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Third 'Hobbit' movie: How? What? When? Why?
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News from Bree

Jul 26 2012, 12:21am

Post #1 of 45 (2215 views)
Third 'Hobbit' movie: How? What? When? Why? Can't Post

I admit, when I first heard talk of "a third 'Hobbit' movie" from the floor of Comic-Con, I was skeptical. Reporters Quickbeam and Justin brought back footage from a press conference (that you can watch right here) breaking the story that additional shooting was a possibility, directly from Peter Jackson's mouth. I downplayed it because from a five-week set visit I knew the team was going to return to shooting right after Comic-Con. I thought the media was being its usual bombastic self by calling a little more shooting "a third "Hobbit" movie. They absolutely had it posted first, breaking the story so kudos to them, but I dismissed it. How quickly things change.

Now it seems inevitable that this will happen. Jackson clearly has the will or he wouldn't have spoken about it so fully. The studio clearly has the will because they are talking about it instead of dismissing it. So what would this mean besides another year of happy blood sweat and tears at TheOneRing.net? Lets look at all the facts and see if we can't come to some conclusions educated guesses.


Jackson spoke about this, very likely not by accident, from the television press line meet-and-greet at Comic-Con that took place before the famous Hall H event for fans. (Watch the first two or three minutes of Jackson's own production diary #8 for the best account of Hall H.) He did it in front of a lot of websites with video and cameras. He knew it would get out to fans and he responded to a question will a full answer instead of a dismissal or a quick comment. The reaction on Twitter has been very interesting, as detailed in the story below.

So if you didn't follow the link above, to get up to speed, watch it below:

Then he did the Hall H thing and it didn't hurt matters than he delivered 12 minutes of "Hobbit" footage that viewers went bananas for. But, rumors kept on churning and a Warner Bros. spokesperson said there were ". . . no planned or surprise announcements involving a third film. The plan was always for two." Venturing a guess, the conversation about extra footage had started, the studio wasn't ready to deliver an announcement but the rumor was out there and Jackson seized the chance to energize the influential fans. It worked.

No matter what happens in the conversations and the logistics, I gathered from my stint on "The Hobbit" set that there will be significant filming next year anyway. The production seemed to be working at a fast, efficient clip but there was always going to be significant shooting in 2013, or so I thought. To me, this sounded like more stuff for extended editions of the films, which is why I scoffed at reports of "three 'Hobbit' films." I think I rolled my eyes at headlines.

By the afternoon press conference, it was a red hot topic. This is what Jackson had to say:

It's all very premature. We have got incredible source material with the appendices. The Hobbit is obviously the novel, but we also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes that Tolkien expanded the world of "The Hobbit" that's published at the end of "Return of the King." We've used some of that so far, just in the last few weeks as we've been prepping out the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story. Eventually Philippa [Boyens] and Fran [Walsh] and I have been talking to the studio about other things that we haven't been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting. It'll be more than a few weeks actually, a bit of shooting, additional shooting next year. What form that will end up taking, the discussions are pretty early so there isn't anything to report. But certainly there's other parts of the story that we'd like to tell that we haven't had a chance to tell yet. So we're just trying to have those conversations with the studio at the moment.


Jackson wasn't backing away from the possibility, but he did say that it was early, that there "isn't anything to report," perhaps relieving the studio from pressure if things didn't work out. An actual third "Hobbit" film seemed pretty far fetched to me. Not everybody noticed, but we all received a very clear indication of where the first film was going to end when Entertainment Weekly released a montage of "Hobbit" images. The whole thing laid out the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," film rather nicely. Look just below for the whole, split sequentially in two parts.

So a quick glance provides audiences with many of the events of the films including the final scene, a Dwarven escape out of bonds into floating barrels. We know where "Unexpected Journey," film ends.

So is this third film talk actually valid? Can two more films be pieced together out of what is left in the story plus what is contained in the appendicies after we already know the content of film one? Or could that actually change as well? Recent stories by the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter indicate that a third film is a strong possibility.

This, from the HR piece, was particularly telling:

. . .the filmmaker has concluded that he wants to turn his upcoming two-film adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien epic into a trilogy.

