We usually don’t like to see people stretching franchises to breaking point *ahem ahem Warner Bros *ahem* but we have to say that we’re delighted to hear that we may be getting one more Middle-Earth movie than we bargained on. Yes folks, Peter Jackson has announced plans to build on the upcoming and long-awaited Hobbit films next year.
âWe have got incredible source material with the appendices,â? Jackson explained at San Diego’s Comic Con.
âThereâs the novel, but then we also have the rights to use the 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit. I’ve been talking to the studio about other things that we havenât been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting.â?
Tolkienâs stories about Middle-earth stretch much further than merely The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. The prolific author wrote an abundance of material, including, including a twelve-volume History of Middle-earth book series that was released between 1983-96.
Jackson also said: âWeâd probably need more than a few weeks, actually, next year. There are other parts of the story that weâd like to tell, that we havenât had the chance to tell yet. Weâre just trying to have those conversations with the studio, at the moment.
âI don’t know what would come of that, whether it’d be extended editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing.â?
At this moment in time, itâs unclear just how far Jackson is willing to run with the material, but it could very well mean that we get to see Gandalf’s trip to Dol Goldur – Sauron’s Mirkwood stronghold – which was not included in the original novel. In The Hobbit, the wizard (seen above in an exert of the new artwork for the first film) simply leaves the dwarves and Frodo to ‘attend some business’ before returning at the end.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Jackson has started the final film with a flashback (of sorts) as we saw Gollum’s origins before The Return of the King in 2003.
The first of the two Hobbit films, An Unexpected Journey, is due out in UK cinemas on Friday 14 December. You can watch the trailer below: