With the truly successful Lord of the Rings trilogy in his back pocket, Mr. Jackson and his producers believe they may be able to squeeze every last penny out of your pocket by turning The Hobbit into a trilogy, not two separate films as originally thought. Nothing is official, yet, but if you were developing a movie – with mult-Academy Award winning related movies under your belt – wouldn’t you like to see how much money people would throw at you? (If you watch one part, you have to watch the others, obviously!)
Here is where I say we stand up and protest! My fellow geeks, nerds, Hobbits, and friends, we must fight against this sort of tyranny and demand studios stop with splitting up stories into multiple films.
Ok, here’s where we are going to have some problems, Mr. Jackson. As much as I adored your LOTR trilogy, splitting up The Hobbit into three separate films is just ludicrous and it could be suggested as an insult to storytelling. How could you take a wildly popular novel – that is hardly that long to begin with – and split it into three separate parts. That’s like saying you’re going to buy a delicious chocolate milkshake from Portillo’s and suck down a third of it now, a third of it next year, and drink the rest two years from when you bought it. I don’t want it in parts, I want the whole damn thing now.
When it came down to it, splitting up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two separate movies completely ruined the structure of the story the book told. Although there was so much to be said, it ruined the experience of it all.
The first film ended so abruptly, without a considerable climax, right when things were picking up, that it didn’t feel like a movie. And then all the sudden in the second film you had to actually go back and remember what was going on in order to understand what was going on. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows should have been told as one long epic film. I would have rather sat there for one big picture than have two films that felt completely different.
Mr. Jackson told ComingSoon during Comic-Con earlier this month why it could be possible to cut three films:
“We’ve used more source material than ‘The Hobbit.’ For instance in ‘The Hobbit’ when Gandalf mysteriously disappears for chapters, it was never really explained where he’s gone. Much later Tolkien filled in those details. In these appendices he did talk about what happened. And it was all together a lot darker and more serious than what is written in ‘The Hobbit’. And also to be honest I want to make a series of movies that run together so if any crazy lunatic wants to watch them all in a row there will be a consistency to it, a consistency of tone.
“So I don’t want to make a children’s story to go into ‘The Lord of the Rings’ so we are providing a balance. I mean a lot of the comedy and the charm comes from the characters. You’re dealing with Bilbo Baggins who is a bit more reluctant to go on an adventure than Frodo was and with Dwarves who have a personality and camaraderie all of their own, so there’s a lot of humor but there are still some serious themes involved.”
That’s nice that you went out of your way to create extra scenes to fill in gaps, I truly appreciate you are trying to give the audience more than just a straight adaptation. But keep it to one film.
I, like so many others, shrugged this off as a joke, not taking his threats so seriously, but now it seems like it may become a reality. Recently, a very close source to the production told The Hollywood Reporter:
“If we’re going to do it, we have to make a decision soon. It’s strongly driven by the filmmakers’ desire to tell more of the story. It’s about taking the chance to tell more of the incredible tale with the cast we have assembled.”
Yes, with three films you would probably be able to convey the story, brick by brick. But come on, this is an adaptation. There are ways around speeding up a story without ruining the integrity of the film. Each of the LOTR books were just as long if not longer than The Hobbit and look how well those films turned out.
I just read The Hobbit for the first time about a year ago in anticipation for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again, but I never saw the slight inclination where they would want to split the book into two movies.
If Peter Jackson is able to create three separate films that feel whole and are able to stand on their own without leaning on each other for structural storytelling support than I’m all for this. I already had my doubts about splitting the book up into two films, but if you can pull off three, Mr. Jackson, I will never question your filmmaking abilities again.
But I revert to my original stance, until I’m proven wrong. We, as fans, filmgoers, and cinephiles, need to stand up and protest against splitting up singular stories into multiple, money grubbing cash cows. Enough is enough.
Although I am seriously fearful for a trilogy, this poster does make me really excited for the first film.
And Entertainment Weekly was kind enough to provide great new screenshots and promo images from the film:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes to theaters this December 14, 2012.