It’s Official: THE HOBBIT Will Be a Trilogy; Third Installment Arrives Summer 2014 [Updated with Possible Titles]

by     Posted 1 year, 263 days ago


Last week, we reported that Peter Jackson was in serious talks with Warner Bros. on how to expand his two-part adaptation of The Hobbit into a trilogy.  The studio obviously would love to have another tent pole flick lined-up, but they also had to consider the costs of extending contracts and pouring more money into additional shooting.  There was already some bewilderment on the part of fans when Jackson wanted to develop J.R.R. Tolkien‘s relatively short novel into two movies, but the writer-director is pulling from more than just the narrative.  He’s using material from the appendices and Tolkien’s notes in an attempt to tonally “make it as similar to The Lord of the Rings,” so all the movies could be viewed as a cohesive whole.

Now it looks like Warner Bros has agreed to another trip to Middle-earth, and the third installment in The Hobbit trilogy will arrive summer 2014.  Hit the jump for more.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is due out December 14th.  The Hobbit: There and Back Again is due out December 13, 2013. [Update: Possible titles for the new installment have been uncovered.  More after the jump.]

The-Hobbit-posterPeter Jackson released the following statement on his 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.”


Peter J

I greet this news with a mix of excitement and apprehension.  On the one hand, more Middle-earth should be a good thing, right?  It’s a beautiful world filled with rich, interesting characters.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a modern classic, so why not provide a prequel trilogy?  It’s not like a prequel trilogy equipped with more money and state-of-the-art technology has ever gone horribly awry.  Oh, wait.

the-hobbit-trilogyThere’s also the issue of Jackson’s last two films.  King Kong is fine, and Jackson’s heart is in the right place, but it’s too long and contains extraneous storylines that should have been left on the cutting room floor.  And The Lovely Bones is an out-and-out disaster.  Finally, let’s keep in mind that Jackson originally didn’t want to do The Hobbit.  That’s why Guillermo Del Toro was brought on board.  Del Toro left the project when it didn’t look like it would ever get a greenlight.  Jackson became the only one who could move forward once financing finally came together.  Of course, Jackson is free to change his mind, and maybe once he got caught up making The Hobbit, he didn’t want to let it go.  I just hope that the addition of a new film (and keep in mind, we don’t know how long any of these movies will be) will complete the story rather than simply augment it.

UPDATE: Some interesting domain registrations have been made in the past week, which may give as an idea of the title for a new Hobbit installment.  Fusible made the discovery (via /Film):

While the third and final installment will most likely still be called “There and Back Again,” (a recent press release from WB merely refers to Part 2 as “the second film” instead of “There and Back Again”), it appears that variations of “Desolation of Smaug” and “Riddles in the Dark” could be under consideration for the second film’s subtitle.  Desolation of Smaug refers to the path of destruction left behind by the titular dragon, while Riddles in the Dark is a reference to a sequence between Bilbo and Gollum that is most likely in the first film.  Again, nothing’s been confirmed, but these titles are definite possibilities.


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  • Armando

    The book is rich with detail, but not enough to justify three movies. Two 3 hour movies would be more than enough.

    • Oliver

      if there’s enough material for two 3 hour movies, then there is enough material for three 2 hour movies!

      • jimmy3vil

        Not necessarily, because you have to think about structure and pacing as well. You can’t just end the first movie in a different place or everything you planned to do structure-wise falls out of place – there needs to be a beginning, middle and end for each film.

      • hugo melo

        I agree with wha t Armando says. As for pacing and ending a film, editing and slight narrative changes can do miraculous to achieve fluidity in that regard. It’s been done before many times and very sucessfully.

  • AJD1984

    And that is why he’s taking the material from the appendices and material that Tolikien published after the Lord of the Rings to expand the bridge between The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring. Theres so much more to this world that needs to be explored and make The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings flow consistently. From this movie genius who loves this world as a director and fan I welcome this move.

  • Justin

    Ugh, I’m not sure I’m interested in this anymore now. I mean, I was kind of on board when they had Del Toro directing it, and then they lost my interest with Peter Jackson back on board, but they drew my attention back in with Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry and Billy Connolly, but… god, 2 movies was stretching it, I don’t think I can care enough for three. It just seems like not only are they trying to milk the shit out of the last most recognizable part of Tolkien’s books, but that Peter Jackson is either really money hungry now, or he’s just afraid to do anything but these movies after King Kong and The Lovely Bones. God I miss some of his old work. The Frighteners was a fucking blast.

    • Phil Beta

      Dead Alive was his epitome.