That, to me, came from people in the know, meshes better than any story out there with what TheOneRing knows. It says shooting would be for about two months next summer (North America's summer presumably). It seems Jackson thought about it, mentioned it to the studio, floated the idea at Comic-Con and is energized and now wants to do it, or at least that is how I read it.

I trust that Hollywood Reporter story for the best accuracy and fans who want to read it carefully might find further clues.

Reports in New Zealand are that he was at the top of his game during "The Hobbit shoot. It seemingly went well and actors seem happy despite the length of the shoot. The team seems creative and energized and ready to keep telling the story of Middle-earth. But, shooting movies, especially big ones with a big crew and big logistical needs costs big money. So WB is into two films for something like $500 million. For another, say $100 million or less, they now have three films to collect box office from, three different home video sales items to ring up. Instead of grossing $2 billion for a $500 million investment, they get to dream of $3 billion for $600 million. Seems like smart finances. It also fills a hole in the 2014 schedule, which will please stock holders and best of all, the desire to make the film didn't come from marketing or merchandising, it came from the creative team involved. It also seems the only time to do this is now and not try to start the whole thing up from scratch in two years. The right people, the big movie-making machine that helps Jackson realize his vision, is in place.


So what material is this that Jackson is talking about. Most book readers are aware that at the end of the "Lord of the Rings," author J.R.R. Tolkien included about 100 pages (in my copy) of extra material in the Appendix. Film-only fans need to know that Tolkien had a much larger vision of Middle-earth than LOTR or the films could showcase and he used these pages to flesh out some history culture, languages and legends. So what is in them? Glad you asked.

A complete list of the content is down the page but there seems to be a few obvious possibilities of what might be incorporated into Middle-earth cinema. This isn't a guess of what Jackson's team is doing or thinking about, just what is available to them.


Besides some overlap of "The Silmarillion," here is a history of kings and rulers and that includes familiar characters like Denathor, Boromir and Faramir. There is also a rough and tough guy called Aragorn who has some wild adventures including the very specific "Tale of Aragorn and Arwen." Think cinema audiences would like that?

It could be that Jackson's writing team wants to fill in the blanks and tie the two "Hobbit" films right into the "Lord of the Rings," films. Once upon a time this was called the bridge movie which was abandoned so "The Hobbit" could get the royal, two-movie treatment but we know at least the thought was there at one time.

There is a section on Durin's Folk, or Dwarves, who we alredy know will be making a big showing in the already filmed "Hobbit" movies. The writings include exciting details about a great battle with goblins and we already have clues that some of this history will be in the two planned films because of the presence of bad guys named Azog and Bolg (Conan Stevens). These characters come directly from Appendix A. Called The Battle of Azanulbizar, there is some great dramatic and hate-filled motivating material here, that I suspect and fervently hope is already in "The Hobbit" films.

In the same section we also learn more about Dain Ironfoot, played by Billy Connolly and this drips with potential but might be somewhat confusing in the complicated Dwarven shuffle. Fingers crossed that this is in already or will be with added shooting time.

Also here, the rise of the Witch King of Angmar and his decimation of the kings of men and his showdown against Glorfindel and the famous prophecy "and not by the hand of man will he fall." This reference to Eowyn would also be a nice tie to the LOTR trilogy, although it seems unlikely. (But really, really cool!) Weathertop could also figure in here and then have more meaning in the LOTR films because it was a featured great tower that housed a palantir and was the center of a real estate dispute (war) that obviously left a memorable ruin in the LOTR films.


Taking place at the same time as some of the oldest flashbacks in LOTR, we have Thranduil and the establishing of the Silvan Elves. More Lee Pace? Yes please. Would PJ want to tackle the glory of Numenor? Seems a bit complex.

If Jackson wanted, he could depict the whole battle that was happening in the north while the siege of Minas Tirith was happening in "The Lord of the Rings," in the south. The events are very related and it would be a strong, powerful tie to link the sets of films together. There is powerful heroism and friendship that would play great on the big screen. Related events happening at the same time that is also thick with drama is pretty good stuff.

Here too are mentions of post-LOTR events, especially with Hobbits and the final entry explains the final fates of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli but that seems unlikely.


