Peter Jackson attended Comic-Con this weekend to promote his The Hobbit adaptation, and those lucky enough to attend have praised the footage Jackson shared with them. He didn’t, however, show the footage in either 3D or his new 48 fps speed, opting for the traditional 2D and 24 fps picture. Whatever his reasons for this, the footage went down well and after the negative press of the last footage shared, fans are now very happy with what they saw.
However, while at the convention Jackson also spoke about some additional footage of The Hobbit which will not be appearing in either of the two parts. As we all know, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in UK cinemas December 14th, with The Hobbit: There and Back Again arriving a year later on December 13th 2013. Here is what Jackson said about possible plans for the additional footage:
“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’ and 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 and I have been talking to the studio about other things we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting, probably more than a few weeks actually, next year,” Jackson said.
He continued: . “I don’t know what would come of that, whether it’d be extended editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing.”
Jackson also said that he felt the source material for The Hobbit felt more leaned towards a kids tale, and so adding in the side-story of Gandalf’s quest was able to link The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings better suited to his vision: “And it was all together a lot darker and more serious than what is written in ‘The Hobbit’,” Jackson said. “And also to be honest I want to make a series of movies that run together so if any crazy lunatic wants to watch them all in a row there will be a consistency to it, a consistency of tone.”
It is great that Jackson is thinking like this, and to be honest it wouldn’t feel right if the style of the Hobbit was different from The Lord of the Rings since they do all lead into each other. Jackson further explained how he planned to lead The Hobbit into the darker territory of The Lord of the Rings: “So I don’t want to make a children’s story to go into ‘The Lord of the Rings’ so we are providing a balance. I mean 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, so there’s a lot of humor but there are still some serious themes involved.”
So, a possible third The Hobbit movie, or will Jackson go down the same route as he did with The Lord of the Rings and release extended versions of the two parts? Either way, I am more than happy for Jackson to give us as much footage as is humanly possible. Extended version would be nice, but a whole new film would be even better!
By Matt Wavish