded upon it, giving us more "adult fantasy" (pardon the expression) that helps THE HOBBIT fit with LOTR. I believe Tolkien's vision for THE HOBBIT and Middle Earth changed over the years, and LOTR and the appendices seem to confirm that. I just think it'd be wrong NOT to include this stuff when it dealt with such an important aspect of Middle Earth, and it directly related to THE HOBBIT in that Sauron wanted to use Smaug. I for one am SO happy they included it. They may have no knowledge of the Appendices or the Sillmarillion, but Tolkien would have wanted them to.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


IF he truly wanted that more adult book he could have rewritten it. I do not agree with you here. The Hobbit is as he wanted it. All he did was fill in gaps later, gaps as to what was going on, those gaps do not affect the narrative of the Hobbit though. They do not change the course for the Company of 14. Those details only served to bloat the story and muck up an otherwise fun romp(in the context of their story).

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


I really think of his later writings as a way of rewriting it without rewriting it, if that makes sense. Yes, THE HOBBIT works on its own, and Tolkien was happy with the initial story when he wrote it. I don't ever think he'd want to rewrite it. He just wasn't happy with certain things being left untold and with how little it connects with LOTR, which is why he went back and told those tales. I don't think the appendices affects the surface story, but it affects Tolkien's full vision of Middle Earth as a whole and how THE HOBBIT connects to it. Tolkien clearly wanted us to know something more sinister was going on, with Sauron wanting to USE Smaug. To me, that too important to not put in the films. Just mentioning the Necormancer in passing, and that Gandalf has some pressing business to attend to is not enough for a film-going audience to latch on to. The story up to that point establishes the mission to Erebor as THE most important aspect to the story. To have a major character, one who INITIATED the mission in the first place, just vanish and then reappear in the end without any explanation as to what was more important that defeating the dragon - well Gandalf just looks like a selfish jerk. It's like with him not meeting Frodo at Bree, and Gandalf not really explaining to Frodo why he never met him there and that he was just "delayed." That's good enough for Frodo, but not good enough for a film-goingn audience. We needed to be shown what happened.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


Gandalf leaving worked in the book, and would have could have worked in the movie. After all, he is a Wizard (1 of 5 in all of ME) They got wizard shit to tend to, a homecoming for a pack of Dwarfs may not be the only iron he has in the fire. All in all I think the proof is in the pudding, these movies are flat out not very good. Mixed reviews and lackluster audience reception. Honestly, I could have allowed for the trip to see the necromancer and the white council if that was the only stuff added. As it was, in fact, cannon. It in addition to Azogs resurrection, and all the other bloat, the girl elf, the love triangle coupled with the cutting down on things like the Beorning encounter ruined it. IT was not Tolkiens vision for ME we saw. We saw a distorted vision thanks to PJ.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


The Beorn encounter was actually a little disappointing to me in the theatrical cut. We get more of him in the EE of both the 2nd and 3rd films. The Azog thing is definitely a good arguement, but it didn't really bother me (honestly, I felt that the dwarves needed more to do on the road to Erebor, and this allowed for that). Fleshing out action scenes doesn't bother me especially when it's not detailed out much in the book, or the scene in and of itself is rather lackluster (the barrel sequence is much more exciting in the film). Jackson took many things I considered dull in the books and made them fun. For me, the elf-dwarf romance was the ONLY thing I really feel was kind of dumb, although we've seen evidence of a Gimli gaining affection toward Galadriel, and befriending Legolas. So at least the plot line FEELS like Tolkien could have wrote it. But even if you disagree, that was only like 10 minutes of the movies altogether that I felt was absolutely not needed. Everything else I think is a matter of taste, and that's cool.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


The love triangle was, at minimum 30 min of bloat. Wont be rewatching to count though. No real sense in arguing, you liked it. Thats cool. I think it was a horrible mess of a movie bloated out to 3 long ass boring movies that butchered the fun story that was the Hobbit.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


I have rewatched a number of times, and there's only a few scenes dealing with this, and they're not long at all. 15 minutes max. Could've been cut, yes, but not enough screen time for me to care that much that they included it.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


The ENTIRE scene in lake town where girl elf is looking from kingsfoil is 15 min its self(stolen from RotK). The love triangle BS, the stupid dick jokes in the jail scene. Its longer than 15.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


