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It’s official – there will be a third ‘Hobbit’ movie!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey posterPress Release

Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:30pm EDT

Peter Jackson’s Long-Awaited Filmed Adaptation of The Hobbit to be a Trilogy

New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Third Film in The Hobbit Trilogy

Peter Jackson will make a third film in his upcoming adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Jackson, the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker behind the blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, recently wrapped principal photography on what he originally planned to be a two-film adaptation of The Hobbit, which is set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings.

Jackson stated, “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together. 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.’ We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and—lastly, and most importantly—we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I’m delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”

Emmerich stated, “We completely support Peter and his vision for bringing this grand adventure to the screen over the course of three films. Peter, Fran and Philippa’s reverence for the material and understanding of these characters ensure an exciting and expanded journey that is bound to please fans around the world.”

“With the abundance of rich material, we fully endorse the decision to further develop what Peter, Fran and Philippa have already begun. We are confident that, with the great care the filmmakers have taken to faithfully bring this journey to the screen, the film will be welcomed by the legions of fans across the globe,” said Barber and Birnbaum.

Robinov added, “Peter, Fran and Philippa have lived in this world and understand more than anyone its tremendous breadth and scope, and the relationships that bind it together. We strongly support their vision to bring this great work fully to life.”

The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film releasing on December 13, 2013, and the third film slated for summer 2014. All three films will be released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes three films based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The trilogy of films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Returning cast members from “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy also include Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis as “Gollum.” The international ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.

The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and its successive installments are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

About New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema continues to be one of the most successful independent film companies. For more than 40 years, its mission has been to produce innovative, popular, profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line produced the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which is a landmark in the history of film franchises. New Line Cinema is a division of Warner Bros.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns one of the world’s largest library of modern films, comprising approximately 4,000 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, and MGM Music. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international TV channels reaching over 130 countries. For more information, visit

Warner Bros. Pictures
Stephanie Phillips
(818) 954-2351
New Line Cinema
Candice McDonough
(310) 967-6991

Third ‘Hobbit’ film could become a reality

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey posterThe Los Angeles Times recently posted that Warner Bros. unit, New Line Cinemas, and director Peter Jackson are looking into the possibility of a third installment for The Hobbit.

Jackson mentioned briefly during the recent Comic-Con in San Diego earlier this month that they had enough material to comprise a third movie. The material in question is in the form of notes made by the author Tolkien which can be found as the Appendices of the book The Return of the King.

“There are 125 pages of notes published at the back of ‘Return of the King’ in one of the later editions. It was called The Appendices, and they are essentially [Tolkien’s] expanded Hobbit notes. So we had the rights to those as well and were allowed to use them,” said Jackson, in an interview with Deadline. “We haven’t just adapted ‘The Hobbit’; we’ve adapted that book plus great chunks of his appendices and woven it all together. The movie explains where Gandalf goes; the book never does. We’ve explained it using Tolkien’s own notes. That helped inform the tone of the movie, because it allowed us to pull in material he wrote in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ era and incorporate it with ‘The Hobbit.'”

Regardless of having enough material for a third film, there is still the matter of whether new deals can be made with numerous right-holders and the actors. At present, talks have been underway with Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen, two of the chief actors in the upcoming The Hobbit films.

One thing that worries fans about a third installment of The Hobbit is how will it affect the first two films? Will plot lines be changed, and would the climatic battle at the end of The Hobbit be held back for the third film?

The Lord of the Rings worked as a trilogy of films because it already existed as a trilogy of books. But The Hobbit is only one book. As the LA Times has noted, breaking a single book up into more than one movie seems to be the ‘in thing’ in Hollywood lately. However, “there is no known precedent for turning one book into three films.”

Will The Hobbit work as three films? Is there really that much more material in the appendices of The Return of the King to contribute to, not take away from, the story? Like Mike Fleming from Deadline said, “As a fan of LOTR, I’m concerned.”