      • Justin

        Dead Alive was a fantastic movie, but I just love the cast in the Frighteners. Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey Combs, Jake Busey, Chi McBride, lovely lovely cast and absolutely top notch special effects despite Weta’s inexperience with computer technology.

      • Phil Beta

        I agree with The Frighteners cast. First time I saw it I was 10 and it really gave me some nightmares. And the work of early Weta was already speaking for its future. Too bad Trini Alvarado never stole the spotlight again, cause I liked her so much in that movie.

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  • Phil Beta

    Unless he’s considering including some flashbacks of Silmarillion folklore (like Elrond’s vision of Arwen’s fate), three movies would bust a possible nice plot.

    If I can’t care enough for the movies after the 48fps shooting, this would be like a killer for my interest.

  • Ethan

    “I greet this news with a mix of excitement and apprehension” sums it up for me.

    • AgentOfFate

      Ya for sure, that sums it up for me too. I am worried that there’s not quite enough material there to make an epic and meaningful third movie after the two hobbit films. Though I am reassured in the fact that if anybody can do it it is Jackson, who obviously has a familiarity and love for all things Lord of the Rings.

    • Grayden

      He shot a lot more stuff from the Last Alliance for the Prologue of Fellowship, so I could see him putting elements from the Silmarillion in there, but I don’t know in what context. I haven’t read The Hobbit so I don’t what flashbacks there are, if any, of the First or Second Ages. But I would LOVE to see ancient Middle Earth.

  • aaronsullivan

    Irks me a bit to see people complain about movies not being true to the books — missing this and missing that — and also complaining about a cash grab when a book is split up into more than one movie.

    Let’s face it. TV has been the only place for enduring long form character storytelling for awhile now with only an occasional blip of movie magic. One such blip was the LOTR trilogy. Please, Peter, while you have the power to do so, go for it. It’s risky, but they were all looking at what they already have and making the decision as opposed to making a guess at the start, so I’m for it.

    • junierizzle

      They don’t have to include every little thing.

      • Acucsctcicn

        Then don’t complain when they aren’t exactly to the book

  • Traffick

    Why are there so many doubters? First off, this will be taken from The Hobbit and “appendices,” so there’s plenty of material to justify a trilogy. And lest we forget, the Battle of the Five Armies and Gandalf’s battle with the Necromancer are MASSIVE events that are given very little narration in the text, but can and will be expanded on the screen (as Jackson rightfully did with Helms Deep).

    And now Jackson says he’s gonna do the Battle of Dol Guldur?? Fuck to the fucking yes, how could you not be more excited. So much epicness in that separate story line alone.

    • CROM

      Thankyou! I’m glad there’s someone other than me that seems grateful for the epicness that will unfold. So many “expert opinions” from non-movie makers on here. I’m psyched for these films. I didn’t even know about the events that you mentioned, ie Necromancer and the battle etc but still trust the director of Lord of the Rings and Kong to make epic movies.

    • Jimmy Dean

      Here here. Agree completely. Where’s all the hate coming from? Everyone complained about what Jackson was doing with the previous trilogy while he was making it and revealing some bits he was changing / expanding on. Everyone said and knew it was either going to be amazing or a complete disaster. I can’t think of a single person who looks back and thinks any of it was any less than a masterpiece.

      His old work was amazing and his trilogy was amazing. I don’t really care about King Kong or Lovely Bones, he’s back where he wants to be apparently, so let him do what he loves. There’s so much there! Also, as far as I’m aware with his apprehension concerning The Hobbit, I was under the impression he was always involved with Del Toro and the only reason he didn’t want to do it personally was because he knew he’d pour so much into it. Doesn’t sound like a negative from the fan’s aspect to me.

      • CROM

        I think all this negativity and hate and trolling must be coming from a river of pink slime running beneath the earths crust!
        Some people just need some love. Obviously from troubled homes, no friends, spotty bottoms with matching faces. Drench-junk from not washing and sitting infront of computer games all day not realizing their odor issues, maintaining their Emo scowl in the mirror. etc.. Think is, no matter what movies ever come out, no matter how awesome, time consuming and passionate a project ever is, these trolls will merely spot holes, minor flaws, isnt Marvel or DC, either a films too long (short attention spans, combined with fat asses getting jiggety in their theatre seats) strays from a book, is too much like a book, blah blah blahhh insert boring gripes here….

        People are too spoiled today.

      • ScaredForMovies

        Pink Slime under the earth making everyone hate everything. That sounds like the plot from Ghostbusters 2.

