Peter Jackson confirmed last week that The Hobbit will be made into three films to become a trilogy.
The director said in an official statement:
It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’
We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. 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, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.
So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.
It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”
The first and second films were shot back-to-back in New Zealand and are currently in post-production; principal photography began on 21 March 2011 and completed on 6 July 2012. While the third film will make use of footage originally shot for the first and second films, it will require additional filming as well.
n April 2011, Jackson revealed through his Facebook page that he is filming The Hobbit at 48 fps (frames per second) instead of the normal 24 fps:
“We are indeed shooting at the higher frame rate. The key thing to understand is that this process requires both shooting and projecting at 48 frames/s, rather than the usual 24 frames/s (The great majority of films have been shot at 24 frames per second since the late 1920s). So the result looks like normal speed, but the image has hugely enhanced clarity and smoothness. Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok—and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years—but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or “strobe.” Shooting and projecting at 48 frames/s does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D.”
The first installment of the new trilogy, titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released to theaters and IMAX on Dec. 14. Film number two, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will follow on Dec. 13, 2013. The third film is expected to be released in the summer of 2014, according to ComingSoon, but the title has not yet been revealed.
To read the full press release, click here.