The Hobbit trilogy: its studios talk finances and risks

News Ryan Lambie 1 Aug 2012 - 14:05

As it’s confirmed that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit will indeed be a trilogy, its studios talk about the finances, risks and thinking behind the move...

The news that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is to be extended to a trilogy has led to some cynical narrowing of eyes, but the decision wasn’t made lightly. In fact, when Jackson and fellow filmmakers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens approached executives with their idea of making a third Hobbit film, the resulting rush of meetings was unprecedented, according to a story on Hollywood Reporter’s website.

Studios Warner Bros, New Line and MGM had to swiftly decide whether to go ahead with the proposal, and if so, how much they should spend - the window of opportunity was such that, if a deal hadn’t been made quickly, a third Hobbit would have ended here.

"If anybody had been a big hindrance, it wouldn't have happened," a HR source said. "It was such a short window of time to make this decision, if anybody had said no, it would have been two movies."

Although the trilogy’s budget hasn’t been revealed, it’s thought the two movies already planned could amount to at least $500 million, and that a third Hobbit could add upwards of “between half and two-thirds as much as one of the other two films”. The final bill for the trilogy is therefore hazy at this stage, especially since the script for the final movie hasn’t even been turned in yet.

The president of New Line, Toby Emmerich, meanwhile, has admitted that the move to a trilogy is a bit of a gamble. “Everyone involved had to make a grand leap of faith," he said. “As cynics have pointed out, The Hobbit is not an exceptionally long book, but Peter has phenomenal creative integrity and truly believes this is the best way to tell the story. We all had to trust each other, and Peter, and we sincerely believe it will be great.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is out this December, with the second film scheduled for December 2013, and the third due for release in the summer of 2014.

You can read the full story over at Hollywood Reporter.

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I like how 'leap of faith' is used, guess it means they said "Dear god I hope it works"

Well i think this kills the idea that it was a greed/profit orientated decision and shows that it was a creative decision which I put my trust in Peter Jackson to deliver the goods and in doing so New Line will reap the benefits of hopefully a great trilogy.

They wouldn't have made the decision unless they were pretty sure it would work (i.e. make money back). That's not being cynical, as PJ was the one to initiate it, and I love the idea. But it's pretty obvious that this is also a smart business decision.

in jackson We trust! I assume in a 3 part story, Part 1 will involve An unexpected party, the trolls, rivendell, the goblins and finish with riddles in the dark, Part 2 will be the wolves the eagles, beorn.mirkwood, spiders, gandalf in Dol guldur and end with the barrels arriving in lake town. Then part 3 will be the doorstep, the desolation of smaug, bard the bowman and an epic battle of the 5 armies sequence,

Hi Nail! It's head. Did u just hit me? ;)

He has the tools, he has the talent! If he pulls it off (oh-er), then Peter Jackson will be heading for "Lucas Legend" status (before Lucas made the prequels, obviously). We need a new king on the throne, and I don't want that pretender "Weirdy Beardy Submarine Man" snatching the crown!

OMG. They take a short novel and turn it into THREE movies? I can't watch the original LOTR trilogy as it is because it's SO FREAKING LONG (don't even get me going on the special editions pushing 4 hours on average each). This should have been ONE movie. I thought it was RIDICULOUS they were planning on TWO films, but this is just GREED GREED GREED. I have no interest in watching a 9 hour snooze fest.

Look at the last Harry Potter film where they wanted to MILK it so they split the book into two movies and about bored movie-goers to death with Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows. It made big money because of the expectations of the series and some previous good films, but it was HORRIBLE to watch the first part as it was moving in slow motion. It should have been one movie and this should be a single movie as well, not two let alone three.

So they can release part III 6 months after part 2, but they have to wait a year for part 2 after part 1? STUPID

Nasty greedy little Hobbitses. They'll be going through Tolkien's old shopping lists and absent minded scribblings to pad the bugger out. Shame. I suppose the Kiwis will be looking forward to an upsurge in LOTR based tourism again.

