Peter Jackson revealed at Comic Con that he's got enough material to make a third Hobbit movie, so it comes as absolutely no surprise that he's confirmed the third film on his Facebook page today. At Comic Con, Jackson said he had "incredible source material" that he wanted to do something with.
"The Hobbit is obviously the novel, but we also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes that Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit that's published at the end of Return of the King. We've used some of that so far, just in the last few weeks as we've been prepping out the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story," explained Jackson. "Eventually Philippa [Boyens] and Fran [Walsh] and I have been talking to the studio about other things that we haven't been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting. It'll be more than a few weeks actually, a bit of shooting, additional shooting next year."
And today on Facebook, Jackson made it official that there will be another Hobbit film:
"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.'
Jackson/New Line/Warner Bros haven't confirmed the release date for this third film, although the summer of 2014 has been mentioned. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives on December 14th followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013.
(Photo © Warner Bros/New Line Cinema)