Peter Jackson announces third ‘Hobbit’ film

The final installment will be set for summer 2014

Warner Bros. and New Line have cleared all hurdles to creating a third installment of “The Hobbit” and are moving forward with the project, director Peter Jackson announced Monday.

Unlike the first two films, which unspool over consecutive Christmas frames, the final “Hobbit” installment was expected for a summer release in 2014. No firm date was affixed, however.

Jackson said at Comic-Con that there was plenty of extra footage from the two-picture shoot, and hinted at the possibility of a third film. The Los Angeles Times subsequently first reported that the “Lord of the Rings” helmer and the studio were quietly talking about fashioning the project into a trilogy.

Jackson then confirmed in a Monday morning Facebook post that a third pic was in the works.

“The richness of the story of , 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 and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth,” Jackson wrote. “So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of ‘The Hobbit’ films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.

Principal shooting wrapped on the first two “Hobbit” films earlier this month, and though Jackson has plenty of b-roll to work with, a third pic will require a re-start of production. That means the filmmakers had to renegotiate and work out schedules with dozens of rights-holders, thesps and other people with leverage.

Though some of those deals still need to be buttoned up, enough official business is complete that Jackson can begin stretching the narrative. His plan is to use material drawn from J.R.R. Tolkein’s notes, various appendices he wrote after “The Lord of the Rings” and other material from within and without “The Hobbit” itself, which kicked off the Middle-Earth mythology in 1937 with a fairly straightforward there-and-back-again hero’s journey that was originally intended for young readers.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpexted Journey” is set for a Dec. 14 release; the sequel is slated for Dec. 13, 2013.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Ad Astra

    How 'Ad Astra' Production Crew Created Authentic Look for Brad Pitt Space Drama

    In “Ad Astra,” Brad Pitt’s astronaut Roy McBride crosses the solar system to find and confront his long-lost father, requiring the movie crew to create an authentic-looking future that conveys the theme of traveling long distances to learn the lesson that it’s where you started from that has the most value. “Visually, the aim was [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan'Always Be My Maybe' film

    'Fresh Off the Boat' Creator Nahnatchka Khan Signs First-Look Deal With Netflix

    Netflix has signed “Fresh Off the Boat” creator and executive producer Nahnatchka Khan to an exclusive multi-year first look deal for feature films. Khan made her feature film directorial debut with “Always Be My Maybe” starring Ali Wong and Randall Park. The romantic comedy premiered on Netflix in May and was seen by 32 million [...]

  • The Mover

    Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Costa Rica Announce Oscar Contenders

    Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro and Costa Rica are the latest countries to announce their entries for the newly rebranded International Feature Film award at the 92nd Academy Awards. All four countries are seeking their first Oscar nomination in what was formerly known as the foreign-language film category. Latvia has selected Holocaust drama “The Mover” (pictured) as [...]

  • The Sky Is Pink

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Sky is Pink'

    Shonali Bose’s much-laureled 2014 “Margarita with a Straw” was a film whose presentation of a cerebral palsy-afflicted heroine sidestepped all the usual hand-wringing inspirational clichés of disability portrayal, making her story all the more enlightening and affecting. It is particularly disappointing, then, that the director’s followup should approach another tale of genetic infirmity with all [...]

  • Jodie Turner-SmithVariety Studio Comic-Con, Day 1,

    'Queen and Slim' Star Jodie Turner-Smith Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' (EXCLUSIVE)

    After she plays the Bonnie to Daniel Kaluuya’s Clyde in Universal’s romantic thriller “Queen and Slim,” actress Jodie Turner-Smith will join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Turner-Smith will play Karen Greer a possible love interest to Jordan’s character. As recently announced, Jamie Bell will also co-star as Robert Ritter, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content