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Peter Jackson's The Hobbit expands to a trilogy

07/30/2012 03:17 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT
Bilbo Baggins's "unexpected journey" is going to be a little longer — enough to become a film trilogy.

The Hobbitdirector Peter Jackson announced Monday that he will be making three films based on the classic by J.R.R. Tolkien. Two movies had previously been planned.

In a message on his Facebook page, Jackson said he’d discovered after wrapping up shooting that too much of the story of Baggins’s journey through Middle Earth would be left out unless he made a trilogy.

“It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made,” he said, adding that he and his producers made the decision after seeing an early cut of the first movie and part of the second.

“We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance,” Jackson wrote.

“The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins,” he added.

Jackson plans additional filming for the third movie in the series next year in New Zealand

The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hits theatres Dec. 14, while the second, TheHobbit: There and Back Again, is set for release on Dec. 13, 2013. The third film, as yet untitled, will come out in the summer of 2014.

Jackson swept the Academy Awards with 2003's The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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