Producer-director Peter Jackson announced Monday that “The Hobbit”—which takes place 60 years prior to the events in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy—will consist of three movies instead of two.
After viewing a cut of the first “Hobbit” installment and part of the second, Jackson realized he’ll need a third movie to fully tell the story of Bilbo Baggins.
In a prepared statement, Jackson said:
“We recognized 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.’”
The first of the “Hobbit” movies, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” hits theaters on Dec. 14, while the second, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is slated for Dec. 13, 2013.
The third movie doesn’t have a title yet, but is scheduled for a summer 2014 release.
“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy
In grade school, I attempted to read Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” but was unsuccessful. I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around the story and the author’s storytelling method was lost on me.
Twenty years later, my oldest son took a stab at it and actually made it through the first book before stalling early in the second. He sought my help in understanding a lot of what Tolkien was saying, but just like 20 years before, I was mostly stumped.
Imagine my relief when “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” hit theaters in 2001.
With the help of someone (Jackson) who obviously understood Tolkien, my son and I could finally get a grasp on the classic story.
Because I haven’t read the books, I don’t know for certain how closely Jackson’s interpretation follows Tolkien’s story, but it was satisfying to have something tangible to grab a hold of.
I was sorely disappointed with the first movie, mainly because after more than two hours of action and character investment, Frodo and Samwise were barely starting their journey! I expected them to have made more progress than they actually had.
I grew fonder of the first installment after a second viewing minus the expectation of a more concrete conclusion.
In hindsight, I wonder what I was expecting knowing I was watching the first of three movies.
After developing a better outlook on the first “Lord of the Rings” movie, I was onboard and thoroughly enjoyed the second and third installments—though the third ranked No. 3 on my list.
I’m not all that excited about “The Hobbit” movies, mostly because I don’t think Jackson can add anything to the “Lord of the Rings” saga that he didn’t put on film with the first three.
Then again, without having read “The Hobbit,” I could be completely off with my assumption that the story is much of the same in a different time and involving different characters.
The upcoming films are in 3-D and that’s reason enough to spend the money on a ticket, but from a movie-viewing standpoint, I’m not expecting anything new from “The Hobbit.”
Even so, I’ll be front and center at a local theater with my 3-D glasses and overpriced cup of lemonade come mid-December.
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