If Jackson can make a good film from family trees, explanations of calendars, languages and spelling will George Lucas promise to never make another film again?

Annals of the Kings and Rulers
I The Numenorean Kings
II The House of Eorl
III Durin's Folk
Shire Calendar for use in all years
The Calendars
I Pronunciation of Words and Names
II Writing
I The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age
II On Translation


Jackson specifically mentioned the appendicies, which is why we thumb through them above, but what if he only wants to add some background (like a fleshed out Battle of Azanulbizar please!) and put off the end of "The Hobbit," until the third film. Is it possible? Could it be done effectively?

Could film two, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," end and still leave plenty of story for a third film that genuinely is "The Hobbit," and not a bridge film? Maybe. It would probably need a new title though as there wouldn't be a "going back again" happening just yet. Smaug The Golden, Smaug the Magnificent and his battle with Bard and Laketown could be the climax of the film. In the previously scheduled second film, Jackson has the challenge of making that magnificent event happen and then giving viewers another climactic action with the massive Battle of Five Armies that must seem even more grand. These events distinctly do not happen at the same time, so they can't be tied together in a film's structure as happening concurrently without major, fundamental changes to plot and character of the base story.

So, could the political enmity between Dwarves and Elves and Men and Orcs provide enough plot, complete with thick history, to be its own movie? Is the White Council busy in the same time frame giving Gandalf urgent business too? Is Radagast and his legion of bunnies, birds and rodents to make the world safe at the same time? Perhaps the conflict against the Necromancer will also be moved to this time frame.

Is there any chance that Jackson would change film 1, make it shorter, leave film 2 with more stuff? An educated guess only but no.

So far we don't have the clues needed to figure it all out, or at least I don't.


Three options seem most viable:
1) Shorten 1 and 2 to give content to 3
2) Flesh out 2 and 3 with history to give depth to armed conflict
3) End "The Hobbit" with 2 films and create the once imagined bridge film

So fans, what should it be and what will it be? I have a hunch it will be option three but Jackson, already in 3D-48fps-uncharted-territory, having just sprung a third film on the world in an unprecedented move and way, all stemming from a 75-year-old children's book, well, that guy just might do anything.

Some aren't pleased or are skeptical that this can or will work and many instantly think of people trying to make another pile of money. For me, if I get more Middle-earth and more appendicies on screen (especially Glorfindel or *GASP* Tom Bombadil on a Jackson whim) I am happy for it. I don't look forward to seeing extensions of new-to-the-film content. If Jackson and WB take this risk and I don't like the end result, I can already read a book.

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Jul 26 2012, 8:46pm)


Jul 26 2012, 7:15am

Post #2 of 45 (1198 views)
Bravo, MrCere! That about says it all. [In reply to] Can't Post

Helpful suggestions on story background and great summary of what's been happening. Cheers.Smile

Three options seem most viable:
1) Shorten 1 and 2 to give content to 3
2) Flesh out 2 and 3 with history to give depth to armed conflict
3) End "The Hobbit" with 2 films and create the once imagined bridge film

So fans, what should it be and what will it be? I have a hunch it will be option three but Jackson, already in 3D-48fps-uncharted-territory, having just sprung a third film on the world in an unprecedented move and way, all stemming from a 75-year-old children's book, well, that guy just might do anything.



Jul 26 2012, 8:39am

Post #3 of 45 (1148 views)
I just want some confirmation! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really mind if they want to make a third film or not - just as long as it works. I can't get my hopes up until it's confirmed though.

Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Tol Eressea

Jul 26 2012, 9:44am

Post #4 of 45 (1163 views)
3 hobbit or a Tale of Middle Earth Spoliers [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see film two ending with Smaugīs death

Then i can see film 3 beginig with Thorin retaking Erebor, then the old memories coming back, Azanulbizar, heirs of Durin, it would be Dwarven movie, more focused on Thorin, it would be awesome, Azanulbizar, all that, a huge flashback i mean, and the worth of the arkenstone could be better explained. Film two would be kinda awesome too, could contain both the battle of Dol Guldur, and Smaugīs death.

