Peter Jackson has officially announced The Hobbit will be not one, not two, but three films. (See this article from Entertainment Weekly.)
On July 12 I wrote the following concerning the announcement of Mockingjay being split into two movies:
Now, while I may mock the decision to make books into two films, I do understand the dilemma of fitting the whole story into one film. Both Deathly Hallows and The Hobbit can be justified. First, they are both well-written stories, and, second, they have enough happening to fill two films… As for The Hobbit, Peter Jackson has already established such a gorgeous and textured visual element to Middle Earth, it’s well worth venturing there twice more. Beyond that, they will be able to add in more of Bilbo’s epic journey across the Misty Mountains.
(From: A Tale Of Two Movies...)
I am concerned over the decision to make a trilogy out of this, despite being a fan of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and having read the Hobbit many times growing up. Jackson states they are adding in pieces from the appendix of The Return of the King, which has an entire wealth of legend and history that J.R.R. Tolkein added. Maybe we’ll have the third film in lieu of extended editions. Maybe each film will be slightly shorter, with a more average-film length.
I am concerned, however, there may be some faltering by extending a franchise too far. I don’t think it will falter into Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull territory. That is a piece of poorly written fan fiction that happened to be put together by the original creators of the franchise. However, anything creative can become an insular world, without realizing the practical matter that the audience isn’t nearly as excited.
A main question is how to drag out Bilbo’s story over three films? I can understand two, but Bilbo’s story is very straight-forward and simple. Where The Lord Of The Rings has many story-lines, The Hobbit has one. It is Bilbo’s journey from the Shire to a mountain, and back again (Hence, There, and Back Again). Some flourishes can be added, but that’s the story. I think of George Lucas explaining Episode I and II of Star Wars: “They have jazz riffs on science fiction,” and then adding that Episode III has the core of the story. I don’t want jazz riffs. I want story, and character, and depth.
To be fair, I believe Peter Jackson’s collaborators, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyen, have proven themselves capable and talented story tellers. Their continued presence also proves that Jackson knows his strengths, and knows when to ask for help. Also, there may be some flourishes that Guillermo Del Toro left behind. That’s exciting, having seen Pan’s Labyrinth and looking at the creatures from Hell Boy 2.
On the other hand, that’s another $10 I’ll pay to see this movie in the theater. I suppose, since it is going to take a total of three years for them to come out, that I can set aside a dollar or so each month to see what has taken almost ten years, and endless legal struggles for Peter Jackson and Co to create.
UPDATE: Found this on Freshly Pressed, about speculating on whether the third film would be made or not: The Pros and Cons of Making ‘The Hobbit’ Into a Trilogy
I was commenting on that blog, and came to the following conclusion: I can understand why, as a story teller, the creative team would want to make a third film. It’s more than money. I do the same thing as I become absorbed in the world, character, and stories I’m developing. Most of my finished projects/novels are unpublished because I made them far longer than I originally intended. My current goal is to write as succinctly as possible, while still having the quality of character, and plot. Unfortunately, that gives the world a back-seat. Maybe that’s another blog post: How much world? What’s more important, the world, or the story? The best ideal is to mesh the two together seamlessly.
The above paragraph is an example of becoming so absorbed in what I’m writing that it becomes longer than intended. This blog post was supposed to only be 300-500 words, and now it’s almost at 1,000. Succinctness is an art.
SIDE NOTE: Updated from Tale of Two Movies post mentioned above: A Fox In Sox in three movies instead of two
Fox In Socks 1 – Box On Knox – Knox is stuck in a dead-end life, until the Fox in Socks comes and upends everything. (Hence, Knox on Box)
Fox In Socks 2 – Who Sews Whose Clothes? (Sue Sews Sue’s Clothes) – The romantic interlude of the series. Knox has escaped the Fox In Socks, and meets Sue, who lives in a box with Slow Jim Crow. She’s a seamstress with a secret. A dark secret that leads back to Fox In Socks.
Fox In Socks 3 – Tweetle Beetle Puddle Paddle Battle – Fox In Socks gives Knox one chance to rescue Sue so Sue can sew Knox’s socks. Knox must join the dark underworld of Tweetle Beetle Battles. Can Knox rescue Sue? Will he get past the Poodle eating noodles? Will Knox ever be able to return to his box?
Tune in Summer 2016 for the epic conclusion.
SIDE NOTE 2: The title of this post comes from the film The Third Man. If you haven’t seen it, do so. It’s good film noir. It’s good, and fun, but not so wholesome.
In the story [SPOILER ALERT] one of the main characters is believed to be dead until he shows up over half-way into the film. So, he’s discussed, then he appears. This is similar to the rumors abounding about the third film, and then the third film appears. This has been an introduction to my nerdy side.
OTHER ARTICLES ON THIS NEWS:
The original facebook post announcing the decision
From Wired’s blog GeekDad