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Three part Hobbit or just more footage?

TheHobbit.jpgThere's a lot of talk today about what Peter Jackson has been saying regarding a potential third Hobbit film. So far, if you hadn't heard, he has split The Hobbit into two films and used some additional notes from The Lord of the Rings and the Tolkien estate to tell some more of Gandalf's story. However there's much more that they can get their hands on and more to the story that we know.

So with all this potential extra footage what are we going to see? A ton of extras on the DVD and Blu-ray releases or perhaps, as many are suggesting, a third film, but that would be hard wouldn't it? After all they've already finished the two Hobbit films haven't they?

Well they have finished filming but then there's a lot of post production work to be done and the second film isn't being released until next year, plenty of time to film some more footage, push it through post production and then edit the second film into two. Isn't there?

Looking at past history though we've seen Peter Jackson and the studio release hugely weighty DVD and Blu-ray releases for The Lord of the Rings films so why wouldn't they put the additional content on as extras, even extras that can be viewed with the main films to increase the running time.

However when asked directly about a third film by HitFlix through The Guardian Peter Jackson responded, but I'm not sure if it suggests we're getting a third film:

Q: "Are you thinking of splitting the second movie in two?" Jackson: "We have certainly been talking to the studio about some of the material we can't film, and we've been asking them so we can do a bit more filming next year. Which, I don't know what would come of that, whether it'd be extended editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing."

Q: "Would you like to though?"
Jackson:"I'd like to shoot a bunch more material that we [couldn't] shoot. There's so much good stuff in the appendices that we haven't been able to squeeze into these movies...so, that's a discussion we're having, yeah."

Now reading that to me it sounds much more like he's talking about additional footage to compliment the film releases, after all if they're going to be filming it next year if they really were to then put it through post production and re-edit the second film into two it would surely delay the release of the second film, surely?

I think it's much more likely that we're looking at additional material for the DVD and Blu-ray releases or if the content allows perhaps shorts for the same release, but I can't really see a delay of the second film and a reworking into two more, well actually I can.

If the first Hobbit film works well and sells out to audiences everywhere I could see the studio thinking that another two films would deliver much more money than just one more, then they would consider firing some more time and money at the production, can't you?

The other question is just how much footage could they come up with? Is there enough for a third film? Well according to another comment from Peter Jackson that comes through Coming Soon it appears that there is a fair amount:

"It's very premature. I mean we have an incredible source material with the appendices because 'The Hobbit' is obviously a novel but we also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of 'The Hobbit' published at the end of 'Return of the King' and we've used some of it so far and just in the last few weeks as we've been wrapping up the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story, Fran and I have been talking to the studio about other things we haven't been able to shoot and seeing if we persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting, probably more than a few weeks actually, next year. And what form that would actually end up taking, well the discussions are pretty early. So there isn't really anything to report but there's other parts of the story that we'd like to tell that we haven't been able to tell yet."

So that is interesting, he's saying that there's definitely enough material to produce a lot of new footage, more than a few weeks worth of shooting he's suggesting. The way he's saying it as well is much more about changing the story and that's surely something that they'd do before the second film comes out? Or again, is he talking about a new cut for release on DVD and Blu-ray?

He does go on to explain a little of what this additional footage is bringing to the story, and from what he's saying it's not exactly just padding for the fans:

"We've used more source material than 'The Hobbit.' For instance in 'The Hobbit' when Gandalf mysteriously disappears for chapters, it was never really explained where he's gone. Much later Tolkien filled in those details. In these appendices he did talk about what happened. And it was all together a lot darker and more serious than what is written in 'The Hobbit'. And also to be honest I want to make a series of movies that run together so if any crazy lunatic wants to watch them all in a row there will be a consistency to it, a consistency of tone."

I really don't know. It sounds like the Jackson's want to shoot the additional material and there's a suggestion there that they might like to try the trilogy approach. The question will be do the studio, and really I don't think that's going to happen until they see a return on the first film.

For us the question is do we want to see three films for The Hobbit with all that additional material or just two?



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