With ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies‘ having already been released in the UK and coming out this month in the US, there has been speculation if Peter Jackson might once again find a way to visit The Shire down the line. Well, it’s a mixture of yes and no to that question. While one might think it would be difficult to further explore the adventures of Hobbits and a certain aging wizard, some fans got their hopes up when Ian McKellen offhandedly said that the film’s release meant that he didn’t “believe necessarily that this is the end of the journey.”
Could this be a sign that we’ll be seeing more down the line? Well, aside from the Yes and No answer I just mentioned above, I’ll break it down a little for you.
The yes comes from the fact that we’re going to have at least 30 more minutes to see down the line as the extended edition ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ will have around 30 more minutes of additional footage.
When you put the numbers together on the extended editions we saw that ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘ ran 183 minutes long which had a lowly 13 minutes of new footage. In ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,’ we had a length of 186 minutes long which ended up throwing in 25 minutes of additional footage. That means the complete trilogy of ‘Hobbit’ films will clock in at 543 minutes. Compare that to the extended edition of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy which ended up at 680 minutes. So to fully take on Peter Jackson’s voyage into Middle-Earth, you are going to be putting together a combined 1223 minutes or 20 hours and 39 minutes. Almost a full day!
Now, for further adventures from say ‘The Silmarillion’ there isn’t much of an option going forward at this time. Sure, McKellen may have wanted to get your hopes up but Jackson quickly crushed them in a recent interview.
“It’s a legal thing. The Tolkien estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien — The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings were sold by Professor Tolkien the late 60s … the film rights. But they are the only two works of his that have been sold. So without the cooperation of the Tolkien estate, there can’t be more films.”
For those unfamiliar with why that won’t happen The Tolkien estate actually had to sue Warner Brothers to work out an out of course settlement for any kind of a payment and in March of 2013 Warner Brothers countersued. I wouldn’t expect the two to find a way to shake hands and move forward with any other film rights being passed out at this time. It probably doesn’t help that J.R.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher really has not been a fan of the work:
“They gutted the book, making an action movie for 15-25 year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk. Tolkien became…devoured by his popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of the time. The gap widened between the beauty, the seriousness of the work, and what it has become is beyond me. This level of marketing reduces to nothing the aesthetic and philosophical significance of this work.”
Are you glad to hear that Peter Jackson is finally done venturing into The Shire or would you have loved to see the world fleshed out further with the tales of ‘The Silmarillion’ being able to be told on the big screen? Even while not fully accurate to the source material have you been enjoying these movies or do you think too much has been cut for your taste? (No complaining about the length of the films if you’re also complaining about cut material though.) Share your thoughts below!