The Third Hobbit

We’re making a third movie?

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

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7 thoughts on “The Third Hobbit

  1. The pro and con article mentioned covers a lot of concerns, like keeping the focus on Bilbo. I’d be okay with some extra attention on Gandalf, but the company dwarves are of little interest. This is Bilbo’s hero’s journey, according to Joseph Cambell.

    Tolkien did a great job with Middle Earth, so I’m hoping The Hobbit is under the theory that there are no extended editions(which are the ancestors of two-part movies now, just not as money-greedy). I just might cry in the theatre if The Hobbit gets a radical change to lessen its original awesome.

    On another note, does this new announcement of extending the film mean the first one isn’t even halfway complete yet? They surely must know to keep the pacing intact, and even if they just stored shot clips away for the next film, that’s more hustle to lay everything out before it hits theatres.

    And the A Fox In Sox trilogy sounds fantastic compared to the Seuss adaptions I’ve seen. Universal Studios should hire you for Seuss-related films.

  2. I Have to admit, I almost never go to theater to watch a movie and even when it is released to DVD I rarely watch them, and if the movie is from a well written book I am even less likely to want to watch. This is primarily because in reading a well written book it seems nearly impossible for a movie to do the story justice. I like a good movie unfortunately I can count on one hand the number of good movies I have seen in the last 10 years. I realize this is subjective and only my opinion, and being an avid reader perhaps my views have been tainted because of the depth of character and story line development that can happen in a book, is to me, so much more rewarding. I did enjoy The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in fact I have watched it several times and still pick up on nuances each time… still the books are better IMO. All this to say, I too, would question the veracity of a Hobbit Trilogy, most likely attributing it to greed rather than need. Of course based on my comment here you could probably have guessed that :-)

    • Thanks for the comment and following my blog.

      I have a double-major in English and Film, so I consider literature and films two separate but equal art forms, and try not to compare the book too much to the movie. However, with films based on well-known books, the creative license should be more limited. Breaking a book into two films seems a bit excessive, and breaking it into three is extremely excessive.

      By the way, you’re follower #5 for people I don’t already know through Facebook. Once again, thanks for following.

  3. I actually watched that last December while I was out of commission due to a tooth removal. I went on a Sci-fi 80’s marathon with Short Circuit, Short Circuit 2, Flight of the Navigator, Willow, and The Last Starfighter. I think there are a few other movies, but I can’t remember at the moment.

  4. Thanks for writing such an excellent, cogent, coherent post on this – I will just link to you the next time someone asks what I think about it (because I began to meander more than a Tolkien novel once asked). I have concerns about it too but it helps knowing it is in Jackson’s capable hands.

    A big fan of the book told me they were going to include some of the Silmarillion to flesh out the storyline, but I’ve not seen corroboration of that anywhere yet.

    • I read in several reputable sources that the Tolkien estate still has the rights to The Silmarillion, whereas MGM and Co. have the film rights to everything in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit. That’s why they’re pulling from The Return of the King appendix and not the Silmarillion, and anything else Christopher Tolkien published after his father’s death.

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