Director, Peter Jackson has toyed with the idea of turning his two-part epic, The Hobbit into a full trilogy, even recently mentioning it to fans at the film's panel at Comic-Con. However, this idea has recently started to become more than just a tease.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources are telling them that Jackson does indeed want to move forward with a third Hobbit film to accompany An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again. (Perhaps a middle volume?)
The idea may seem outrageous to those uninitiated with J.R.R. Tolkien's literary work, but in actuality, it's quite feasible.
How could it be done?
Along with the other two members of Middle Earth's first trio, producers/writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh (Jackson's spouse,) the process of working out the logistics for a third film has begun on things like once again securing the rights (a crucible of a process which was at fault for these films taking so long to be made), new actor deals, possibly more shooting, and, most importantly, how the storyline would be expanded.
It's already been widely-known that the two Hobbit films, having been adapted from a small single-volume novel has expanded its narrative scope with scenes that did not take place in the original work. (Gandalf's solo journey, the White Council, etc.) However, those scenes were based on Tolkien's original notes and events that the author documented in the Appendices at the end of The Lord of the Rings book trilogy; something which was used to expand much of the narrative and mythology in the Rings film trilogy as well.
The possibility to expand for a third film likely depends on how the first film has turned out. The pacing will be the most critical element at play. If it was irreparably cut too far in the context of being only one of two films, then a third film would make the rest of the trilogy seem watered-down.
However, if it is not too late to tweak the first film, then there may be hope. Obviously, Peter Jackson is in the position to know this more than anyone.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is set to hit theaters on December 14. Its sequel, The Hobbit: There and Back Again was/is set to hit on December 13, 2013.
Could the Hobbit films bleed into 2014?