Hypable attended The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug press day during which director Peter Jackson explained the need to cut the story into three films.
Those who’ve followed the production of the series know that plans for The Hobbit originally called for two movies, but last year Warner Bros. announced it would be a three-parter.
The need to be able to tell a real story and put it on par with The Lord of the Rings trilogy was what drove Jackson and his team to expand the world.
“What it does is allow you to let the characters drive the story. In a novel, the writer of the novel is often the person who narrates the story, the person who takes you on the journey,” Jackson explains. “Tolkien’s voice is obviously fantastic at doing that. You feel like he’s right beside you, telling you a bed time story. In the movie, you don’t want me on screen talking about what’s happening. So, in a film you have to have the story told through the dialogue of the characters, through the actions of the characters.”
Benedict Cumberbatch, who voices the dragon Smaug in the film, jumped in at this moment. “I do want you on screen telling everyone whats happening,” he quipped to laughter from the press.
Jackson replied, “We’ll just do that privately back in your hotel room, don’t worry. I’ll read you a bedtime story, no problem.”
Turning back to the question, Jackson emphasized the importance of putting The Hobbit story on the same level as The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“You want the narrative to be told either through the dialogue or the actions, so that’s really why we ended up with the depth and exploring the character depth that we had done on The Lord of the Rings.”
“I was also acutely aware that there was going to be, ultimately, when this cycle of releasing a movie each year is done, you’re going to end up with six films. The Unexpected Journey being the beginning and the Return of the King being the end. I did want to have a unity. I didn’t want to make The Hobbit feel any more simple. We wanted it to feel like it was the same.”
An Unexpected Journey is now available with an Extended Edition, while part 3 There and Back Again opens in December 2014.
The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters Friday, December 13.