In a statement Jackson announced: ”We recognised that the richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, gave rise to a simple question: do we tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as filmmakers and fans was an unreserved ‘yes’.”
Stretching a book that’s about 350 pages long into three entire films seems excessive on the surface. To the most cynical it’s nothing more than a desire to wring as much money from the whole Tolkien film franchise as possible. Spacing out a film series is currently fashionable, with Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games each splitting their final films into two parts.
Yet if there is any story that could withstand such a prolonged telling- even thrive on it- it’s the story of Middle-Earth. Tolkien created a world of rich and minute detail that none but George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones have come close to equalling.
As Jackson mentioned in his statement, there is plenty of extra content in the appendices and certainly enough to make three complete films. There’s risk here but also the potential to truly do justice to the complexity of Tolkien’s work.
What do you think? Can The Hobbit succeed as three films?