  • junierizzle

    I loved the book a much as the next guy but three movies is pushing it. It’s hard to get excited for the first one when you know the conclusion is two years away.

  • junierizzle

    They should gave let del toro do it. He would’ve made one awesome movie.

    • Anonymous

      Actually Del Toro was still going to do two movies, not one.

  • Sean

    I was initially apprehensive about this, but based on the way this decision was reached, I’m becoming more excited. Sounds like Peter Jackson has fallen in love with the material again in a big way. Based on the last trilogy, that seems like it can only mean another great Christmas at the movies for us!

  • junierizzle

    Can you really call it a trilogy if the first two are “to be continued”? I mean isn’t really just one long ass movie. That’s what LOTR is.

  • ScaredForMovies

    If you didn’t like The Lord of the Rings complain away. But if you did like the Lord of the Rings and are still complaining you’re a fool. I like Del Toro but complaining that these movies will suck without him is moronic. Did he make the original trilogy? No, Peter Jackson did and until he makes a bad Hobbit movie you really have nothing to be negative about. There’s plenty of awesome material in the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales to justify an expansion.

  • Bill

    1. This new film is going to come out December 2014, not summer. They’ll push it back six months because no way do they want to break tradition.

    2. Title change for Part 2 perhaps? Maybe THE HOBBIT 2: THERE in 2013. Then THE HOBBIT 3: AND BACK AGAIN in 2014. Lol

  • Bill

    1. This new film is going to come out December 2014, not summer. They\’ll push it back six months because no way do they want to break tradition.

    2. Title change for Part 2 perhaps? Maybe THE HOBBIT 2: THERE in 2013. Then THE HOBBIT 3: AND BACK AGAIN in 2014. Lol

  • sense 11

    YESSSSS :) this news makes me a happy man

    • MisterEd

      I had this same reaction back in 1997 when the Star Wars prequels were made official.

      And also had a similar reaction when Prometheus was suppose to be some sort of prequel to Alien.

      Now, I’m not having that same reaction anymore. Not after those two experiences. And not after the relatively disappointing movies Jackson has made before this one.

      • Jetset67

        A prequel written by George Lucas and some fake quasi-prequal for alien are far from a similar situation to the hobbit which comes from outstanding source material. And you must realize that most of Jackson work before and after LOTR is bad but he just somehow gets it right with middle earth.

  • Chris138

    This is really dampening my interest in these movies. Two movies was more than enough, now he’s making three?

    Others have said it before me, but this smells like a cash grab.

  • Sauron the deceiver

    If this is done well and true to the books then it could be amazing. There is so much material to play with and this may be the only time it is ever dramatised for the big screen.

    Looking back at the lord of the rings, i could grudgingly accept the simplifications that were made to squeeze an epic novel into film format. The issues I have are when Jackson invented things of his own. He was particularly culpable of this in the two towers: the elves turning up at helm\’s deep; banishing eomer and thereby writing him and his friendship with Aragorn out of the film; Aragorn falling off a cliff for another \’is he dead\’ moment; the nets deciding to do nothing and pippin\’s ridiculous ruse, etc… All such developments had the effect of undermining the plot and diminishing the world and it\’s characters.

    So please, mr Jackson, weave the necromancer story into the hobbit quest leading to an epic battle in part 3, but don\’t have bilbo galavanting after gandalf to dol goldur with a dozen elf maidens in his wake!!!

    • Andy T.

      I just heard about this a short while ago, and of the comments I’ve read thus far, this one is closest to my own reaction.

      Yes, all of those changes and additions in LOTR annoyed the hell out of me too – another one was Faramir’s extended capture of Frodo and his inexplicable “We understand each other” reversal.

      However I was just thinking about the Extended versions of the LOTR – ones I actually saw in one the few theatre screenings around the country and also own on disc – and was reflecting on how that quite a bit of the added material was NOT annoying deviation from Tolkien Canon, but rather welcome inclusions of things from the novels that I’d rather have seen in the first place. So with this announcement of 3 installments of the Hobbit movie, I can only hope that the expansion is what “expanded versions” of the 2 planned movies would have been on DVD release.

      The apprehension is just how they frame all of the Appendix material – many years ago after finishing one of my first readings of LOTR, I did eagerly read through the appendix, and while the extra knowledge was good to have, simplified outlines of events are far different from items that were not directly included in the narrative of The Hobbit, and, in fact, weren’t really part of the story that JRRT wrote in the 1930s, but were part of the “grew with the telling” process that came with LOTR. I hope Jackson can pull it off without making a mess of things.

  • TIm

    I’m like a giddy school girl hearing this. YEAH!