Probably just seemed like 15 minutes because you didn't like it because it wasn't in the book, but I'll check again some time and I'll stand corrected if you're actually right on this. This scene was intercut with other scenes not pertaining to the love-triangle/kingsfoil scene.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


This scene was intercut with other scenes not pertaining to the love-triangle/kingsfoil parts. That may have made it seem longer.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


"The fun story that was the Hobbit." You mean the story that does not develop any of the dwarves and what we do get is a bunch of cranky, cowardly dwarves that always put Bilbo in harm's way instead of doing anything themselves. And in the end of this fun story, 3 of them die. Yeah, that sounds fun. I don't care what anyone claims, there is no faithful adaptation of The Hobbit (on it's own) that is any good. It's a disjointed mess in style and tone. Silly and whimsical for much of it and then dour and overly serious for the rest. It wouldn't work. Period.

Phill Lytle on Nov 25, 2015


Yeh, it wouldnt work, thats why its one of the most popular fantasy stories of all time LOL. Get out of here with that.

Higgens on Nov 25, 2015


It is one of the most popular fantasy stories of all time. As a book. Why does that mean a faithful film adaptation would work? It's a different medium that demands different things. But more to dangeer's point: After the original film trilogy, any film adaptation of The Hobbit would have to coexist with that world. Especially if it is being produced by the same team. There is no way that team, this soon after the LOTR trilogy, could have made a faithful in tone adaptation of the book. None. In 20 years, someone could try to make a film that is more in line with the book, but even then they would have to deal with the book's massive change in tone about 2/3rds of the way through. And it wouldn't be easy and I doubt it would appease the fans of the book that are now clamoring for a faithful adaptation.

Phill Lytle on Nov 25, 2015


Yeh, Im really sick of discussing it. The animated movie is more timeless than the trilogy. You disagree thats fine. Many disagree with you and thats fine. Smoke dope and carry on.

Higgens on Nov 25, 2015


The animated film that killed off 6 of the dwarves in the final battle? Faithful indeed.

Phill Lytle on Nov 25, 2015


You wrote: "these movies are flat out not very good. Mixed reviews and lackluster audience reception." That the Hobbit movies got mixed reviews, doesn't mean that they are mediocre or bad movies - that's a matter of taste and opinion. Don't forget that among the "mixed reviews" we find many who thought that the films were very good or even great. You wrote: "We saw a distorted vision thanks to PJ." It was not "a distorted vision" - it was just an interpretation. And there is really no point in trying to copy/paste another artist's work, when you're making a film adaptation of a book or a cover version of a song. A new version is only interesting, if you have got something new and original to add. If you prefer the book, then you should just stick to the book. Personally I like both the book and the films, but I prefer Peter Jackson's version which I consider to be an improvement of the story.

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


You wrote: "IF he truly wanted that more adult book he could have rewritten it." Actually Tolkien started rewriting "The Hobbit" (He finished the first three chapters), but some guy he knew convinced to abandon the project. Now, does that mean that Tolkien was pleased with the story? No, here's what he said about it: "Some of the details of tone and treatment are, I now think, even on that basis [that is a "fairy-story" for children], mistaken." Tolkien took comfort in these thoughts: "But I should not wish to change much. For in effect this is a study of simple ordinary man, neither artistic nor noble and heroic (but not without the undeveloped seeds of these things) against a high setting — and in fact (as a critic has perceived) the tone and style change with the Hobbit’s development, passing from fairy-tale to the noble and high and relapsing with the return." - J.R.R. Tolkien (Letter to Milton Waldman)

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


The film should have had it's own emotional style, a more positive lighthearted one, and only be one or 2 films, also Bilbo's story arch is over by the end of the first film. Instead they tried to interweave it into the fabric of the LoTR trilogy and milk the hell out of it with 3 movies. Super-fans can argue all day that (even though The Hobbit has almost none of that extra bloated crap in the book) The Hobbit films needed it, because some how it's a better interpretation of someone else's work. Chew on that for a while and see if it makes any sense. Regardless of what ANYONE says The Hobbit was cut up into 3 movies because the studious knew they'd make 3 times the money. There were NO artistic reasoning behind it.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


You wrote: "Regardless of what ANYONE says The Hobbit was cut up into 3 movies because the studious knew they'd make 3 times the money. There were NO artistic reasoning behind it." ... whic is a lie, regardless of what you personally think of the decision.