Woah! Woah! Fraulein Selleck! You don't actually know what additional sources that have been included by Peter Jackson to make this Hobbit Trilogy. Before Tolkien died, he wrote many other chapters and passages that involved these characters which were never put into novel form. Fair enough, you don't like the LOTR movies, but seeing as no one actually knows what "exactly" the story is going to be about, then perhaps show a little refrain.

“As cynics have pointed out, The Hobbit is not an exceptionally long book,"
God damned-pages-counting cynics!

no one remembers his king kong version? pretty boring stretched out movie

But what about Jackson stating that he'd tackle the Appendices? That's probably going to include the casting out of the Necromancer from Dol Goldur, Moria etc. I think that Five Armies will be in the second film, like the Helm's Deep of The Hobbit trilogy.

If it were anyone else I'd sigh. But Jackson has earned a chance to be trusted.

I hope all three films will be well over 90 minutes. That's all.

The Hobbit is barley long enough for two movies, let alone three. I mean seriously. Look, I trust in Jackson. But please please please... don't let us wait this long for the Hobbit this December, and then end the movie just after Riddles in the Dark. I mean seriously, we might as well not even bother paying for that!
Don't get me wrong. I'm a massive fan of Jackson. His LOTR movies were crafted which such care and they really are amazing. But the dude has shown a greedy side before today. I'm sceptical. I mean, I would much prefer it if they kept the Hobbit at two films, and then made film three on an entirely different story from the Appendices, which it seems they are hinting at doing. However, a trilogy out of the Hobbit? Even with the White Council v Sauron bit added in, that's really stretching out the source material. I'd rather have two really awesome movies than three average ones.
Again, this is probably harsh. Jackson must have something good up his sleeve. He will not want to tarnish his masterpieces with greed orientated prequels surly? I mean... look how that turned out for a certain director a few years back.
And LOL at the execs acting like this was a difficult decision. They must have all squeeled when they found out Jackson wanted three movies.

Why do we need to know? Read the Hobbit, LOTR, and the Silmarillion - but I just want a film of the Hobbit, not "additional sources". Too bad we don't seem to be getting one.

I remember King Kong. No one remembers "Lovely Bones". ;)

On the positive side, things must be going well on set for him to want to squeeze another movie out of it. If stuff wasn't working, I think he'd have his hands full delivering one decent movie, let alone two. Fingers crossed!

Deathly Hallows needed to be split, or a hell of a lot of story would have been sacrificed (although quite a bit was sacrificed anyway). Part 2 should have been at least half an hour longer.

You don't seem to understand the difference between a novel and a movie. What works (or is at least tolerable) in a novel doesn't necessarily translate into a great movie. This is why most novels don't make great movies (just look at nearly ANY Stephen King movie; the book is always night and day better). Short stories usually make better movies because movie scripts aren't that long and you want to keep the flow moving plus novel fans get upset when parts are left out and you have to leave them out when the book is even reasonably long. But that doesn't mean I want to watch a character go through their daily routine at Hogwarts every single day either.

Deathly Hallows Part 1 suffered from "Walk/Camp in the woods syndrome" whereby I thought they were NEVER going to leave the freaking woods and mope about the entire movie...wait that's EXACTLY what they did. It's like watching paint dry. Trying to stretch one medium novel into the equivalent of the entire LOTR trilogy just strikes me as a potential paint dry festival all so they can get as much money out of it as possible (and make the audience wait years to see the whole thing since it won't come out all at once which is always incredibly annoying for a single pre-planned movie). I would have been happy with ONE Hobbit movie. Two is pushing it. Three is ridiculous (although I'm sure some fans want as much as possible, but is it really as good theater that way? Rarely.)

That's what I fear will happen here. I don't want to watch 2 hours of Hobbits going about their daily life before the movie gets moving.

yup, that's what studio tells, still gonna see them all; but just in 2d...

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