Warner Bros. took him out on a high note, but for the moment, they have lost Batman. Last summer saw the end of Harry Potter.
With the exception of The Hangover, they don’t have a lot of tried-and-true franchises sitting around. Even the upcoming Man of Steel is a reboot and therefore, as unproven as Pacific Rim or Beautiful Creatures or anything else on their future slate. So is it surprising that WB is willing to partner with Jackson in extending one of their big, fat cashcows? Not really. The more important question, is it a good idea?
Good or not, at Comic Con Peter Jackson told fans that he was petitioning Warner Bros for additional months of shooting so they could bring more of Tolkien’s appendices to life. It now appears that Warners and Jackson are in talks for two more months of footage gathered next summer. Footage that would comprise a third film in the series.
Although this is just a negotiation phase, and there’s no clear answer as to where all this extra material would go, I’m not keen on stretching Bilbo’s story out to three films. I personally don’t think it can support that. Tolkien’s novel is slim and brisk for a reason; it’s a grand story but also a personal one, without all of the global miasma of LOTR. I doubt anyone wants to wait three films to see Bilbo trick Smaug and watch Thorin and his men wage their battle for their mountain. If this third film is tacked on to the end of all that, what would it even entail?
I suppose time will tell, but indulgence has already proved to be Jackson’s Achilles Heel and his fondness for this world could be it’s undoing. Then again, that might just be doomsaying on my part; I’ve personally loved the LOTR films thus far, even though they have their issues, and I’m as anxious as most to get back to the world Jackson created on screen. The concern is of course whether or not the remaining material (having enough of it isnt the issue, it’s whether it really belongs on film) can produce a satisfying accompaniment.
Jackson, concentrate on making the best Hobbit you can make, not the biggest. In a somewhat unrelated aside, I wonder if Jackson still has any plans to do the next Tintin movie? Certainly an extended Hobbit would keep him busy a bit longer.