Astonishing Anouncement: Late Again, Mr Potter (Frodo)?

As you have probably (possibly, if you even read my posts, anonymous bloggers and kind visitors/clickers of this blog) noticed, I tend to get to things later than the rest of the world. This means I am constantly using “late” in my post somewhere, or forgetting to post completely, or deciding to do a long post filled with a week’s worth of doings in one go.

So it won’t surprise you that I only discovered yesterday that The Hobbit is being made into a TRILOGY. I got quite a shock, really, when I was emailed by a friend and fellow LOTR fan, asking my opinion on the decision. Because, as I said, I had NO IDEA. Which is quite shameful, actually. So, I immediately went on a frantic hunt for news, delving into The One Ring.net, always a great place for Tolkien related info, the official Hobbit movie website, and two articles from other websites. I also discovered that I could view Peter Jackson’s facebook page, although I don’t have one myself. It must be public, I presumed.

This is what he wrote (taken directly from his facebook page, and all rights go to him, and so forth):

An unexpected journey
by Peter Jackson on Monday, 30 July 2012 at 08:30 ·

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.”

Cheers,

Peter J

I really like his profile picture – he looks like a real hobbit (his children, who acted as little hobbitlings in LOTR The Fellowship of the Ring, were the only ones who didn’t need wigs. I guess they got it from their dad, huh?)

So, it’s been 2 WHOLE WEEKS since the announcement – I’m definitely behind the times.

For anyone who’s been under a rock for even longer than me, The Hobbit was originally split into two movies; An Unexpected Journey and There And Back Again, and was helmed by the at first reluctant Sir Peter Jackson, who seems to have caught the Tolkien fever again. The first movie is to premier on 13th December, at midnight, in Wellington, New Zealand. I am looking forward to it immensely – I may be driven down from Auckland as an early birthday present from my parents to be there 🙂

The Comic-con exclusive Hobbit poster, with Gandalf on the front. Brilliant!

I’ve seen the official trailer several times, and loved it each time – especially the dwarfish song – really beautiful, and quite haunting…I’m anticipating the score; hopefully it will be just as good as LOTR’s, if not better – although they don’t have much time, as they’ve got three months to finish up special effects, polish things, split the footage into three films, add scenes to the first movie, finish editing and make sure there is a score, all in time for An Unexpected Journey‘s premier. Which is a lot to do. But, from the snippets in the trailer, I remain hopeful!

As for my thoughts on this sudden change….well. I’m not ecstatic, by any means.

Having The Hobbit split into to two films seemed reasonable to me – Peter Jackson, as he himself has noted, doesn’t really do short films, and as he was drawing from the appendices and the Silmarillion, as well as fleshing up characters like the dwarves, I thought that two films would give him the time and space to make The Hobbit come to life in a convincing and breathtakingly moving way. (Although, I have to admit, I really don’t get why Sam and Frodo cry so much in the LOTR movies. Once or twice, great, fine, it adds to the scene and causes audiences to empathise, but almost the entire last film? That’s overdoing it a bit in my opinion.)

Somehow, stretching it out into three films is, in my opinion, going a bit too far. I get that Jackson’s fleshed out the story, even going as far as to add a completely original character, a female to counterbalance all those men (which I totally approve of, by the way, and foresee that she’ll be having lines that people may recognise from other characters in the books, or may resemble a heroine from the Silmarillion a bit in some ways.). I love that. It’s one of the great things about adaptations – you can play around a bit as you make the book suited to film (not too much, though). But three films…I’m just a bit uncertain if the main narrative will be able to be maintained, if Jackson is adding so much that the footage has to be split into three films. After all, The Hobbit is substantially shorter than The Lord Of The Rings.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not booing the idea, just saying that it’s a bit of a leap for me, and that I think I’ll wait until December, and the first film, to decide. What about you? I’ve read some great things about The Hobbit becoming a trilogy, and some critique (which is headed by “it’s just another money-making scheme”). Do you agree with that assessment? Or are you looking forward to the trilogy all the more now?

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