Peter Jackson has finally confirmed what he told us at Comic Con: his Hobbit movies will officially be three films, instead of the previously announced two.
Here's the full announcement from Peter Jackson's Hobbit facebook page:
It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie — and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.'
We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. 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, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.
So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of "The Hobbit" films, I'd like to announce that two films will become three.
It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling."
We're pretty conflicted about this announcement — on one hand, more Jackson movies could be a great thing. We don't want to see this legacy end, ever. But on the other, is there enough material for all these flicks (even with the additional material J. R. R. Tolkien's notes and appendices). Thats a whole heap of padding. Perhaps Anil Dash said it best: "Since when have diehard fans of a giant fantasy universe ever been disappointed by a bloated prequel trilogy?"
Consider us cautiously optimistic.