Peter Jackson has announced that his much anticipated film, The Hobbit, will be extended into three films.

The Lord of the Rings director announced on Facebook today that a third film will be added to his cinematic adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s popular novel of the same name.

The un-named film could reach cinemas as soon as 2014, following the release of the first film – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – this Christmas and the second film –There and Back Again – in December 2013.

The filming for An Unexpected Journey finished in New Zealand just a few weeks ago and it is reported that Jackson was frustrated by the amount of quality material which ended up on the cutting room floor.

On Facebook, the Golden Globe winning director said that ‘the richness of the story of The Hobbit gave rise to a simple question – do we tell more of the tale?’

According to his fans, he claims, ‘the answer was an unreserved ‘yes’ and he received more than 19,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook in response within hours.

Jackson went on to say that the details of Tolkien’s compelling story would remain untold if the film had been cut down too much. He went on to describe The Hobbit as a ‘wonderful adventure which in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, was a tale that grew in the telling’.

New Line, MGM and Warner Brothers are producing the £300m project (around $500m) and according to Jackson they are ‘equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films’.

Additional shooting for There and Back Again  has already been planned for next year, but it has not been confirmed how much more material will be needed to complete the third instalment.

The Hobbit – which is a prequel to the Oscar winning Lord of the Rings trilogy – has a star-studded cast which features the likes of Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry. In addition, LOTR actors Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood will also feature in the epic fantasy tale.

The Lord of the Rings films are based on three hefty books totalling 1008 pages, so it’s understandable why a trilogy of films were needed to tell the whole story. However, The Hobbit is a mere 310 pages which means that it may require a lot of rewriting and the addition of new scenes and characters to stretch it over three films. What do you think? Vote in our poll.

With the new Peter Jackson trilogy starting this Christmas, why not re-visit the Lord of the rings. Join the LOVEFiLM free trial today and you can rent the trilogy on blu ray and watch movies online for free.

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