So Peter Jackson said there will be three Hobbit films, not two.
Some Tolkien fans are frothing mad about this; I am just amused by their froth. Some fans seem to be saying: “Well, three movies for LotR, three for Hobbit, obviously Hobbit will be filler-ed into disaster!”
I’d rather say the Lord of the Rings was, um, abbreviated quite strongly.
I myself feel one film would have been very bad for the Hobbit, two was good, and I’m willing to be persuaded there’s enough stuff for three.
Let me calculate a bit; I’ll try to, out of memory, list memorable “scenes” from the book.
- Bilbo and Gandalf
- The Dwarves arrive
- A party, and some history
- Legends, maps, fainting, etc.
- A hobbit wakes up, runs out, gets wet
- A hobbit outfoxes some trolls
- Trolls’ loot
- Even more Rivendell
- A storm in the mountains; shelter
- Orcs; orcs; orcs!
- Riddles in the dark
- As if you’d get rid of Gollum this easy
- Reunited with the – orcs; orcs!
- Up in a tree, throwing pinecones
- Eagles! And non-edible Hobbits!
- Towards Beorn
- At Beorn’s
- Towards Mirkwood; bye, Gandalf!
- The Enchanted Stream
- Meanwhile with the wizards (not in the book obviously, but probably in the movie)
- Why did it have to be spiders?
- Why did it have to be spiders? II
- Utterly lost; hey, elves!
- Surrender or die, dwarven scum!
- Bilbo Baggins, the mound’s thief-in-chief
- Meanwhile with the wizards, part two (see point 21)
- Escape from the elf-mound!
- Barrels into Esgaroth
- Our fair city welcomes… sodden dwarves?
- Our fair city… hey, Stephen Fry?
- Meanwhile, there’s something in that there mountain…
- Go and kill that dragon already
- That’s no mountain… wait, maybe it is
- Where’s the door?
- That’s so raven
- Bilbo goes downhill
- Bilbo comes back flaming quick
- Smaug is somewhat peeved; renovates mountain
- Battle of Esgaroth: Fire in the sky
- Meanwhile inside the Mountain
- Battle of Esgaroth: Bard saves the day
- Arkenstone! My precious… oh wait, wrong object
- The restored king
- Oh great, there are dwarves in my treasure
- A thief in the night
- Thorin has an apoplexy
- The battle looms
- Battle of Five Armies: lots of orcs
- Battle of Five Armies: crazy bear fighting!
- Battle of Five Armies: as if you’d sleep through this
- Some dead dwarves
- Sappy epilogues
- Meanwhile with the wizards, a flashback
- Sappy epilogues, part two
If we assume 5 minutes for each of these, that’s 58 x 5 min = 290 min = 4 h 50 min, with the assumption that the added Gandalf-all-alone plot (“Meanwhile with the wizards”) is done in 15 minutes, which is silly really. Add 20 more minutes to that (Galadriel: “And my axe!”), 10 minutes to Bilbo riding a flaming wolf off a cliff and into a river (Thorin: “I didn’t mean that when I said, ‘Put that wolf out!'”), 10 more minutes for armored battle trolls and dealing with them (Beorn: “Now let me exercise my right to… bear arms!“), 5 minutes for an Aragorn-cameo (“I am a person of great import to a plot, though not this one. Now romance and hot elf sex; see you later, hobbit.”), 10 minutes for a Frodo-cameo/frame-story (“But you said you went to Croydon with the tennis club, Uncle Bilbo!”)… and that starts going towards six hours, and (with the credits) three movies.
(The news came via Boing Boing.)