It started out as a rumor – Peter Jackson had so much B-roll from shooting the two Hobbit films, that he was considering creating a trilogy. Jackson denied it, and the studios backing the project shot down the talk left and right. Then, right after the San Diego Comic Con, a third Hobbit movie was announced, new contracts were signed, and fans are left wondering, “Do we really need THREE Hobbit movies?”

Short answer, “Yes.”

For the longer answer, we need to delve a bit deeper into what Jackson is bringing to the screen, and how this is ultimately beneficial to filmmakers.


As much as Tolkien fans may want to see it happen, the chances of The Silmarillion becoming a feature franchise, is near impossible. First, the material is so dense that it would take at least nine movies to get it all in. Second, the concepts and ideas – starting with the creation myth and moving to the Third Age, would be difficult to translate, thus causing many viewers to walk away confused. Heck, there are expanses of the book that read like an oral family tree with this character begetting that character, and so on. This would have a negative effect for the future films, that include the all important “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.”

Though there are only 20 pages describing Saurons emergences as the main power in the Second Age of Middle-earth, the creation of The One Ring, and ultimately how Isildur was ambushed in the Gladden Fields, with the ring falling in the River Anduin, helps make Gollum’s story more complete.

While the Lord of the Rings Appendices contain some of the information regarding the creation of the Nine Rings, we never got to see it on the screen in the Lord of the Rings movies. The Silmarillion is a guide to the entire creation of Tolkien’s world, and there are some very cool and important aspects of that book that can be brought to the screen to help bridge The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories for general audiences.


Speaking of the Appendices, there have been a number of reports that have given hints at what Jackson may include in the Hobbit trilogy. Regardless of how the story is broken up over three films, the story of the Dwarves, and the fall of Lonely Mountain, the creation of the Rings, and what exactly Gandalf was doing when he disappeared for chapters at a time, only helps to make the story seem more logical. For many, seeing Saraman being a force of “good” in The Hobbit, is going to cause confusion when it comes to The Lord of the Rings, so seeing him change to a force of “evil” in these movies is something that is really needed.

One of the biggest cop-outs I felt Tolkien did in The Hobbit was downplay the Battle of the Five Armies. Bilbo getting bonked on the head, and being taken out for much of the fight left little for those who were waiting for descriptions of an epic battle. Though I don’t think Jackson will take an entire movie to show this brawl to end it all, it is still something I want to see in more detail than simply having Gandalf recount the events, with Bilbo and Thorin making amends in a few short moments before Thorin kicks the bucket.


While many people hearing the news of the trilogy will instantly jump to the conclusion that this is being done simply as a money grab, is that really a bad thing? For decades now, the concept of the tent-pole film has been used to help the movie industry has a whole. If a big movie trilogy like The Hobbit can bring in billions of dollars (which I hope it does), what will the studio do with all that money? The company is not going to leave it in a bank gathering dust, they are going to fund other movies, those with smaller budgets, or those that are a bit outside the mainstream in order to make even more money. For the studio, the success of The Hobbit movies only means good things for movie fans as a whole, as future Mementos, 300s, and Sin Citys can be funded without worry.


Sadly, this is going to be Peter Jackson’s last foray into Middle Earth, and if he can go out with a majestic bang, then more power to him. The studios have already committed to three films, they are going to happen if for nothing else than to finish the story so audiences are not left hanging. If one looks at the Hobbit as a complete story, it’s the subtle way the new material is interwoven into the current content that will make the story expand to three films. I don’t want to sit in a theater for four hours per film, and if that means we need to head back to the movieplex three times in the next two years, in order to get a more complete story, and if the money made will fund other film projects, then I’m all for it.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. Kevin Kortekaas
    August 3, 2012 at 11:38 am — Reply

    They absolutely need to make three Hobbit movies, it’s a great series, and Peter Jackson has a great feel for the thematic elements. Plus, how else am I going to get 24 hours of Middle Earth in?

  2. Georgedubya
    August 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    I say yes, simply because having a third movie will allow us to see Gandalf and Radagast doing battle with the Necromancer.

    Think about that for a minute.

    Gandalf – Ian McKellan
    Radagast – Sylvester McCoy
    The Necromancer – Benedict Cumberbatch

    So Magneto and the Doctor will be fighting Sherlock Holmes. I think I’ve made my point.

