The Hobbit Interview: Peter Jackson Not Done with Middle Earth?

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Peter Jackson had us beyond thrilled when he first debuted The Hobbit poster, much less each subsequent piece of news. He and his creative team behind The Hobbit enlightened at Comic-Con to let us know what to expect from the highly anticipated prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

Peter Jackson Photo

The biggest news to come out of Peter Jackson and his appearance at this year's Comic-Con: Although the production of The Hobbit twin movies is completed, he is not done. Could there be a third?

"It's very premature. I mean we have an incredible source material with the appendices because The Hobbit is obviously a novel but we also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit published at the end of Return of the King," Jackson said.

In the last few weeks, he revealed, those 125 pages have been a creative force Jackson could not ignore.

"We've used some of it so far. And just in the last few weeks as we've been wrapping up the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story, Fran (Walsh, Jackson's partner) and I have been talking to the studio about other things we haven't been able to shoot and seeing if we can persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting -- probably more than a few weeks actually, next year," Jackson announced.

"And what form that would actually end up taking, well the discussions are pretty early. So there isn't really anything to report but there's other parts of the story that we'd like to tell that we haven't been able to tell yet."
Where The Lord of the Rings was written for adults, The Hobbit is more of a children's book. Jackson clearly wants his films to be congruent in tone, so don't look for a softening of the feel of his Middle Earth series.

"I don't want to make a children's story to go into The Lord of the Rings so we are providing a balance," Jackson admitted.

Jackson also sought to capture the humor that permeated Tolkien's book.

"A lot of the comedy and the charm comes from the characters. You're dealing with Bilbo Baggins who is a bit more reluctant to go on an adventure than Frodo was... and with Dwarves who have a personality and camaraderie all of their own. There's a lot of humor. But, there are still some serious themes involved."

Martin Freeman Stars as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit

By filming more, with the help of Tolkien's The Return of the King appendix, Jackson seeks to fill in some plot gaps from The Hobbit novel, maybe in a third film.

"We've used more source material than The Hobbit. For instance, in The Hobbit, when Gandalf mysteriously disappears for chapters, it was never really explained where he's gone. Much later Tolkien filled in those details. In these appendices he did talk about what happened. And it was altogether a lot darker and more serious than what is written in The Hobbit."

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