Filming for The Hobbit is well underway and Peter Jackson says he might not be able to fit all the good stuff into just two movies. During Comic-Con, he said that if Warner Bros. is on board, he’d like to extend shooting by several weeks. What will be done with the extra footage is still up in the air — will the end product be an extended-version DVD or an entirely new movie? Both outcomes have their pros and cons:
The good thing about extended versions is it’s a way for filmmakers to put in all the extra scenes without worrying about it annoying fans. For instance, I’m not big on some of the LOTR extended footage (mostly because they used poor Gimli as comic relief) but I have the option of watching the original version, which is more true to the books. If they tossed all that extra stuff into the movie shown in theaters, audiences would have thought it was excessive and not entirely well done. Including deleted scenes is a way of saying: “Here’s what didn’t make the cut: Not all of this fits with our final product, but it’s all awesome. So enjoy!”
Extended versions are fun, but it’s definitely not as exciting as the prospect of an entirely different movie to look forward to. Also to see the good stuff, moviegoers will have to wait for the DVD to come out. It’s the difference between immediately watching the good almost-left-out scenes on a big screen with popcorn and dimmed lights and expectation and watching the extra scenes months later on your smaller TV long after all the hype has worn down.
A Third Movie
It’s just a question of mathematics: Three is more than two, so bring on another Hobbit film! The more the merrier, you might say. If Jackson has the means and the money to make a third movie, then full steam ahead. It will also postpone the end of a seriously awesome franchise. (I felt the same way about Harry Potter — I wish they could’ve just kept making more and more movies and Rowling could’ve kept writing more and more books so I’d have enough to keep me company for a lifetime.)
On the other hand, there’s something to be said for letting a movie end with dignity. Do we want our last memory of The Hobbit to be Part 2: There and Back Again, or do we want it a hodgepodge of afterthoughts? Personally, I’d rather have no extra movie than a bad extra movie.
Of course, much of the DVD extended footage vs. third movie debate depends on what exactly it is that Jackson’s planning. Here’s what we know so far:
Peter Jackson brought Middle Earth to the big screen over a decade ago and by now is a veritable expert on Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and the rest. While most of us have developed a passing knowledge of Middle Earth, Jackson has immersed himself completely. Along with reading the books themselves countless times, he also has extensive knowledge of the various appendices J.R.R Tolkien included. With this in mind, it’s clear that Jackson is planning more than just a compilation of what’s swept off the cutting room floor.
The appendices contain all aspects of Middle Earth lore: Maps, a detailed history, information on the different races of creatures, all sorts of things. Some of this is already going to be worked into The Hobbit movies. For instance, in the book Gandalf disappears on missions of his own for long periods of time. With the help of Tolkien’s notes, Jackson was able to fill in the blanks of what the wizard was up to and a large part of the movies will focus on that. Regardless of how much he manages to sneak into The Hobbit, Jackson will still have a lot of information left — and nothing to do with it.
What Are Your Thoughts?
So far, this is all speculation: Warner Bros. is still on the fence about funding a third Hobbit movie, so it’s possible that we won’t get to see all of Jackson’s dream. Of course, some might argue in favor for just two films; it might be a good thing and it’s best just to leave well enough alone. What do you guys think? Will an extra movie be dragging on a good thing for too long, or will it help answer questions unanswered by the previous movies?
Part 1 of The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey) will be released December 14. In the meantime, you can check out some pictures here.