Monthly Archives: July 2012

Three rings to rule them all: 300-page book The Hobbit will get slashed into three films

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Written by Zen Terrelonge

As most reading this will be well aware, Peter Jackson’s screen versions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series are a long old slog to watch, with each film averaging at around three hours each.

Of course, fans won’t begrudge that, and many will gladly sit through the extended editions, which edge further towards the four hour domain.

Presumably that’s while ol’ wacko Jacko, and the powers that be at New Line and Warner Bros have decided to carve the forthcoming two part Hobbit film into a threesome with a swift slash of Aragorn’s Anduril blade.

That’s right, though The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Hobbit: There And Back Again will still launch in December 2012 and 2013, respectively, a third and untitled edition will arrive in summer of 2014.

It seems like a shameless attempt at profiteering in my view, no matter how Jackson or either of the studios want to dress their reasons up.

The Fellowship of the Ring novel has around 480 pages, which fit snugly into one film, while The Hobbit has around 300 pages – depending on paperback or hardback – and yet this is somehow necessary to be viewed as a trio.

Jackson, said: “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together. 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.’ We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life.  We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and—lastly, and most importantly—we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I’m delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”

Hey, I’m not a filmmaker, merely an observer, though I should also point out that all three films will be released in cursed 3D (with 2D available in limited numbers) technology, which has had disappointing results time and time again, simply acting as an added expense to customers.

At least Jackson and co have got three attempts to get the results right, I suppose.