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


You seems that you simply refuse to admit, that Tolkien himself retrospectively changed or elaborated on both the meaning of the Ring and the Necromancer plus the impact of The Battle of Five Armies. ... But fact is that he DID. Tolkien kept adding things that concerned the events of "The Hobbit", like for instance the chapters "Durin's Folk" and "The Third Age", where he puts Bilbo's adventures and everything concerning Thorin, Thrain and Thror into a larger context, so so it's all going to be about Sauron, The Ring and the battle for Middle-earth. Tolkien even wrote what essentially could have been the first chapter of "The Hobbit", namely the story "The Quest of Erebor" which is about Gandalf's and Thorin's meeting before they visited Bilbo in Bagend.

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


No, they didnt. TO say so is to ignore them REWRITING Tolkiens own lore. Azog? Yeh he is dead, brought back to life to further PJs narrative. Your argument falls flat right there.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


Agreed. Azog being alive is not faithful to what Tolkien wrote (although I argue it makes for an exciting narrative on film to have him alive). I'm more talking about the appendices material relating to Gandalf, the re-emergence of Sauron and his intentions to use Smaug in the devastation of Middle Earth. I think Tolkien would totally have agreed with Jackson to include this. Tolkien just never thought of it when writing THE HOBBIT. And I said they TRIED to encompass the entire vision. They mostly did. Azog was a deviation. At least the deviation made sense and made it more personal, instead of just another group of orcs.

dangeer on Nov 24, 2015


Its manufactured tension though, that did not need to exist. The story was great, TIMELESS with out it. These movies are not timeless, they will be forgotten, soon.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


You wrote: "With no real connections to the LotR, I am not even sure that as he was writing them he knew that the "magic ring" was THE one ring. It was just a story of some dwarfs going to reclaim their home with some fun hyjinx along the way. " Was it? I think you forget, that AFTERWARDS Tolkien wrote a lot of stuff where he connected the two stories. It's quite clear that he retrospectively wanted the events of "The Hobbit" to be more epic and very significant in terms of the fate of Middle-earth. Note what he writes in the Appendices of The Return of the King, in the chapter "Durin's Folk": "When you think of the great Battle of the Pelennor, do not forget the battles in Dale and the valour of Durin's Folk. Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords in Eriador, night in Rivendell. There might be no Queen in Gondor. We might now hope to return from the victory here only to ruin and ash. But that has been averted - because I met Thorin Oakenshield one evening on the edge of spring in Bree. A chance-meeting, as we say in Middle-earth." You claim that there are "no real connections to LotR". That's not true: There is Bilbo, Gandalf, the One Ring, the Necromancer (=Sauron), Elrond, the trolls, Sting, Gollum, the eagles, Balin, the Elven-King (=Legolas' father Thranduil) and Mithril. It goes without saying, that connections between two stories are something that is established in the second story; in the sequel - not in the first story. You wrote: "When PJ himself said something to the effect of he didnt feel there was enough content to make 3, 3 hour movies ....." He never said that. No, in fact he said quite the opposite: "The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages. So once you start to develop the scenes and plus you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material that sort of takes place around the time of The Hobbit, so we wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as did Tolkien himself. So all those factors combined gave us the material to do it." And Richard Armitage added: "It does warrant three films. These films are underlaid and textured and layered with incredible detail. And the dwarf characters, for example, in Tolkien’s book they’re very thinly sketched, actually a bit of an amorphous group, whereas every single dwarf you will get to know throughout the course of this journey. They are all very developed parts. You will care for and get to know them, and see how they function in the world. And I love that also, because these films, The Hobbit isn’t a separate universe. It’s entirely as you saw in the first films, the broader themes are built into the texture of it, and this allows each character to have their moments and play their parts in those themes, that’s certainly three films. Condensing it into two films seems almost impossible." You wrote: "I guess that changed when the studio shoved a bag of money in his face." Let me quote Ian McKellen: "Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work." Source:

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


I think making the Hobbit into a trilogy was a mistake, and this failure of trilogy is a "low point". That's being said beside the clip attached

Joker's hideout on Nov 23, 2015


SUCH A MESS? The Hobbit movies were awesome. This is trash journalism. Sure, Jackson had a troubled production, but considering the sheer scale of what he was doing, I think he did an amazing job.

evilED on Nov 22, 2015


Even the people WORKING on the film said it was a bit of a mess. SO, Trash journalism? More like trash comment. Oh And the movies sucked. Truly sad for what we could of had compared to what we got.