4 battles and a lot of drama in two movies, the first movie would become a childīs tale indeed

If not, i can see some sort of third movie concerning Second Age and Durinīs folk and lets say all the appendices . Imagine some sort of White council meeting and each time every character would explain the story of the peoples of middle earth that we can find in the appendices.



Jul 26 2012, 10:39am

Post #5 of 45 (1080 views)
I somehow guess they'd have to shift stuff from Film 1 to Film 2 [In reply to] Can't Post

Because Film 1 already has 2/3 of the entire Hobbit book in it, that is, ending with the barrel ride. The material for the second film is just Edoras, Smaug at Erebor and the battle of Five Armies and is rather thin as it is now already - even if padded with the Nazgul sideline. Now there is never enough stuff in it for two films.

So I suppose they'd have to shorten Film 1 in order to shift stuff from it to Film 2. Alas, there goes the perfect place for the break, the barrel-ride.

What were you thinking, PJ, getting yourself into this three-movie mess?


Jul 26 2012, 10:41am

Post #6 of 45 (1092 views)
Perhaps both Films (2 & 3) will be released next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

Film 2 in September and Film 3 in December.

Especially if they wrap the additional principal photography by June/July.

If so, I could live with that.


Jul 26 2012, 10:44am

Post #7 of 45 (1100 views)
*If* they were going to split the book into 3 [In reply to] Can't Post

They could end film 1 with the spider-attack (and possibly at Dol Guldur climax). Ending it there leaves Thranduil's Hall and the barrel escape for film 2. That must be atleast 20-30 mins.

Crunchable Birdses

Jul 26 2012, 10:46am

Post #8 of 45 (1093 views)
Edoras!? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you mean Esgaroth.

* crunch *

Crunchable Birdses

Jul 26 2012, 10:47am

Post #9 of 45 (1060 views)
That's literally the most unlikely thing in the world [In reply to] Can't Post

That sort of release schedule just doesn't happen. These are tentpole holiday films and we'll get them a year apart.

* crunch *


Jul 26 2012, 10:48am

Post #10 of 45 (1053 views)
No, I don't think so. [In reply to] Can't Post

If they're going to do that, what's the point of making 3 films? They should just cut films 2 and 3 into 3/3.5 hours, then just have an extended edition with the rest of it in.


Jul 26 2012, 11:15am

Post #11 of 45 (1044 views)
Point is - there is no point... [In reply to] Can't Post

Except for milking the cash cow.

PS: and of course it's Esgaroth, not Edoras.

(This post was edited by TheHutt on Jul 26 2012, 11:16am)


Jul 26 2012, 11:25am

Post #12 of 45 (1032 views)
Would they make that much from 2 films released so close to each other? / [In reply to] Can't Post


Grey Havens

Jul 26 2012, 12:37pm

Post #13 of 45 (1023 views)
Now I'm getting worried :( [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
So I suppose they'd have to shorten Film 1 in order to shift stuff from it to Film 2. Alas, there goes the perfect place for the break, the barrel-ride.

I don't want this to happen! :(

Vocalist in the semi-progressive metal band Arctic Eclipse


Jul 26 2012, 1:04pm

Post #14 of 45 (994 views)
And... who says it's going to? [In reply to] Can't Post

I really wouldn't worry about something which is speculation based on gossip based on rumour. No one here knows what this is all about.

Film 1 has to be complete and in the cinemas in a few months time and things will be set in stone which are far too late to change, like the promotional material for it, the 'making of' books which have already been announced and will be pretty near ready by now.

Whatever this is - and I haven't a clue and would rather not guess - it will either affect the structure of film 2 or it will be quite separate. So for what it's worth (tuppence ha'penny and a bent hairgrip!) this is what I'd say...

1. Peter Jackson has seen a new possibilities in the LotR Appendices which he is enthusiastic about and wants to film (and he realises that if it's to be done at all it has to be now, because once The Hobbit is finished there won't be a title to attach it to.)

2. Whatever it is, this is coming from him and his team as a creative impulse which they want to develop. If the studio agree to it they will be thinking of the cash, of course, but first and foremost this is creative and it's about telling the story. It's about bringing something else from Middle Earth onto the screen (on cinema or DVD).

