Peter Jackson talks THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES and how he's expanding the story

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It’s a well worn-out joke how Peter Jackson took J.R.R. Tolkien’s brisk 280-page children’s story The Hobbit and turned it into 9-hour long blockbuster movie trilogy. And if you’re one of those purists who hated all the padding that Jackson did in the series’ first two chapters, then the joke’s on you as Jackson is definitely not changing his expansionist ways for the upcoming last film, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.

Speaking to Total Film, Jackson revealed how they would be bulking up the final chapter’s story:

“We’re developing more story with the elves and with Gandalf.”

“We’re developing the character of Bard the Bowman [Luke Evans]. We’re able to expand what was there, bring in a little bit extra to the mythology and open it up a bit.”

Now while I count myself as a huge fan of Tolkien’s works, I don’t consider myself a curmudgeonly purist who sends spittle flying at every single changed detail. I have zero problem in some narrative leeway and detours being taken in a film adaptation, as long as they serve a purpose. This was something that Jackson did much better in the second film, as little additions added to the characters/story or helped explain things more, whereas the first film just felt like a lot of stuff kept happening, but nothing was actually happening, if you know what I mean.

I’m obviously hoping that Jackson will be hewing closer to the approach of the second film, and as Jackson explained further, that appears to be the case as all this additional running around will just be setting the background for some some story beats.

“What we’re trying to do is have a lot of that conflict and resolution happen during the course of the battle, so it doesn’t just become all action.

“There’s still a plot with the characters to follow, even though they’re surrounded by fighting trolls and orcs and things.”

After the very abrupt cliffhanger ending of The Desolation of Smaug, I’m actually looking forward to checking out all the action in The Battle of Five Armies when it releases on December 17, 2014.

Last Updated: September 30, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Missed the second one. Much sadness.

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