Higgens on Nov 22, 2015


I never denied it had problems during production. But the fact that I like the final movies is what counts. So yeah, go back to Twilight, kid. No one here cares about your shitty opinion.

evilED on Nov 23, 2015


Well, looking at the likes as many agree with me as with you. So, you are just wrong there.

Higgens on Nov 24, 2015


Yes of course Higgens must like Twilight because he wasn't a fan of the incredibly poorly made Hobbit Trilogy, kid. The original trilogy was fantastic, but the comparisons you're making is close to saying Star Wars/LoTR is just as good as the Prequels/Hobbit trilogy. Sorry man but this was a film that Jackson wanted to make in one, maybe 2, films, but the studio got their way and the entire production suffered.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


The Hobbit films were awesome. End of story.

evilED on Nov 24, 2015


Except that the video has been edited in order to make things look worse. And Peter Jackson's statement only concerned the filming of the battle - not the entire trilogy. So it's actually trash journalism based on a lie.

BN.filmz on Nov 26, 2015


I think the scale was the problem. The Hobbit was such a short, silly book that was more suited to children than The Lord of the Rings trilogy was. The Hobbit had dwarves, elves, a dragon, goblins, trolls, a wizard, talking giant eagles. Plenty to fill one three hour movie. 80% of the content for The Hobbit movies was made up so that they could triple the amount of money brought in. The Lord of the Rings was an epic tale. The Hobbit was just a lead up to that epic tale and should not have been made into three movies. Money grubbing at its worst!

Taternuts222 on Nov 23, 2015


Bad idea to make The Hobbit three movies. It was only for money, and not because the story or the characters or the franchise for that matter needed it. Failure. Now PJ's legacy is tainted by finishing up with this unnecessary trilogy. I am actually looking forward to a remake which will hopefully stay true to the original & "lean" sized book.

Joker's hideout on Nov 23, 2015


A trilogy could of worked if planned and paced better, plenty of material to dig from such a poorly written book.

Steven on Nov 23, 2015


No it really couldn't have, 2 MAYBE, but 3!? You could literally see the film being stretched to a near breaking point on screen!

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


That's because it wasn't well planned and the pacing was off. I'm not saying bloat for the sake of it, but areas could of been expanded with real depth, rather than the bloat we've seen. The 2nd film should of ended with the death of Smaug akin to Helm's Deep for example.

Steven on Nov 24, 2015


You really don't think it could have been 2? I think it would have helped with the bloating and discern itself from LoTR as it's own type of film set in that universe, which I think he may have been trying to do anyway.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


I think it could work as 2 or 3. Without a doubt 3 is a stretch, but it could of been done with better planning. I think the ending of the 1st film should of been escaping the forest and looking at lake town in the distance, the 2nd as mentioned the more climatic defeat of Smaug with the shadow of what's to come (akin to Helm's Deep), and finally the third the battle. Though I would of expanded the linkage with LotR in the final film.

Steven on Nov 24, 2015


You see that's what get's me, I do like the ideas of them going through the elves castle and escaping to see the lake town at the end of first movie, but I hated all that superfluous stuff they had to try and tie it in with LoTR, the ring itself does that enough! To me they took what should have been a fun lighthearted story and tried there damnedest to make it as much like LoTR as possible. In fact every time we have to be reminded of LoTR, which we really don't need to considering it came out only 10 years ago, it completely takes you out of the spirit of I though The Hobbit was going to be.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


That's a good point about the ring. The 1st and 2nd film wouldn't need and ties with LotR, though the 3rd would need to explain Gandalf's motives and fears. So I agree that the first two films should of been more lighthearted. The third should of been the bridge that we had been expecting and hinted at things to come...LotR

Steven on Nov 25, 2015


Yes, Daniel. It could. All it required was more time, and with each film shortened to trim much of filler that PJ inserted, filler best left for extended editions than general release.

Steven on Sep 27, 2016


ok - my reply didn't register. I'll try again. Basically yes it could, if done correctly. The book could of been mined far better and the pace of the movies better done. I think they are bloated, but three shorter films would of been possible. The filler or bloat should of been left for the extended version. You're simple 'no' is very week and a response I would expect from a fan that views the book with rose tinted glasses.

