Third Hobbit film likely to happen

August 21st, 2012

SUPPLIED

SIR PETER JACKSON: On location during the filming of The Hobbit.

a third Hobbit film looks increasingly likely, with Hollywood studios keen to make it happen.

Talks are underway between studio New Line Cinema, a subsidiary of Warner Bros, with actors and others needed to sign off the plan, The Los Angeles Times has reported.

The newspaper estimates the budget so far for the franchise to be US$500 million ($639 m).

Jackson let slip last week at pop culture expo Comic-Con in San Diego that he was considering splitting the second film into two parts.

”According to three people who were not authorised to speak publicly” New Line Cinema was eager for a third film to be made and Jackson began serious discussions with the studio about two weeks ago.

Talks with a number of The Hobbit actors – including Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen – have been taking place in the last few weeks.

however The Los Angeles Times cautioned whether it was an absolute certainty that a third Hobbit film would be made, due to the numerous rights-holders and actors involved.

what plot details would be held back for the third Hobbit and how the first and second would be shaped as a result, would be a critical question for fans. Of particular interest is whether Jackson would hold back the climactic battle that takes place at the end of The Hobbit book for the third movie, The Los Angeles Times said.

If Jackson were to keep that battle in the second film, the third movie could centre on material from The Lord of the Rings appendixes, which have not previously been adapted for screen.

Jackson finished up principal shooting on The Hobbit this month, with only a small amount of additional filming planned next year for part two, there and Back again.

it was not clear how much additional shooting Jackson would have to undertake, or whether the additional picture could largely be crafted through artful editing of existing footage, which would bring the cost down.

The franchise is seen as a comparatively safe bet in the risk-laden movie business. The movies in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which focused on many of the same characters, grossed nearly US$3 billion worldwide.

Due to the complicated rights history of The Hobbit, a number of stakeholders must agree to the plan for a third picture.

Independent studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer controls 50 per cent of the film rights and international distribution, though it has contracted with Warner Bros. to handle those duties on the first two movies.

Producer Saul Zaentz has a long-running participation claim, as do Harvey and Bob Weinstein. The independent film moguls originally developed The Lord of the Rings movies when they ran Miramax Films.

The Tolkien estate receives a share of the earnings from the movies but does not need to grant permission for additional productions.

Breaking a single book into multiple movies has come into vogue in recent years as studios seek to wring value out of popular material.

The Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games franchises all split a single book into two pictures. But there is no known precedent for turning one book into three films.

a spokesman for Jackson said the film-maker would not comment on the details in  The Los Angeles Times article.

– © Fairfax NZ News

There is no doubt that PJ must have a LOT of filming to fit into the first two movies which could be extended to a third if we also brought in the long-winded meanderings that we saw at the conclusion of ROTK. Seriously the more the better as far as im concerned ..screw the popcorn munching mindless twitterfaces. I can watch quality endlessly.

Third Hobbit film likely to happen

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