First off, we must be clear that this is all strictly RUMOR material. Nothing is confirmed, and while this rumor has been attributed to a credible source, things are always subject to change.
At Comic-Con, Steve had a chance to talk to Peter Jackson about his upcoming projects, and he briefly touched on “The Hobbit”. Though he said no casting decisions had been made, he did say that “The Hobbit” would be in two parts, with the first to release in December 2011 and the second in December 2012. My, how things change in a matter of two weeks. MarketSaw has it on good faith (again, rumor) that a THIRD hobbit movie is now scheduled, which will act as a bridge to the Lord of the Rings series. More rumor info that you’re going to want to read after the jump.
1. THE HOBBIT(s) will be in stereoscopic 3D.
2. THE HOBBIT will be shot in THREE movies – two Del Toro movies covering the book itself and a third bridge movie.
3. Peter Jackson will direct the bridge movie.
4. Smaug and the characters in THE HOBBIT will be darker than in the book.
At Comic-Con, Jackson told Steve that the studio hadn’t greenlit the project yet , but then we reported that Hobbiton was already mid-reconstruction, so they are definitely prepping for something huge. Also, the revelation that a third film will bridge “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” gives clarity to Jackson and Del Toro’s April interview in which they said the SECOND film would NOT bridge the two.
So basically we’ve gone from two Peter Jackson produced, Guillermo Del Toro directed movies to two Peter Jackson produced, Guillermo Del Toro directed movies and a third, Peter Jackson directed bridge movie. Which is huge. I feel comforted by Jackson’s return to the director’s chair in the final installment of the series (even though it won’t be so chronologically with the “Star Wars”-esque production timeline). Del Toro is a fine director and I don’t doubt he will give us an imaginative and fantastical “Hobbit”, but Jackson is tested in this department and seems to paint from Tolkien’s palate in a way that no other can.
“Smaug will be a mixture of practical and animation …going purely on practical, the design rocks. I think THE HOBBIT may be a different beast to the book, at least in terms of going darker. And judging from Smaug “and the Gollum tweaks” will be something to rival the previous attempts at the very least. It is still very lock and key at the moment. I can tell you this, Peter Jackson is very keen to have the two part Hobbit tale set in 3D. Del Toro however is holding back on that school of thought. At least for the time being. Im hearing word “and its only speculation at the moment”, that it wont be two films. It will be three. The two parts and the bridge movie. Word alone is not trustworthy. However I hear this from lots of people. And have seen things to indicate this may be the way it is heading. Del Toro on Hobbit duty, Jackson on the bridge project. Time will tell.”
So we’re also getting a darker version of The Hobbit, which I’m also pretty psyched about. I always felt that there was too much disparity between “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”. “The Hobbit” was required 7th grade reading, whereas the rest of the series skewed decidedly older. Smaug is going to be a sight to behold, especially since Del Toro and Jackson are both absolute masters of special effects. More as we get it.