Steven on Sep 28, 2016


This clears a lot of stuff up. I loved The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The Hobbit trilogy (still doesn't sound right) took a beloved part of my childhood and dragged it through a large, steaming pile of excrement. The old Rankin/Bass cartoon did a better job. I saw the first one in the theatre and was thoroughly disappointed. I waited until the second movie was out on HBO and I still haven't seen the third one. I think that whole scene with the dwarves trying to drown Smaug in molten gold was the point where I said "Nope, I just can't do it anymore".

Taternuts222 on Nov 23, 2015


I loved how he was coated in magic gold that melts ion 15 min then 5 seconds later he was 100% clean......

Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


Yep that entire build up wasn't needed. iMO Smaug should of been defeated at the end of the 2nd film, in many ways the Helm's Deep of the Hobbit trilogy.

Steven on Nov 23, 2015



Higgens on Nov 23, 2015


I really enjoyed the Hobbit trilogy, not the best, but I had a great time at the movies. After watching this video I will look at the Battle of the Five Armies with a another perspective. They where trying to do the impossible. It was a hot mess at the end, but they finished it. Now on with the next. The Silmarillion maybe?.

Gerardo Vazquez on Nov 23, 2015


It would be amazing if The Silmarillion got made. I doubt Jackson will come back for a third outing. I love Jackson's vision of Middle Earth. Different in a lot of ways from the books, but the same in other ways. I really hesitate to think of anyone else doing Middle Earth movies other than Jackson. You never know though. Maybe he could come back. Or maybe someone else really could pull off something that feels like Jackson's Middle Earth. I'd welcome the film (or films) either way.

dangeer on Nov 23, 2015


I wonder if there would be something like this about the mess that was Age of Ultron in a few months time.

Payne by name on Nov 23, 2015


Capitalism. Working your ass off for the man. Sickening. Why can't we make labors of love not labors of profit.. our economic system needs change.

Ry on Nov 23, 2015


Just 2 films were needed. The first one has their adventure to the Mountain and ends with Bilbo walking into the darkness of a cave toward the dragon. The second starts with Bilbo and the Dragon doing their thing till he attacks the town and gets killed, no need for all the Baird story shit, and the final act is the battle, done! It's incredibly easy to see why these films were soo bad if you've read the book.

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


The book is poorly written though when compared to the LotR. Baird is a pivotal character with hints of background in the book, no way in a film could he just turn up and kill Smaug with no build-up.

Steven on Nov 24, 2015


Yeah that was the one thing I was nervous and laughing about before the movies came out, and you're right, they couldn't have just done what they did in the cartoon. It would have been funny though!

BNN667 on Nov 24, 2015


Its good enough as a children's book, but couldn't work as a direct book transition to film. The films are not good, but don't view the book with rose tinted glasses either.

Steven on Sep 27, 2016


Still haven't seen them. Always felt it was sad that, even though The Hobbit had no business being a trilogy, business was the reason it was made into one. Purely a cash grab. Same as Kill Bill and Mockingjay being split, or Grindhouse initially being put onto 2 separate dvd's.

grimjob on Nov 24, 2015


Nice honest video . Too many dwarfs, and Too much CGI madness also contributed to these 3 awful Hobbit films. It's a shame that they still made a TON of money being so darn awful. Especially when LOTR was 10x better than them.

Henry Willis on Nov 25, 2015


As a writer myself, I actually thought the Hobbit would have been much better as a 1-season TV show. A lot of the problems it had were because of the source material, which did not lend itself to movie format as well as LotR did. This is because The Hobbit is written more in the format of a bedtime story than an epic legend. It's meant to be read one chapter at a time, not in big chunks, which is why the hobbit felt simultaneously bloated, and at times, rushed. There wasn't enough time to expand on the identity of each dwarf. With 19-45 minute episodes (one per chapter), there would have been a chance to focus on the dwarves more closely, say, each dwarf gets to be central to the plot for one episode in episodes 1-13, so chapter 14, when Smaug attacks lake-town, and the battle that follows, feels much more personal to the characters, and the deaths of Kili, Fili, and Thorin would feel much more important because we got to meet them (This was one thing Tolkien sucked at in the source material). Then the last chapter would focus on Bilbo returning home and putting his life back together.

Robert Siegfried on Dec 28, 2015

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