Ladies and gentlemen, it's official: The Hobbit will be three films rather than two. Peter Jackson took to his Facebook page today to announce that the story will be extended across three films as rumoured recently.
Jackson said that, "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. The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.
"So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of The Hobbit films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.
"It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, 'a tale that grew in the telling.'"
There's no word yet on the subtitle of the third film and how it will fit in with An Unexpected Journey and There And Back Again, nor do we have a new release schedule for the three. Presumably this third film will take the story's finish back to 2014, but that remains to be confirmed.