It turns out Peter Jackson might want a little more than the roughly 17 hours of your attention he’s already solicited with his two trilogies. (Closer to 20, if you’re counting the extended editions—assuming The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will be the length Jackson is claiming it will be.) Unaware that “the road goes ever on and on” now feels more like a threat than a promise, Ian McKellen tells the BBC that he thinks there may be more movies on the way:
“I was told by Peter, in 2001, that that was the end, that it was all over. Here we are 13 years later. So I don’t believe necessarily this is the end of the journey.”
Sure, this may have been merely one of the many tossed-off comments that stars are expected to say at red carpet events, but that’s never stopped the Internet before, so let’s look at the evidence. McKellen claims Jackson had assured him that he wouldn’t be returning to J. R. R. Tolkien’s source material again after the completion of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, and came back to it nonetheless. In addition, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Jackson has “spent a decade or more creating the infrastructure necessary to make more films”—the reasoning being, now he has all these sets, weapons, and orc costumes laying around, so why not shoot something?
Any further adventures would have to be taken from The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s pre-history of Middle Earth. That is, unless Jackson wants to ignore the actual, existing source material and just start inventing things wholesale, CGI-like, from a blank green canvas, as though it were standard operating procedure or something.