3. Having raised it so publicly, Peter Jackson and Warner Bros really have to go ahead. To do so will be a sign of confidence in the films. To pull back at this stage would leave a sort of muddled anti-climax - a sense that they don't know what they're doing.

4. Will it work? How can anyone here possibly tell without knowing what 'it' is? The only ones who can shout 'no' with any confidence are those who don't like the previous films at all and would prefer to see no more films made in any case. I just hope that Peter Jackson gets the go-ahead so that I can find out what this is all about. Even if I end up not liking it, I'd rather know!

Kangi Ska

Jul 26 2012, 1:30pm

Post #15 of 45 (997 views)
You have solidified my thoughts. [In reply to] Can't Post

I too think a "bridge" movie is the most likely of all the choices. I wonder which of the threads laid out by Tolkien in the LotR appendices will provide the plot for such a movie. By all rights it should be Aragorn's story but I find that doubtful. Perhaps Durin's people. A history of the Dwarves would make a wonderful stand alone story but it would require focus to make it a great film. I do not know but I guess we will see. Thanx. KS

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Lucky Luke

Jul 26 2012, 2:01pm

Post #16 of 45 (968 views)
My modest 2 cents [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont believe in a bridge film at this point. It would not be a third Hobbit but a completely different film.

Here is my modest 2 cents on a way to make our beloved The Hobbit into 3 films (which works for me!).

Yes, I think it may well be that the barrel scene will be pushed back in film 2, film 1 thus ending with the spider sequence and the capture of the dwarves by the elves.
The climax of Film 2 could be the Battle of Dol Guldur AND the fury of Smaug after his encounter with Bilbo. Film 2 could end with the suspens of seing Bilbo and company trapped in the tunnel. I really like that ideaSmile !
With the death of Smaug AND the BOFA (+ the return of Bilbo), film 3 could then be the great conclusion of it all .


Jul 26 2012, 3:54pm

Post #17 of 45 (926 views)
I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with dormouse and Kangi Ska.

If this goes ahead, I hope it is a bridge film. I'd prefer Jackson to follow his original vision of The Hobbit, which looks stunning.

Then, if the two Hobbit films are great and the third movie sucks, I'll just never watch it again.


Jul 26 2012, 4:27pm

Post #18 of 45 (912 views)
Not necessarily [In reply to] Can't Post

You could get Film 2 for Christmas, and film 3 in the summer.

Didn't one of the split-in-two Potter films do that?

Sr. Staff

Jul 26 2012, 4:36pm

Post #19 of 45 (910 views)
Thanks {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't read this line, my {NT} in the subject line was meant to keep you away from here. Sorry about the extra click.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

My blog


Jul 26 2012, 4:43pm

Post #20 of 45 (901 views)
Yes, something like that [In reply to] Can't Post

But September and December releases wouldn't work. There's only a 3 months gap.

Tol Eressea

Jul 26 2012, 4:44pm

Post #21 of 45 (913 views)
I agree with your assessment of the situation [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm excited that PJ is excited, it's cool to see how enthusiastic he is about material we all enjoy. I know I've poured my imagination into the Appendices and I always read them since I'm never ready to put the book down. It'll be interesting to see what PJ does with them.

King Arthur: You know much that is hidden oh Tim.

Tim: Quite.


Jul 26 2012, 11:20pm

Post #22 of 45 (850 views)
The Matrix 2 and 3 set the precedent.... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Matrix Reloaded was released in May 2003 while The Matrix Revolutions was released in October 2003.

It can be done....


Jul 26 2012, 11:22pm

Post #23 of 45 (837 views)
That's still 5 months, and not 3. [In reply to] Can't Post

And were the prequels as anticipated as TH? Probablt not ... do they have a big fan base?


Jul 26 2012, 11:27pm

Post #24 of 45 (833 views)
Then they can spread the two releases over 5 months. [In reply to] Can't Post

August and December 2013.

I'd rather see a 2.5 hr & 2 hr films a few months apart than a 3.5 hr film.


Jul 26 2012, 11:54pm

Post #25 of 45 (823 views)
What if they had intermissions? [In reply to] Can't Post

You want a 3.5 hour film then?

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