Peter Jackson is really testing us here. With whispers of a third "Hobbit" movie floating around since San Diego Comic-Con, we're not really sure how to feel about any of this. The idea toys with two of our closest held beliefs: 1) there should be more Peter Jackson-direct Middle-earth movies and 2) they should be good movies.
We love the "Lord of the Rings" movies, and, not to get completely ahead of ourselves, but it looked like we were going to love the two "Hobbit" movies. Sure, stretching the relatively slim children's book into two movies seemed risky and slightly cash-grabby, but with the addition of the appendices material, we were sold. (Of course we want to see Gandalf and a team of wizards and elves fighting a Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced Sauron in the woods!)
Two films kind of made sense. We'll never turn down an additional trip to Middle-earth as long as we think there's a solid movie there. For all the planning that went into this nearly two-year production, there simply had to be a clear, delineated plan for how to break up the story into two films that could hold up to the one year break between them. Each installment would need a clear beginning, middle, and end, even if they were only one half of the story.
So for Jackson to want to shoot additional material next summer for a third film, that would significantly change that carefully constructed plan. Unless Jackson plans on filming a standalone movie in the two months he's requesting from Warner Bros, he'll have to pull footage and story elements from the other installments to make a third. This throws that plan off. Each chapter becomes a little barer.
But as some around the newsroom at MTV Movies Blog have pointed out, Jackson has earned our trust. The man knows storytelling better than us, so if actually he sees three movies, there are probably three movies in there somewhere. We'll have to wait and see what comes of this development, since nothing has been decided just yet. All of this fuss may have been for nothing.
Would you like to see "The Hobbit" broken into three films? Let us know what you think in the comments below and on Twitter!