As a book, 'The Hobbit' is a fraction of the magisterial behemoth that is 'The Lord Of The Rings'. That's not stopped Peter Jackson, who has directed all the film adaptations of J.R Tolkien's Middle Earth works to date, from fattening it up into three films as well. The first film is already in the can and is coming out on December 14th of this year, with the second to follow on December 13th 2013.
Jackson isn't stopping there though and in a lengthy post on his Facebook page, he explained that the film series was to be boosted up to three separate movies. "We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life" said the director. "All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved 'yes.'"
From the message, Jackson seems to be saying that the third film will investigate more of Middle Earth's time line, which is included in the book but not covered within the story itself. "We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance" he explained. "It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling" he finished.