Peter Jackson started a rumor earlier this month at Comic-Con by suggesting The Hobbit and the adventures of Bilbo Baggins could extend from two films to three. Now it is confirmed that The Hobbit, like The Lord of the Rings, will be a film trilogy.
In front of Hall H, Jackson explained that he had so much material filmed and more to mind from The Hobbit that it might make sense to push two planned films into a trilogy. That rumor picked up speed over the past couple weeks as word got out that Warner Bros., New Line and other parties with a stake in The Hobbit were also interested in the idea.
For Warner Bros, a third The Hobbit film will give the studio a much-needed tentpole movie for summer 2014. With Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Harry Potter saga wrapped, Warner needs some help lining up solid tentpoles in the years ahead. Peter Jackson has done them a huge favor.
Of course Jackson has his own reasons for wanting to put together another Hobbit film. He’s seen a rough cut of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and a good chunk of The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Below are his words on the effect those screenings had on him.
This third The Hobbit film doesn’t have a name yet. It probably only loosely has a story structure. But now we know it is coming in summer 2014 and will conclude Jackson’s six middle-earth films roughly six months after the fifth film debuts.
em>The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens this holiday season on December 14, 2012. The Hobbit: There and Back Again is slated for December 12, 2013. A name and release date for the third film will be shared when it’s announced.