If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Back in July, it was reported that director Peter Jackson was negotiating with Warner Brothers to turn his two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' into a trilogy. Well it appears he was able to get the green light, and the funding, he was looking for. The third installment of his cinematic epic has just been given an official release date: July 18th, 2014. In addition, some creative shuffling has taken place in terms of how the three films will be titled. This year's entry will still be called 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' but the title 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again,' which was reserved for part two, will now belong to the final chapter of this newly-formed trilogy. Next year's entry will now be called 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.' This seven month span between the second and third films represents the smallest gap between any two films in Jackson's tenure as helmer of 'The Lord of the Rings' universe.
There you have it, ask and ye shall receive. Well, ask and ye shall receive if thou art Peter Jackson. The amount of money and esteem Jackson has brought the studio should offer suitable explanation as to Warner Brothers' giving in to the director's whims. The shooting schedule for the additional footage has not been released. It may have already been completed, it's hard to say for sure. The title shifting is a bit jarring here. It makes sense that the title 'There and Back Again' should remain with the final chapter, but something just feels off about 'The Desolation of Smaug.' I understand how important the dragon Smaug is to the overall plot of 'The Hobbit,' but it's not exactly a snappy title. I know that's not a vital component of filmmaking, and in fact is more of a concern for marketing than for Jackson, but I just wish they'd gone with something a little less cumbersome. Much as I want to see Jackson play within the 'LOTR' universe as much as possible, my other concern here is that a third film for one book will require Jackson to spread the content quite thin to fill the extra run time. I hope this doesn't affect the pacing of the second and now third films.
What do you guys think? How will this third film affect the balance of the story load? What do you think of the title 'The Desolation of Smaug?'