Peter Jackson says "Hobbit" franchise will include three films.
PARK CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES (REUTERS) - Peter Jackson's film adaptation of "The Hobbit" will be split into three movies, the director and the studios behind the venture said on Monday (July 30). Jackson said that given the richness of the story -- which is set 60 years before "The Lord of The Rings" -- he decided after wrapping up shooting recently in New Zealand that what was originally planned as two movies would now be a trilogy.
"I'm delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films," Jackson said in a statement.
"It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, 'a tale that grew in the telling'," Jackson said in a statement on his Facebook site.
"The Hobbit," written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is the prequel to the British author's epic fantasy "The Lord of the Rings," which Jackson made into three Oscar-winning films about 10 years ago.
A spokesman for New Line said the third "Hobbit" film would be released in the summer of 2014. The first two "Hobbit" movies, starring British actor Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, have already been announced for release in December 2012 and December 2013.