PETER JACKSON will make a third film in his upcoming adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduringly-popular masterpiece The Hobbit.
This was jointly announced recently by Toby Emmerich, president and chief operating officer of New Line Cinema; Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, co-chairmen and chief executive officers of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios; and Jeff Robinov, president of 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 said: “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, [screenwriters] Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together.
“We recognised 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 realise this complex and wonderful adventure.”
He said he is delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros are equally enthusiastic about bringing this expansive tale across three films.
Emmerich said he completely supported Jackson and his vision for bringing the 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.”
Birnbaum said he and Barber fully endorsed the decision to further develop what the others had 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.”
Robinov added that “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 on Dec 14, with the second film releasing on Dec 13, 2013. The third film is slated for summer 2014.
All three films, directed by Jackson, will be released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX.
The trilogy of films are set 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 taking on 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 as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas Greenleaf, Ian Holm as the old Bilbo Baggins, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, and Andy Serkis as “Gollum”.
The international ensemble cast also includes John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton and Barry Humphries.
Others are 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 Walsh, Boyens, Jackson and Guillermo del Toro.
Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Walsh.
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.http://www.thesundaily.my/news/453219