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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