    • August 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm — Reply

      Well you took my point.

      • ~wyntermute~
        August 4, 2012 at 1:06 am — Reply

        Aw crap… I was going to give these a pass, but with Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) as Bilbo, and Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) as The Necromancer… Aw hell. I might have to see these at some point, since I’m FANATICALLY in love with the BBC’s “Sherlock” series.

  3. Frank
    August 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm — Reply

    My biggest concern is watering down the Hobbit. If you keep on adding more and more ancillary material to the base material, when will it stop being the ‘Hobbit’ and start being a conglomeration of material.

  4. Lee Smith (SawHat on BGG)
    August 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm — Reply

    Ugh. I’m out.
    I got numb-butt from all of the elfy yammering in the Lord of the Rings movies, and that was three big books squeezed into three long movies. I can’t imagine how boring the shorter Hobbit book will be when it’s drug out to three long movies (OK, we’re walking, we’re walking, we’re walking…). All the crap that will be added to this set of movies was edited out of the book for a reason. If you want to see a wizardy three-way (and who doesn’t), make that a seperate film. But I don’t really care to go into ten minutes of CSI detail on what Bilbo had for thirdsies at second breakfast.

  5. Rob
    August 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm — Reply

    It’s difficult to see how the simple tale of a Hobbit’s journey there and back again can be streched to three movies and I’ve never been a fan of the Simarillion. Having said that I have faith in Peter Jackson to craft entertaining stories that stand on their own without being shackled to a book.

  6. StellarLeader
    August 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    I remembered when I first knew that the elfs were going to be in Helm’s deep. I thought “but that makes no sense at all! Elves don’t like men, they have nothing to do in that battle! This is going to ruin the movie, Jackson is crazy” etc, etc. But then I watched the movie. Then I read the book again and when I got to the Helm’s Deep battle I thought “well, this would have been so much better with the elves!”.
    So, ok, I’m not that sure I want to see a trilogy about ‘The Hobbit’, but if that means we’ll see more of Beörn, more worges, the Necromancer and more of the Battle of the Five Armies, I’m totally into it.
    I just thought, since Peter Jackson is going to make a cameo in the movies and they are adding material, wouldn’t it be awesome if Jackson’s character is named Tom? ;)

  7. Oldcomicfan
    August 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm — Reply

    Do we NEED a third Hobbit movie?


    Do we WANT a third Hobbit movie?

    Hell, yes! Throw that sucker up on the screen and let’s scarf popcorn!

    There is plenty of space after the Battle of 5 Armies for another whole movie. Bilbo’s journey home occupied barely a paragraph in the book, though Tolkien mentioned in one sentence that Bilbo had plenty of other adventures on his journey home. Leaving Radagast, The Necromancer, Sarutan (sorry, Tolkien purists, but I am a great fan of the parody “Bored of the Rings”), and the elves aside, that one sentence leaves the field wide open. Peter Jackson has shown infinite respect to the source material with the Lord of the Rings, and yet is experienced enough at film making that he knows when things need a little spicing up instead of a slavish following Tolkien word for word and producing a snore-fest full of dry ancient tales. Given that with this third film, Jackson will have, pretty much, exhausted the filmable Tolkien material (unless some of the latest generation of Tolkiens decides to dabble in fantasy), I look forward to seeing his Hobbit trilogy.

  8. wdchefdave
    August 4, 2012 at 9:03 am — Reply

    I read “The Hobbit” and “The Book of Merlin” at about the same year.
    Both were small for paperbacks.
    I never finished “The Hobbit”!
    Why doesn’t somebody jump on “The Once And Future King” and try not to make 5 movies out of that stuff!?!?
    I have traveled all over the world, and the only paperback I have carried with me for reading in airports and hotel rooms is Ted E. White’s “The Once And Future King”!
    I love Peter Jackson’s work… especially “King Kong”… so let’s get on with all this Hobbit stuff… and onward to a more knightly venture!

    • August 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm — Reply

      Disney kind of already has T.H. White wrapped up with their adaptation of the work into The Sword and the Stone. Good luck getting them to relinquish that…

  9. wdchefdave
    August 4, 2012 at 9:07 am — Reply

    That would be Ted H. White… as I self correct.
    Brain fart!

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