Jackson's surprise 3rd Hobbit movie doesn't have a budget or script

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

So now that it's official that Peter Jackson is going to make a third Hobbit film, there's only two things he needs: a budget and a script.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jackson has neither—which is unprecedented for a studio project of this scope. Yet apparently nobody—not Jackson nor studio executives—seems particularly worried about it.

One source close to the project said, "If anybody had been a big hindrance, it wouldn't have happened. It was such a short window of time to make this decision, if anybody had said no, it would have been two movies."

Although studios don't usually release exact budgets anymore, the cost of the two already-announced parts of The Hobbit is said to total $500 million. A third film will be less expensive—perhaps as low as half one of the other two movies—because Jackson has already shot a lot of material that will end up in it. But a budget can't be nailed down until a script is written, and that has yet to happen.

Jackson pitched the third film to the studios, Warner Bros. and New Line, in early July and got a green light right away. Since the cast members were only hired for two films, new deals had to be made with them and were done at lightning speed, with everyone on board before Jackson officially announced the third movie on his Facebook page later that month.

With some additional shooting for the second movie already slotted for next June, that time frame is going to expand by several weeks so that Jackson can get enough footage in the can to turn The Hobbit into a trilogy, with the third movie coming out in summer 2014.

But what exactly will that footage consist of? Until Jackson and collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens actually write it, we just don't know.

Do you think Jackson can pull it together in time and make The Hobbit work as a trilogy? Should he even attempt it?