New Line Cinema has finally come to its senses and allowed Peter Jackson to oversee the making of two films based on The Hobbit. (New Line co-chairman Bob Shaye not so long ago: “Peter Jackson will never make The Hobbit on my watch”. Hand that man the silver-handled revolver.)
But…two films? Compared to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is essentially a pamphlet. Either we’re going to get lots…and lots…and lots of shots of Bilbo meandering across beautiful New Zealand scenery, or it’s going to be less of an adaptation and more of a jumping off point. There isn’t even an obvious spot in the book to break so the first film ends on a satisfying note.
Having said that, I have every faith that Peter Jackson will ensure a great experience that is both faithful to the spirit of the book and meet the demands of story-telling in the film medium. Unlike some spineless directors who cave in at the first sign of pressure from the philistine impulses of the Hollywood money-men (Chris Weitz, I’m looking at you), Jackson has proven that quality will never be compromised.