One More For the Road…

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.



Filed under Reviews

7 responses to “One More For the Road…

  1. I just talked about this same issue on my own blog. Here’s a link:

    I agree with your skepticism about breaking The Hobbit down into multiple books. It feels rather exhausting at the moment just to think about a third film. It could be amazing, and it could be just bloated.

    As for the Silmarillion, the Tolkien estate still owns the film rights to it, whereas The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are owned by another entity associated with MGM. Jackson cannot make the movie, unless Christopher Tolkien changes his stance and decides to permit something to be made. Thus far, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

    • You had some good thoughts on the third Hobbit movie. Honestly, I’m not sure how many people, even hardcore Tolkien fans, think a third movie is a smart move…time will tell, I guess.

      I’ve heard that a film version of “The Silmarillion” is probably out of the question, too. Supposedly Christopher Tolkien was displeased with the LotR films and was very reluctant about giving permission to film “The Hobbit”, so “The Silmarillion” is most definitely out of the question…which is probably a good thing; they could make six or seven movies out of that!

  2. Hello, Emerald and L. Palmer!

    Whilst Tolkien addicts the world over ponder the implications of the upcoming over-extended Elfkin appendix trilogy, I have finally broken down, after easing my way into Big Screen fantasy via “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and “Merlin”, and ordered the first “Lord of the Rings” movie from the library. Friend, you are free to cackle with satisfaction πŸ˜‰

    Indeed, I know I am quite out-of-date, but it’s a miracle my resolve has melted this far, judging from the fact that I have no love for hoardes of hideous beasties battling each other with rather sharp objects! However, I shall make every effort to be fair and balanced in my review, which I shall be happy to post on this blog after viewing.

    One Last Thing: Why must Hollywood continue spending copious amount of money on fantasy flicks when accurate historical movies are in such short supply? Give me a trilogy of balanced films on the American Revolution or the French and Indian War or the Napoleonic Wars! How ’bout something for the War of the Roses or the Jacobite Rebellions or the English Civil War? Come on people, level with me! πŸ˜‰

    Pearl of Tyburn

    • So you broke down and decided to watch LotR, eh? I’m so proud of you! Now if I could just get you to read the books…

      I am well acquainted with your preference for historical fiction and fact, but a lot of people view history as boring, which is probably why there aren’t more historical movies out. It would take someone enormously talented to write an interesting plot and dialogue that wouldn’t put everybody to sleep. I’m not saying it can’t be done…just that it would take careful planning and execution.

      And don’t think of the battles scenes as “hoardes of hideous beasties battling each other with rather sharp objects”…think of it as an extension of the swashbuckling adventure genre you love so much! πŸ˜‰ Seriously, though, the beasties don’t battle each other. They spend most of the time battling the Humans and Elves (and the occasional Dwarf and Hobbit).

  3. Ah, yes, history is just so dull, with all those big-scale battles and political conundrums that our antiquated ancestors had to deal with in order to develop and preserve civilization! πŸ˜‰ If Hollywood has enough “get up and go” to hire writers for fantasy scripts, I do think they could come up with some decent historical epics.

    Thanks for the thought; I will keep in mind that “Fellowship of the Ring” is a sort of would-be swashbuckler extension. And to answer your other question, the reason for my break-down is purely due to peer pressure from friendly folks such as yourself and at least a dozen others! Once and for all, I plan on removing this stigma of being a foriegner to Middle Earth! Then afterwards I can have the pleasure of pinning on an “I survived LotR” button! Will you award it, please? πŸ˜‰


  4. Pingback: So…Three Movies? Really? | My Turn to Talk

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