  • Dylan d

    cash grab sure, but i think from Peter’s perspective he actually wants to tell a more complete story, he is so invested in this tale, that he wants to put everything on the table, before he finishes off Middle Earth, perhaps even make the third film lead in the LOTR making it one long tale, sure theres a chance it could be a misstep, but i will reserve judgement and give them the benefit of the doubt, after all, the last time Peter, Fran, and Phillipa took us to Middle Earth, well i think it went ok ;)

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    Let’s see. Where else has there been a prequel made into 3 looong movies? Oh, right. Star Wars.

    • MisterEd

      Let’s face it, Lucas only had ONE more Star Wars movie in him. The entire story told in those 3 movies could’ve been told in just one.
      Revenge of the Sith should’ve been the only prequel. The stuff about Anakin’s childhood and growing up as a Padawan could’ve been told either by brief flashbacks or just by having someone explain that with some dialogue. The rest of the film would’ve been about Anakin’s fall and Vader’s rise to power.
      But so many out there in Hollywood believe that such simple stories need to be stretched out into 3 long movies.

      I’m sorry but The Hobbit (which is the book the movies are suppose to be based on) was a relatively short book that you can read in one single afternoon. I understand that Jackson is diggin’ into the appendixes and other related material just to justify making 3 films. But it’s such an unnecessary thing to do.

      IMO, Jackson is only doing this to secure his people back home in New Zealand a paycheck. Which is a noble thing to do. But there is the risk of turning all their work into something that could give fans of the books and films an unnecessary disappointment.

  • TIm

    FACT: Everyone who is complaining will actually still watch them and say how awesome this trilogy is.

  • Anonymous

    Gandalf vs The Necromancer is incredibly important to the story of LotR. Many folks haven’t read the appendices and have zero idea just how important. I am incredibly excited for this and you should be too!

  • Javan

    Gandalf vs The Necromancer is incredibly important to the story of LotR. Many folks haven\’t read the appendices and have zero idea just how important. I am incredibly excited for this and you should be too!

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  • eowyn

    I hope this will not be the Star Wars prequels’ second coming…

  • eowyn

    I hope this will not be the Star Wars prequels\’ second coming…

  • eowyn

    I hope this will not be the Star Wars prequels\\\’ second coming…

  • Conor

    The largest difference between this and the Star Wars prequel trilogy is that the stories of the Hobbit, Unfinished Tales, and The Silmarillion (used sparingly, cinematically) were written by JRR TOLKIEN and ALL are being used in concert by Jackson, Walsh, and company.

    J.R.R. Tolkien, not George Lucas. A master-class writer whose story is being adapted by a man who already did so with one of the former’s stories & won nearly twenty Academy Awards (amongst countless others), critical acclaim, and fan certification. This will be more than fine… Possibly legendary cinema.

    Some people just don’t think.

    • MisterEd

      Yeah some people just don’t think, do they?

      Like the ones that don’t notice that Peter Jackson and Co. are merely hacking away at what J.R.R. Tolkien wrote. They have that advantage of taking a a flawless literary work and creating a film around it. Lucas didn’t have that for his prequels. He barely had enough story for ONE movie.

      Now, what is being compared here, is that there could be a similar situation where 3 movies are being made when only one should’ve been made. And by taking the original concept behind The Hobbit to try and fill up 3 films (each 2.5/3 hour long), it can be stretched way too thin. The extra material was left out of it for a reason. Even the stuff written later, was always supposed to be a separate thing. Again, for a good reason.

      In any case, Lucas is not the only example of a director/filmmaker/Hollywood exec trying and failing to recapture some past glories. We’ve had some RECENT examples of that. Especially with some terrible remakes (The Thing/Fright Night) or relatively weak sequels (Crystal Skull/Tron 2).

      And then you got Jackson’s unimpressive films stint since finishing up TLotR trilogy. Disappointing stuff.

      • Conor


        Noun: The action or process of adapting or being adapted.

        A movie, television drama, or stage play that has been adapted from a written work, typically a novel.

        Synonyms: accommodation – adjustment – arrangement


        In other words: Not hacked- modified. We will see over the next three years which one of us is right.

  • JohnDoe

    First everyone bitched that things were left out of the LotR trilogy, now people are bitching that he wants to include everything and more. Some people will never be satisfied.

    I don’t equate this with the Star Wars prequels, because A) Peter Jackson is definitely not George Lucas, and B) there is a wealth of canon material that he can use to flesh out his stories and characters in the movies.

