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Yes, the ‘Hobbit’ Story Does Warrant Three Films

Posted 11/12/2012

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Yes, the ‘Hobbit’ Story Does Warrant Three Films

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

J.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel 'The Hobbit' is only 300 pages, so why did Peter Jackson need to break it up into three films? That's the question many seem to be asking lately, so it was no surprise to hear it asked of the director at a recent New York press conference for 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'.

It was an easy choice, according to Jackson and his co-screenwriter Philippa Boyens. The book was written at a "breathless pace", with major moments covering only a few pages. Even Tolkien himself added appendices to his last Lord of the Rings book to provide additional context bridging it and 'The Hobbit'. Factor this in along with the film's need for additional character development and character conflict (and there are a lot of characters!), and there is plenty of material to draw from.

So just relax with the accusations that Jackson is simply looking to exploit a successful franchise, OK, Internet?! According to Ian McKellen (Gandalf), "Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces rather than artistic imperative doesn't know the guy and hasn't examined his body of work". And while we're at it, stop using a certain f-word around Sir Ian: "It's not a 'franchise'! They're films".

Let's all remember who we're talking to and about when it comes to questioning Jackson and his Tolkien adaptations. He has several award nominations and wins for those films, and they were critically acclaimed as well as box office mega hits. So just sit back, eat your popcorn and enjoy the first 'Hobbit' film.

BTW, you will enjoy the film. Almost immediately you'll become a fan of Martin Freeman and his portrayal of Bilbo. You'll see why Jackson had no one else in mind to play the lead character. And more importantly, 'The Hobbit' sees McKellen's return as the charming and jovial Gandalf the Grey instead of the serious and stern Gandalf the White. McKellen says it best regarding Gandalf the Grey: He's "someone you want to have a smoke with, a drink with". And now he has an additional two movies to prove it!