Recently, award-winning director Peter Jackson announced some drastic changes to his film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Originally there were going to just be two films: An Unexpected Journey, which deals with the actual story, and There and Back Again, which covers the sixty years between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings using material from the latter’s appendices (and those appendices are pretty fat). Now, however, Jackson has decided to add a third movie to the series, a decision he and colleague Phillipa Boyden came to when discussing how there was more information in LotR’s appendices than would fit into just one movie. Details about this third movie are scarce so far, just that they hope to release it sometime in the summer of 2014 (an odd departure from the other Middle-Earth movies’ Christmas releases) and that potential titles are The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of Five Armies.
My opinion: I am not certain that turning The Hobbit into a trilogy is a good idea. I was highly skeptical when I first heard that Jackson was going to turn it into two movies but calmed down when I heard that There and Back Again would bridge the sixty years between the two novels. And, frankly, I was curious to see how that would work. But in my opinion, two movies based on material from the appendices is overkill. This isn’t to say that I won’t go see the third Hobbit movie–I can’t help myself, really; charging hordes of Uruk-Hai couldn’t keep me away–I just think a third movie would feel anti-climatic. The Hobbit was only one book, so let’s keep the number of movie versions down!
As an aside, I wonder what would happen if Jackson decided to tackle The Silmarillion…nah, best not to give the man any ideas.