    Some people make it seem like the first trilogy was an epic failure, both critically and commercially, and he has no business making three films again. Look, if this turns out to be an epic disaster, and Jackson becomes the new Lucas, and The Hobbit is the new prequel trilogy, then I will eat my words.

  • agent_black

    To all those that say “cash grab” this is by no means a certainty. If you do a bit of research, you will find that Del Toro only dropped out because the studio did not greenlight the film when planned as they were not willing to finance such an ambitious and costly project in the current economic crisis and the project was in limbo for 2 years or more. Same happened with with Skyfall, we are talking about an economy where almost nothing is a certainty.

    It is Jackson and the creative team that have been pushing the studio for a trilogy, not the moneymen. It will be expensive to make a 3rd movie and more risky, it’s not a guaranteed windfall.

  • Arnold

    Riddles In The Dark sounds unlikely since it showed up in da 1st trailer, desolation of smaug is more appropriate. Extremely excited tat pete make one more Middle Earth movie cuz i don\’t want the films to end so quickly :)

  • Anonymous

    cha chinnnnng

  • Ricky

    cha chinnnnng

  • hugo melo

    I agree with wha t Armando says. As for pacing and ending a film, editing and slight narrative changes can do miracles to achieve fluidity in that regard. It\’s been done before many times and very sucessfully.

  • Luke

    I don’t know what the battle of Dol Guldur is. But if I want to see big battle war scenes, I just watch the lord of the rings. I was hoping that the Hobbit would be more of a fantasy adventure journey, like Fellowship of the ring, and not be focussed on big war battles.

  • Luke

    I don\’t know what the battle of Dol Guldur is. But if I want to see big battle war scenes, I just watch the lord of the rings. I was hoping that the Hobbit would be more of a fantasy adventure journey, like Fellowship of the ring, and not be focused on big war battles.

  • Jack

    I’m still excited to see these, but I think they’re pushing their luck with this.

  • Scott

    I have concerns after the worthless King Kong, but since Jack Black hasn’t been cast as Thorin Oakenshield, I have hope. As far as the Hobbit being a flawless wasn’t. It was a kids book with the Elves in particular being closer to Keebler Elves than LOTR elves. It didn’t flow into the LOTR at all, and needed major rewriting to fit.
    Here’s hoping.

  • Jean Jacques

    Everybody will get the version he/she wants. If the theatrical version is not satisfying for most people, a couple of months later they will release the Director\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s cut which will be longer or shorter.

    I hope Jackson will not stretch itt too thin with countless songs and poems and helcopter shots of people wandering about

  • Jean Jacques

    Everybody will get the version he/she wants. If the theatrical version is not satisfying for most people, a couple of months later they will release the Director’s cut which will be longer or shorter.

    I hope Jackson will not stretch itt too thin with countless songs and poems and helcopter shots of people wandering about

  • Kal-El

    So…we criticize George Lucas for doing the prequels (and not going back to do any other films), yet, Jackson get’s praised…hahaha

  • Kal-El

    So…we criticize George Lucas for doing the prequels (and not going back to do any other films), yet, Jackson get\’s praised…hahaha

    • ScaredForMovies

      Lucas gets criticized because he had a nerd-gasm and cgi-ed the shit out of the prequels. He should have kept the effects practical and used cgi sparingly. He also didn’t direct most people’s favourite which was Empire. Besides that Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen was terrible.

  • Han Solo

    I really think everyone is making too big of a deal about this; Peter Jackson along with Hollywood are going to go on making gigantic movies. Isn’t it better they tell the wonderful tales of Tolkien and not another cheesy remake? I’m currently on a business trip for Dish, during my off time I’m on the internet a lot keeping up with subjects of interest. I believe I have seen Peter Jackson more than prove himself with LOTR in all it’s beauty and mystery. Using my Blockbuster @Home mail service, I’m looking forward to watching the LOTR trilogy again on my frequent travels; I know I will have a missed connection or two where a grand adventure with Gandalf would be wonderful.

  • jktomas


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  • bro2044

    GEEZ we’re a spoiled people, to be complaining about the possibility of 3 Peter Jackson directed HOBBIT films. In a world filled with constant movie GARBAGE, you get this wonderful opportunity from a great director who loves Tolkien to expand the story and connect it better to the other set of movies in LOTR and people are WHINING and COMPLAINING. hahahahaha, “I won’t be interested anymore if they do this!” Come on! So what, next year and in 2014 you’ll have another movie to look forward to, instead of some stupid unnecessary remake of Back to the Future, or another unfunny rom-com with a cliche plot. Get over it, its going to be done well and worth the cost/wait.

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