Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation of “The Hobbit” will be expanded into three films, according to Warner Bros.
In a statement, Jackson said “the richness of the story” demanded a third film, which is now slated for release the summer of 2014. “The Hobbit,” starring the British actor Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 prequel to “The Lord of the Rings,” a trilogy of novels that Jackson turned into three Oscar-winning films from 2001 to 2003.
Jackson said that while watching rough cuts of his first two “Hobbit” films, he and his co-screenwriters Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh realized “how much of the tale of Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I’m delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”
The first film in the series, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is scheduled for Dec. 14, to be followed by the second installment on Dec. 13, 2013. All three films will be in available in 3-D, 2-D and IMAX.