"The Lord of the Rings" prequel movie "The Hobbit," will now be a trilogy, director Peter Jackson confirmed Monday on his Facebook page.
"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,'" Jackson wrote.
The original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy still stands as one of the most successful film series of all time, both in terms of critical acclaim and box office success. Part of the reason the fantasy films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novels were so successful was due largely to the characters and the cast that portrayed them.
"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," the director explained.
"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,'" Jackson added.
It is expected that that the second movie will come out in 2013, while the last in the series is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2014. The first installment of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," comes out in December, and the trailer for film has already been released: