The Hobbit may have been confirmed to be a trilogy, but to make a third installment for a franchise that was originally set as a two-picture release, you got to have money and a script. Well no one has any idea how much money will it cost to finance The Hobbit 3 (which has no title as of yet) and no one has any idea what the script contains, or if thereâ€™s a script at all.
Initially, Warner Bros. stated that they would give the green light for director Peter Jackson to move forward with a third film. The filmmaker also teased that there was more than enough footage to use for a third film. It was even reported that the cast and crew would return to New Zealand next summer for a two-month shoot.
The decision to turn The Hobbit into a trilogy was a very quick and perhaps a very risky one. Hereâ€™s what a source told The Hollywood Reporter:
“If anybody had been a big hindrance, it wouldn’t have happened,” says a source with ties to the movies. “It was such a short window of time to make this decision, if anybody had said no, it would have been two movies.”
But WB may not be taking as big of a gamble as one would think.
The first two films are budgeted at $500 million (the report doesnâ€™t mention if this includes the marketing, it probably doesn’t), and the third film will reportedly cost less since it will use some of the remaining footage that was left out of An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again. But before WB can figure out what the budget is for this additional film, they need to wait to see what the script for the third film contains before they can move forward with a marketing plan.
If The Hobbit 3 will really contain new footage from next year’s reported two-month shoot and the unused material from the first two films, then the script will probably not contain too much. However, Jackson and co-writers/producers Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens will need to figure out how combine all the unused footage with the new one without creating any confusion. But I have faith they will find out how they will tie it all together.
Jackson said that they’ve completed shooting the pages on the script and that the cast and crew were heading back to film some reshoots that would have completed some of the battle sequences. Now that The Hobbit has been extended into a trilogy, the cast and crews’ stay in New Zealand has been extended as well. But all of this is necessary according to Jackson, who says that “there’s some areas of the story to develop and expand.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14, 2012, while There and Back Again (title reportedly subject to change now) opens December 13, 2013. The Hobbit 3 is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2014 release.