Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

Peter Jackson Reveals Where ‘The Hobbit’ Would've Been Split If It Was 2 Movies As Originally Planned

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 13, 2013 at 4:46PM

Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” hits theaters this weekend. It’s either the far better of the two ‘Hobbit’ films thus far, or barely better depending on your point of view (you can read our review here). Originally scheduled to be two films, near the end of production, Jackson and Warner Bros. decided to split the story into three films. Good idea? Bad idea? It’ll be hard to tell until the whole thing is over, but our review suggests, you’re already seeing those growing pains.
10
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” hits theaters this weekend. It’s either the far better of the two ‘Hobbit’ films thus far, or barely better depending on your point of view (you can read our review here). Originally scheduled to be two films, near the end of production, Jackson and Warner Bros. decided to split the story into three films. Good idea? Bad idea? It’ll be hard to tell until the whole thing is over, but our review suggests, you’re already seeing those growing pains.

“The strain of what was originally conceived as one story running the course of two movies, now stretched to its limits with a third picture, is deeply felt,” our reviewer wrote. “The character arcs are negligible... far too many of the film's story elements [are] just a set up which will pay off in another episode. The episodic, middle chapter [nature of movies] that is currently hurting the modern-day tentpole sequel is fully evinced.”

OK, so the stretched nature of the narrative seems to be a problem. Mercenary-like move? "People think it's a cold-blooded cash-grab from the studio, but it didn’t come from the studio at all, [the idea to expand to a third film] came from [co-screenwriters] Fran [Walsh] Philipa [Boyens] and I,” Jackson himself said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

So where would the split of the story originally occurred? And this will probably make more sense to you after you’ve seen the movie, but Jackson said, “The split was going to occur where Bard [The Bowman played by Luke Evans] appears on the river bank as a silhouetted figure with a bow. So the whole barrel sequence was going to be the climax.”

If they would have kept it that way, the first ‘Hobbit’ movie unedited as they are now, would have likely ran about 4 and ½ hours. Jackson says he realizes lots of audiences had problems with the “meandering road movie”-ness of the first 'Hobbit' film, but says the decision to expand the movies means “we rethought it all,” and that this was more satisfying. “There was certainly no shortage of material,” he added. 

Well, so far the first two movies run almost 6 hours and there’s no doubt “There And Back Again” due December 14, 2015 will run almost 3 hours once more. You’ll have to check back after you see the second film and see if you think it was worth it. ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ opens up in theaters nationwide today.

This article is related to: Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates