It’s interesting how full circle Peter Jackson has come on “The Hobbit.” Originally done with the world of J.R.R. Tolkien after “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and ready to pass the torch on to Guillermo del Toro while staying on as a producer, a series of events found Jackson back in Middle Earth and sitting in the director’s chair. And he has thoroughly seized the opportunity. On the technical side, he’s bringing 3D and advanced 48 fps technology to the upcoming films, and creatively, he’s gone outside the bounds of “The Hobbit,” using additional Tolkien writings to help flesh out and give a framework to the story that will span two movies. Or is it three?
Presenting twelve minutes of footage at Comic-Con yesterday (in 2D, 24 fps, it should be noted), Jackson addressed the rumors that “The Hobbit” may be following the trend of other recent franchise finales like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” and most recently, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” by adding one more additional chapter to the tale and/or splitting the last entry into two. And while Jackson said “The Hobbit” becoming a trilogy is “premature” as of right now, the filmmaker reveals there is additional material to be adapted.
“We also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of ‘The Hobbit’…Fran [Walsh] 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…” he said, adding: “There’s other parts of the story that we’d like to tell that we haven’t been able to tell yet.”
On the one hand, this doesn’t necessarily mean that footage will be turned into another feature film. As fans of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy know, the home video releases of each film featured generous extended cuts that did a tremendous job of fleshing out the universe of those films — something the filmmaker said during his Hall H presentation will likely happen with “The Hobbit.” And that could be the direction Jackson wants to take here (and fyi, it was revealed “An Unexpected Journey” will at the very least, likely hit the two-and-a-half-hour mark). 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.
We’ll see how this all plays out, but what do the fans think? Do you want even more from Middle Earth? Or do you want Jackson to wrap it up and move on to something else? Weigh in below. [via ScreenCrush]